100 books like The Yellow Suitcase

By Meera Sriram, Meera Sethi (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that The Yellow Suitcase fans have personally recommended if you like The Yellow Suitcase. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Rough Patch

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Author Of Where Is Poppy?

From my list on talking about death and loss with your kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author who typically centers humor at the heart of my books but who dipped into heartache to tell this specific story. As a former educator with four kiddos of my own, I’ve been able to witness the myriad ways kids cope with grief, everything from hiding out in blanket forts to holding a backyard funeral service for a beloved pet roly-poly. I hope my book, Where is Poppy? offers kids comfort, peace, and preparation for their own unique journeys with loss. I studied creative writing and political science at Stanford University and hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

Caroline's book list on talking about death and loss with your kids

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Why did Caroline love this book?

This may be one of the most-read books in our house, which is saying something for a book about a gardening aficionado named Evan, whose dog dies in the first few spreads.

It’s hard for even our 2-year-old not to bristle when Evan, in his grief, violently destroys his beloved garden. But watching how he unintentionally nurtures a once prickly vine into a prized-winning pumpkin has all of us cheering with each read.

I love how this story doesn’t shy away from the deep pain that comes with losing someone we love and doesn’t sugarcoat the long, often lonely process of coming back to the surface for air. Kids are ready for this honesty, and this book does it with a gentle but honest sense of purpose. 

By Brian Lies,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Rough Patch 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?

A Caldecott Honor Book

An ALA Notable Book

A breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book that is pitch-perfect for anyone of any age who has experienced any type of loss or disappointment, from New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Brian Lies.

New York Times-bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible, and deeply personal story about friendship, loss, and renewal. The Rough Patch was awarded a Caldecott Honor and features stunning paintings from the award-winning creator of Bats at the Beach.

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their prize-winning garden, which grows…


Book cover of Dance Like a Leaf

Nancy Bo Flood Author Of Walking Grandma Home

From my list on loss, grief, and healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Bo Flood earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and Child Development at the University of Minnesota and has authored a variety of award-winning booksWalking Grandma Home came from her own experience as a child, as a counselor, and as a daughter. She has lived and taught on the Pacific island of Saipan, where she worked with teachers and parents to create resources and programs for students with disabilities, and for the past twenty years, she has taught in the Navajo Nation. With Native educators, she co-founded an early-literacy nonprofit, Read at Home, which encourages parents to read regularly with their children.

Nancy's book list on loss, grief, and healing

Nancy Bo Flood Why did Nancy love this book?

In the delightful book, a granddaughter enjoys many fun activities with her grandmother, especially dancing like a leaf. Grandmother begins to change in many ways, especially physically and with her memory. And then “Grandmother’s bed is empty.” The child grieves but slowly feels comfort and even joy as she celebrates the many activities she had shared with her grandmother.

By AJ Irving, Claudia Navarro (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dance Like a Leaf 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?

As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to lovingly take the lead in their cosy shared autumn traditions. Poetic prose paired with evocative illustrations by Mexican illustrator Claudia Navarro make for a beautiful celebration of life and a gentle introduction to the death of a loved one.


Book cover of Ida, Always

Ellen Tarlow Author Of Looking for Smile

From my list on bringing on a tear.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been captivated by the emotional power of picture books since I was a child and have spent my adult life reading, sharing, and trying to write the kinds of books that connect to the youngest of readers on a deeper level. In Looking for Smile, I tried to write about the day when I was five years old and experienced real sadness for the first time. This became a story about Bear and his friend, Smile. My favorite kind of picture books are those that make me smile and tear up at the same time. I decided I would share some recent books that have had that effect on me…

Ellen's book list on bringing on a tear

Ellen Tarlow Why did Ellen love this book?

Based on a true story about two polar bears at the Central Park Zoo, this is a beautiful book about the death of a loved one. In a zoo, there may literally be only two-of-a-kind, so the loss of one is especially poignant. The realization that one of the pair would be “going away” at first seems almost unbearable. Their leave-taking (complete with days of denial and days of laying together comforting each other) really takes readers through the process and yet offers enough wisdom and hope to help them come out better on the other side.

By Caron Lewis, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ida, Always 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?

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the…


Book cover of Always Remember

Jolene Gutiérrez Author Of Bionic Beasts: Saving Animal Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks

From my list on picture books about death.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher-librarian, I’m often asked for books on difficult topics, including death. When I was young, a close family member died and I struggled with grief. I didn’t know how to honor my loved one or how to begin healing from the loss. The books I’m sharing are books I wish I’d had as a child and books that I’m grateful to be able to hand to children and families when needed. If you’re an emotional person like I am, you may want tissues nearby when you read them. I hope they’re as helpful and therapeutic for you as they have been for me!

Jolene's book list on picture books about death

Jolene Gutiérrez Why did Jolene love this book?

Some picture books about death spend the majority of their pages leading up to the death of a character, but in this colorfully illustrated and powerfully written story, Old Turtle dies on the first page. The remainder of the book is spent reflecting on all the ways Old Turtle impacted the ocean creatures around him: he helped a whale find her pod, he saved a starfish, and he rescued a manatee tangled in fishing net. 

