The best children's books for grieving to aid in recovery after a loss

Who am I?

I was not intentionally set out to write books for children, but I was inspired to do so after struggling to face the challenges brought on by my illness—multiple brain tumors and surgeries. Creating messages through stories for children facing such hardship as a life-threatening illness, at times even brought me the reason I needed to keep fighting for my health and for my life.


I wrote...

The Golden Bowl: A book to help children cope with grief

By Linda Matesa, Oksana Kindzer (illustrator),

Book cover of The Golden Bowl: A book to help children cope with grief

What is my book about?

This illuminating story sheds light on the difficult subject of grieving and loss gently and lovingly. A mother explains to her young son that a person’s soul can be like a bright shiny bowl filled with memories and experiences. She encourages her son to think calmly about their happy times together and to hold onto those memories. Filled with love and hope, this tale shares a meaningful and helpful way to discuss grief with young children.

This heartfelt story helps to make sense of intangible concepts such as what makes up a soul and what happens to someone after they pass away. As young readers are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity, a daunting subject becomes more accessible and less frightening.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of You'll Find Me

Linda Matesa Why did I love this book?

It is a beautiful book that explains that when loved ones cannot be with us physically, they are still present in our lives in many different ways. The story is written in a tender and heartfelt way that made me feel emotion with each turn of the page. I had to cry as I read the story, but they were not tears of sorrow, they were tears of joy and comfort knowing that death is nothing but an illusion.

By Amanda Rawson Hill, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You'll Find Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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…


Book cover of The Invisible String

Linda Matesa Why did I love this book?

I read this book after publishing my own book about grief and why I loved it so much was because the author has a similar vision of people, things, and the world. Reading the story I had the impression that I was reading my own mind. I think this book explains very well to the reader how important love is to keep the connection among those who are separated alive. This story is written in a comforting and entertaining way and I believe it helps heal wounds after a loss.

By Patrice Karst, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Invisible String as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

With over 400,000 copies sold, this accessible, bestselling picture book phenomenon about the unbreakable connections between loved ones has healed a generation of readers--children and adults alike--and has been updated with new illustrations and an afterword from the author. Now available in paperback for the first time!

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but…


Book cover of Everett Anderson's Goodbye

Linda Matesa Why did I love this book?

The book entails a powerful message by describing all the stages of grief that we go through after losing someone. A book reminds us that love does not end after death, but it lives in us as we carry on despite our sadness and loss. The story will allow the reader to experience sets of emotions as an integral part of healing.

By Lucille Clifton, Ann Grifalconi (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everett Anderson's Goodbye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Everett Anderson's Goodbye is a touching portrait of a little boy who is trying to come to grips with his father's death. Lucille Clifton captures Everett's conflicting emotions as he confronts this painful reality. We see him struggle through many stages, from denial and anger to depression and, finally, acceptance. In this spare and moving poem, the last in this acclaimed series, Lucille Clifton brings Everett Anderson's life full circle.


Book cover of Till We Meet Again

Linda Matesa Why did I love this book?

I was very pleased to read that book. It comforts us to know that the people we lost are living through us, through our actions I share the author's view that the world we live in is not our home. Like the author, I think we're just passing through this world, which means we will all see each other again when the time comes.

By Julie Muller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Till We Meet Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Till We Meet Again is a story about death & grieving for children. This book provides comfort to families when they experience the loss of a loved one. The book is meant to help a grieving child remember and share their special memories with those around them, to help them grow to see how they can honor and cherish their loved ones through their own actions.
Much love and hope has been poured into this book to help young children deal with loss and provide hope that someday we will all meet again.


Book cover of I Miss You: Grief and Mental Health Books for Kids

Linda Matesa Why did I love this book?

The book explains that death is a natural element of life and explains it in a comprehensible and easy way. It will be a good read for those who believe only in that which they see. The book also explains the importance of having someone to talk to after someone dies and dealing with the emotions.

I would suggest this book to young readers and families who do not believe in a Higher Power or do not know whether they believe it or not.

By Pat Thomas, Lesley Harker (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Miss You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

This reassuring picture book explores the difficult issue of death for young children. Children's feelings and questions about this sensitive subject are looked at in a simple but realistic way. This book helps them to understand their loss and come to terms with it.

Notes for parents and teachers at the back of the book provide valuable advice for how to share this book with your child or class.

Written by a trained psychotherapist, journalist and parent, and illustrated by an experienced children's book artist, this is part of an acclaimed and successful series of picture-book non-fiction for Early Years.…


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Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

Book cover of Too Good

Carol Moreira Author Of Riptides

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by the relationship of humanity to nature. When I was young, we moved all the time – my dad was in the military and we moved to a new base every 18 months. All those military bases were located in the British countryside and, in the absence of other forms of continuity, nature became like a best friend. I still walk every day. Reconnecting with trees, grass, the sounds of birds, centres and energizes me. I get my best ideas when walking. But, of course, nature is also threatening – Covid and cancer are natural. I’m fascinated by that juxtaposition and always trying to reflect it in my work.  

Carol's book list on the beauty and threat of the natural world

What is my book about?

This is a steamy tale of vulnerability and betrayal. Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend's attractive husband, David.

Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her admiration for his wife, Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn to Grace's man, unheeding of the dangers.

Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

What is this book about?

Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend’s attractive husband David. The sight of his lean gardener’s body working in the hospice grounds fills her with longing and makes her forget the sadness in both the hospice and her marriage.
Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her friendship and admiration for his wife Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn into a passionate romance with Grace’s man unheeding of the…


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