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Secular Picture Books for Children on Death and Dying

AnnainCA@aol.com
The list author says: "The books on this list deal with the issue of death in a secular manner and do not introduce the concept of an afterlife to their young audience."
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children
"A pet, a friend, or a relative dies, and it must be explained to a child. This sensitive book is a useful tool in explaining to children that death is a part of life and that, eventually, all living things reach the end of their own special lifetimes."
Always and Forever
Always and Forever
"When Fox dies, the members of his animal family find it hard to go on until they realize that in their hearts and memories, Fox will still be with them, always and forever."
I Remember Miss Perry
I Remember Miss Perry
"When his teacher, Miss Perry, is killed in a car accident, Stevie and his elementary school classmates take turns sharing memories of her, especially her fondest wish for each day."
Remembering Crystal
Remembering Crystal
"Zelda is a young duck that lives in the garden. Her friend Crystal is a turtle who is growing old. The two do many things together. One day Crystal is not in the garden. But friendship never dies."
The Two of Them
The Two of Them
"In this moving story of the love between generations, a grandfather and a little girl look after one another from the day she is born until the day he dies."
After Charlotte's Mom Died
After Charlotte's Mom Died
"Because her mother's death causes six-year-old Charlotte to feel sad, angry, and scared, she and her dad visit a therapist who helps them acknowledge and express their feelings."
I'll Always Love You
I'll Always Love You
"Elfie and her special boy progress happily through life together until the morning Elfie dies. The boy's sadness is tempered by the remembrance of saying to her every night: I'll always love you."
Grandma's Purple Flowers
Grandma's Purple Flowers
"When a little girl's grandmother dies one winter night, her grief is only assuaged when she sees her grandma's favorite purple flowers start to bloom the following spring."
When a Pet Dies
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."
Jasper's Day
Jasper's Day
"Knowing that their beloved dog Jasper, now close to death from cancer, must be euthanized, a family takes a special day to celebrate their pet's life and what he has meant to them."
Goodbye Mousie
Goodbye Mousie
"When a child learns that his pet mouse has died, at first he can't believe it, and it takes time for the young narrator to understand that Mousie is not coming back."
The Forever Dog
The Forever Dog
"Mike and his dog Corky plan to be best friends forever, so when Corky becomes sick and dies, Mike is angry about the broken promise."
Saying Goodbye to Lulu
Saying Goodbye to Lulu
"When her dog Lulu dies, a little girl grieves but learns how to say goodbye and then continues with her life."
The Bug Cemetery
The Bug Cemetery
"Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet and learn that funerals aren't fun when they're for someone you love."
The Best Cat in the World
The Best Cat in the World
"A young boy deals with the loss of his beloved cat, Charlie, eventually accepting the arrival of another, very different cat."
Grandad's Ashes
Grandad's Ashes
"Four grandchildren embark on an adventure to find the best place to scatter their Grandad's ashes, but find plenty of challenges on the way."
Someone Special Died
Someone Special Died
"A young girl describes the anger and sadness she feels after someone she loved dies, and makes a scrapbook to remember the things they did together."
Bluebird Summer
Bluebird Summer
"Gramps's farm isn't the same after Grandma's death, but slowly Mags and Cody work to recreate her spirit by bringing back some of the things she loved."
A Dog Like Jack
A Dog Like Jack
"After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days, and his family must learn how to say goodbye."
A Pillow for My Mom
A Pillow for My Mom
"A little girl creates a special pillow for her mother to help her through her long illness and (implied) death."
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise
"When Bob MacNally's cat dies, he is so sad that he doesn't even want to celebrate his birthday. His daughter, Maureen, and their preschool neighbor Alfie decide to cheer Bob up in a very special way."
Anna's Corn
Anna's Corn
"Anna is reluctant to plant the kernels of corn her grandpa has left her upon his death, until she realizes that the act will help her remember the times they listened to the music of the corn together."
Murphy and Kate
Murphy and Kate
"After her dog's death, Kate goes on 'one step at a time,' just as she'd taught Murphy to do, and finally finds happiness not in forgetting her beloved Murphy, but in remembering him."
Who Is Ben?
Who Is Ben?
"This one's a bit difficult to categorize, but could be read as either atheist or pantheist. When Ben dies, he knows he will return to the enveloping blackness he was part of before he was born."
Beautiful
Beautiful
"A young gardener and his uncle collaborate on a garden, so that when a very sick Uncle George comes home from the hospital he is greeted with beautiful flowers."
Tio Armando
Tio Armando
"When Lucita's great-uncle Armando comes to live with them, he teaches her many truths about life."
Better With Two
Better With Two
"Laura tries to make Mrs. Brady feel better when her dog Max dies."