Throughout the story, the reader is reminded that turtle “made his world a better place” and that each of these animals impacted by turtle will always remember him. This story helps readers understand the importance of their actions and the connections we all have.

By Cece Meng, Jago (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Always Remember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After Old Turtle swims his last swim and breathes his last breath, and the waves gently take him away, his friends lovingly remember how he impacted each and every one of them. As the sea animals think back on how much better Old Turtle made their lives and their world, they realise that he is not truly gone, because his memory and legacy will last forever. Jago's gorgeous illustrations accompany Cece Meng's serene text in a book that will help children understand and cope with the death of a loved one.


Book cover of The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello

Sonia Frontera Author Of Relationship Solutions: Effective Strategies to Heal Your Heart and Create the Happiness You Deserve

From my list on freeing you from the pain of a toxic relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sonia Frontera is a divorce lawyer with a heart. She is the survivor of a toxic marriage who is now happily remarried. Sonia integrates the wisdom acquired through her personal journey, her professional experience and the lessons of the world’s leading transformational teachers and translates it into guidance that is insightful and practical. Through the years, Sonia has supported domestic violence survivors as an advocate, speaker, and empowerment trainer.

Sonia's book list on freeing you from the pain of a toxic relationship

Sonia Frontera Why did Sonia love this book?

I am a self-help junkie and have read a ridiculous amount of books about relationships. But if I had to pick one, this would be it. This little book reveals the secret to peace in your relationships… and it’s not what you think. Anthony de Mello teaches that love is found only in fearlessness and freedom. He provides a simple formula for releasing the angst caused by unhealthy attachments to our partners, so we can feel joyful and complete in their company or on our own. Anthony de Mello’s wisdom has been instrumental in my personal healing and provided the foundation for my own teachings. 

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Way to Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the international bestselling author of Awareness, a pocket-sized guide that will bring you to new levels of spiritual awareness.

The Way To Love contains the final flowering of Anthony de Mello's thought, and  in it he grapples with the ultimate question of  love. In thirty-one meditations, he implores his  readers with his usual pithiness to break through  illusion, the great obstacle to love. "Love  springs from awareness," de Mello insists, saying  that it is only when we see others as they are  that we can begin to really love. But not only must  we seek to see others with…


Book cover of The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

Zara Raheem Author Of The Retreat

From my list on the powers of sisterhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a soft spot for books on sisterhood. Perhaps it’s because I have a sister, but it’s partly because I’ve also lucked out on wonderful girlfriends who’ve taken the role of sisters at various stages of my life. There is an immense power in female relationships, and it’s a theme I often explore through my writing. Both my novels, The Marriage Clock and The Retreat center around strong women who consistently and generously show up for each other. I’ve compiled a list of books to celebrate the many sisters in our lives—through blood and friendship. I hope you find them as enjoyable to read as I have!

Zara's book list on the powers of sisterhood

Zara Raheem Why did Zara love this book?

The Shergill sisters were never close, not even as children. But when their mother leaves a final letter instructing her daughters to spread her remains in her homeland of India, the three of them reluctantly agree to carry out this task.

As a child of Indian immigrants, I appreciated the rich descriptions of the setting and cultural traditions. I also loved how the Shergill sisters started off their journey estranged and distant but ended with a deeper understanding of themselves, their mother, and each other.  

By Balli Kaur Jaswal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grab your passport and let the Shergill sisters take you on a journey...

Meet the Shergill Sisters.

The know-it-all, Rajni.
The drama queen, Jezmeen.
The golden child, Shirina.

They have never been close. But their mother's dying wish was for them to take a pilgrimage across India together, to carry out her final rites. And so, the sisters are thrown together for one last (and very strange) family holiday.

The three women seem to have nothing in common, apart from the fact that each of them has a secret she would prefer to keep hidden. But as one unlikely adventure…


Book cover of Old Friends

Robyn McGrath Author Of There's Always Room for One More

From my list on helping children connect with their grandparents.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and child therapist, I believe in the importance of connecting with our families. Sometimes that means making sacrifices for our loved ones who need our support. When my parents moved to be near our family, we learned how to adapt to their changing needs. Like the books I choose, sometimes a grandparent moves in with you, sometimes you navigate them being grumpy, or other times you just listen to their wishes. But mostly, it’s just being there in the moment with a grandparent that opens our eyes, and heart, to something larger than ourselves.

Robyn's book list on helping children connect with their grandparents

Robyn McGrath Why did Robyn love this book?

Old Friends is a delightful book about finding friendship in unexpected places.

Marjorie, is true to herself and longs for a friend to share in her interests, just like with her Granny. Marjorie soon decides the Senior Friend’s Group might be the perfect place to find a friend for herself.

This book is sweet, humorous, and the illustrations are full of charm, inspiring young children to connect across generations.  

By Margaret Aitken, Lenny Wen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old Friends 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?

