top of page
HelpingKidsRise Childrens Books Diverse.png

Diverse Books For All Ages

A great selection of books for families, educators, and the community

  • Helping Kids Rise

Grief and Loss: Children's Books about Losing a Pet

Updated: Jan 22

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links


Losing a pet is hard - whether it is expected or unexpected. For many children, losing a pet may be their first experience with death and grief. These children's books can help explain death to a child and may help comfort children as they grieve the loss of their beloved pet.


"It's difficult to understand why people don't realize that pets are gifts to mankind." ~ Linda Blair

Loss becomes remembrance in this book that offers tender ways to pay tribute to, and meaningfully incorporate, a loved one's lost presence into present and future life experiences.


Be it departed friends, family, pets, and more, memories can carry us beyond the precious moments we have together to keep the ones we loved before in mind forever.


Throughout the book the omnipresent narrator encourages thoughtful reflection on the empty spaces left by the loss. The gentle scenes portrayed inspire recovery from sadness and honor those who are absent.


This lyrical heartful story provides consent and gently encourage readers to move to a place of peace and acceptance despite the absence.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


In this useful book from the First Experience series, the affable star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood helps children share feelings of the loss of a pet while offering reassurance that grieving is a natural, healing thing to do.


A sensitive and sensible first book about death. --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


Filled with warmth and reassurance, ...When a Pet Dies assures youngsters that no matter how badly they feel when they lose a pet, in time their hurt will ease, and they will be able to remember with fondness the happiness they shared. --Booklist


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


Books to Help Children Grieve the Death of a Pet

Adrian Raeside has created a magical tale of adventure for pet lovers of all ages in The Rainbow Bridge. Using his gift for creating spunky characters, Raeside has created a valuable fable for anyone who cherishes the companionship of a family pet.


Seven-year-old Rick and his beloved dog Koko are inseparable. They cavort in the swimming hole, chase each other through the fields, play fetch and wrestle. But their relationship changes as Koko grows old and his health declines.

With Koko's passing, Rick is devastated. But then one night, he is woken by Buster, a flatulent but well-intentioned messenger dog, who suddenly appears at the boy's bedside. Buster ferries Rick to a magical paradise for pets where Rick is reunited with Koko; it fills Rick's heart with joy. It's a place where cats burrow through fields of catnip, no couch is off-limits to dogs and frisbees are flung endlessly. This mysterious adventure is truly a holiday miracle!


Adrian Raeside captures the special bond between humans and their pets, and with marvelous illustrations, brings a gentle humor to a story that will resonate with children and pet lovers of all ages.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP

From the author of the picture book phenomenon The Invisible String comes a moving companion title about coping with grief when a pet dies.


"When our pets aren't with us anymore, an Invisible Leash connects our hearts to each other. Forever." That's what Zack's friend Emily tells him after his dog dies. Zack doesn't believe it. He only believes in what he can see. But on an enlightening journey through their neighborhood--and through his grief--he comes to feel the comforting tug of the Invisible Leash. And it feels like love.


Accompanied by tender. uplifting art by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, bestselling author Patrice Karst's gentle story uses the same bonding technique from her classic book The Invisible String to help readers through the experience of the loss of a beloved animal.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


A beautifully written story and must-have resource for any adult helping a child cope with the loss of a loved one and working through grief.


From the perspective of a young child, author Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it's like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story wonders if she will forget the person who has gone. Other days I wonder if I'll ever stop feeling sad you are gone.


The main character creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of her loved one to help with the grieving process. Throughout the narrative, the child's feelings are acknowledged, allowed, and assured that feelings are normal and healthy to express. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box helps children, parents, educators, therapists, and social workers talk about this very difficult topic together.


The unique point of view allows each reader to imagine the loss of someone they've loved -- a friend, family member, or even a pet. A guide in the back includes information to help children manage grief and offers suggestions on how to create a memory box.

A perfect companion to this book is The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children and Families that helps children record stories, memories, and feelings as an honoring keepsake to be cherished for years to come.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


A young girl and her lovable dog, Lulu, are the best of friends. They play games together, explore their neighborhood, and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night.


Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for, but when she grows older and gradually becomes weak, the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend, and inevitably, cope with the death of her canine companion.


Though she is deeply saddened by Lulu's passing and misses her very much, over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever... in her heart.


With realistic, hopeful illustrations by Ard Hoyt, this tender tale offers an accessible lens to young children learning to understand and cope with the mixed emotions that come with the loss of a loved one.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


Remembering Barkly is a poignant tale of loss and friendship by Erin Frankel


When Barkley doesn't come home, Bear misses his friend. He no longer wants to take walks or play fetch.


But as the seasons change, Bear and his human Jacob help each other through their grief.


This sensitive story about healing over time will comfort all children who have experienced loss.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP

 

MORE BOOKS ABOUT GRIEF AND LOSS:

 

Join our community of BOOK LOVERS on Instagram.

Best childrens books on instagram





bottom of page