Books for Parents and other adults to give to children to help them come to terms with bereavement in all its forms. Teachers will find extra material in Children's Work Theory and Practice.
The Lonely Tree
by Nicholas Halliday
To help children aged Age 4 and over, Nicholas Halliday has written and drawn this appealing book. Stephen Fry is quoted on the cover as saying ‘Utterly, completely and splendidly charming. Originally illustrated and delightfully told.’ which doesn’t leave many relevant words for the rest of us!
A little fir tree starts to grow in the New Forest among the oak trees and soon is befriended by the ancient oak nearby. When winter comes and the oaks go to sleep, the little fir tree is all alone and sad. When spring comes the oaks wake up and burst into leaf except the ancient oak nearby. The other oaks explain that he has died but tell the little fir tree to remember his old friends stories, and his strength, his wisdom, and most of all his love. The book ends with one more surprise to cheer little ones hearing the story.
A gentle story of learning about loss. Little Bear has said goodbye to his Grandmother for the last time, and his wise Mother sends him off into the Wildwood to see what lessons he can learn there to soften his grief. It is autumn and as he wanders through the woods, he talks to the swallows flying off to warmer climes, to the trees losing their leaves, to the sun who appears to die when it sets and the moon constantly changing, and he learns from them all that although things don’t always stay the same, there is always a bright side to seemingly sad things, a bigger picture for us to see if we take time to recognize the ‘Great Heart that holds everything for always’.
Young children of 3 – 7 years will find comfort and hope in this story.
This text would be of considerable use and interest to any teacher or other adult who finds themselves in the counselling role in a school. The Colours of Grief explores strategies for supporting grieving children; it draws on the latest research in neurology and psychology and details the child’s grieving process in terms of their developmental stages. As well as explaining the connections between bereavement, attachment issues and social dysfunction, the author also suggests easy-to-use activities for intervention at each stage. It is both an academic investigation into the processes a child goes through to achieve maturity through the grieving process and a source of precise and detailed steps to help the carer pilot their way through the steps it takes. Both theoretical and practical, this is a very useful book.
Julia Sorensen’s book, Overcomimg Loss, is a “hands-on” work, being a photocopiable resource full of activities that use the power of play and creative arts to give the grieving child the language to identify subtle feelings such as shame, despair and jealousy. The ideas contained in this text are rooted in deep and extensive psychological research. The activities here, encourage social and emotional learning through play, art and story-telling, and provide a set of resources for use in either a school or other carer situations whilst giving total reassurance that, if you are following Sorensen’s advice, you can only be doing good.
We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had An Angel Instead
by Pat Schwiebert
Dealing with the death of an expected and much-wanted baby as told through the words of the little boy who would have been the ‘big brother’, this book with its’ simple one-line per page story and appealing illustrations is a knockout. The difficult subject is handled with sensitivity and with no attempt to pretend that there is an easy happy ending. The notes at the end of the book on helping children to grieve and cope with such a loss would be of great use to those, who grieving themselves, have to try to find answers to the child/children’s ‘why?’
by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illustrated by Cheri Bladholm
Scooter had belonged to Mum and Dad, but when Mikey was born Scooter changed his allegiance and attached himself like a limpet to Mikey. As Mikey grew up they played together and one day while playing ball in the garden (yard) the ball went too far and Scooter chased after it, out of the garden, into the path of an oncoming car. He died very shortly after and all Mikey was left with was Scooter’s beloved blanket, which he treasures along with Scooter’s collar, rubber bone and name tag and a ball that Scooter had so loved to chase. His Mother explained that all creation was in God’s care and that although we do not know if there are animals in heaven, we can trust God to know what is best for the animals he loves.
Don’t forget to look at the guidance and advice to adults on the back pages.