Marjorie wants a friend who loves the same things she does: baking shows, knitting, and gardening. Someone like Granny. So with a sprinkle of flour in her hair and a spritz of lavender perfume, Marjorie goes undercover to the local Senior Citizens Group. It all goes well until the cha-cha-cha starts and her cardigan camouflage goes sideways. By being true to herself, Marjorie learns that friends can be of any age if you look in the right places.


Book cover of Six Feet Below Zero

Linda Joy Singleton Author Of The Curious Cat Spy Club

From my list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

Linda's book list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries

Linda Joy Singleton Why did Linda love this book?

I love a thrilling mystery with secrets, humor, and surprises. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out if anyone would realize Rosie and Baker were hiding their Great-Grandma in a freezer. It was all Great-Grandma's idea! The kids race against time to piece together clues to find a missing will and save the family home from destruction. Reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock story with unexpected twists and heart-pounding danger. Fun mystery!

By Ena Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Feet Below Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A dead body. A missing will. An evil relative. The good news is, Great Grammy has a plan. The bad news is, she's the dead body.

Rosie and Baker are hiding something. Something big. Their great grandmother made them promise to pretend she's alive until they find her missing will and get it in the right hands. The will protects the family house from their grandmother, Grim Hesper, who would sell it and ship Rosie and Baker off to separate boarding schools. They've already lost their parents and Great Grammy--they can't lose each other, too.

The siblings kick it into…


Book cover of Keturah and Lord Death

Maria Vale Author Of Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death

From my list on stories of death personified.

Why am I passionate about this?

The 14th century had it all: the 100 Years' War, near-constant famines, and, of course, the Black Plague. As a medievalist studying the art of the time, I was struck by the representations of Death that emerged from this near-perfect storm of misery. Yes, Death was often portrayed accompanied by demons and devils, lumped willy-nilly with evil. But it was more often portrayed in the Danse Macabre as a skeletal partner, leading everyone—Pope and Emperor, Lord and Laborer—on a merry dance. I know it was meant as a warning, but I found the Danse Macabre to be oddly comforting, a vision of an ultimate democracy, with Death the final partner and companion to us all.

Maria's book list on stories of death personified

Maria Vale Why did Maria love this book?

Leavitt’s story is a fairytale and like all good fairytales, there is a handsome prince except this one is played by Lord Death himself.

I love Keturah. She is brave enough not to be afraid and big-hearted enough to see beyond Death’s terrifying purpose to the underlying sadness of the feared and hated outsider. Through the course of the book, she also comes to appreciate the meaning he brings to life.

“It was Death who…made her see the sun in the blue sky and hear the trees in a spring wind. He made her see how much she loved her friends…Made her love the breath in her lungs. She knew she had never been truly alive as when she met him. Never so happy and content with her lot until she was touched by the sorrow of him.”

By Martine Leavitt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Keturah and Lord Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

National Book Award Finalist

A young woman makes a bargain with Death himself-and only true love can set her free-in this spellbinding YA fantasy romance for fans of Robin McKinley.

For most of her sixteen years, beautiful Keturah Reeves has mesmerized the villagers with her gift for storytelling. But when she becomes hopelessly lost in the king's forest, her strength all but diminished, she must spin the most important of tale of life. With her fate hanging in the balance, she charms Death himself-a handsome, melancholy, and stern lord-with a story of a love so true that he agrees to…


Book cover of The Secret Hum of a Daisy

M. Jean Pike Author Of The Little Things

From my list on family relationships with strong mother figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lost my mother unexpectedly when I was a young mother myself. Oh, how I missed the gentle wisdom that had guided me my whole life! As I journeyed through the various stages of life, there was so much I wanted to ask her. She would be in her eighties now, but in my mind, she is and will always be fifty-seven. Gone now, but I still feel the influence of her kindness, wisdom, and compassion in my life and decisions. I’m drawn to stories about families and the far-reaching influence a mother has on her daughters’ lives. Though I mostly write romance, many of my novels contain older women who've had such an influence.

M.'s book list on family relationships with strong mother figures

M. Jean Pike Why did M. love this book?

I came across this little gem at a garage sale. I am not a big reader of YA fiction, but the blurb on the back jacket spoke to me, so I bought it. I’m so glad I did!

This astoundingly beautifully written book chronicles the journey of twelve-year-old Grace in the aftermath of her mother’s death. A free but tormented spirit, Grace’s “Mama” could never seem to put down roots after leaving her small town behind as a teen. But Grace longs for a real home.

After her mother’s tragic death, she goes to live with the grandmother she never knew in a town she has never set foot in. All she knows is that her grandmother sent her Mama away when she was young and pregnant.

I love small-town stories and the town and its characters come alive in this book in the most loving of ways as Grace…

By Tracy Holczer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Hum of a Daisy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.

After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in death, India, and grandmothers?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about death, India, and grandmothers.

Death Explore 362 books about death
India Explore 455 books about India
Grandmothers Explore 44 books about grandmothers