The Bug Cemetery by Frances Hill, illus. by Vera Rosenberry (2002) Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet. [NHCPL]
The Dead Bird by Margret Wise Brown (1979) Finding a still warm but dead bird, a group of children give it a fitting burial and every day, until they forget, come again to the woods to sing to the dead bird and place fresh flowers on its grave. An excellent handling of the subject of death in which all young children have a natural interest.
Our Special Garden: Understanding Cremation by Karen Carney (1995) Tells the true story of the author’s grandfather who had asked that his body be cremated and placed in the garden. It explains the cremation process, describes what ashes look like, and offers suggestions for finding a special place for our loved ones.
*** Tell Me, Papa: Answers to Questions Children Ask about Death and Dying by Joy and Dr. Marvin Johnson, illus. by Anne Catharine Blake (2005) The authors are founders of the Centering Corporation, a world-wide grief resource center. In this book a grandfather helps three young children understand their feelings and explains what funerals are.
What is the Meaning of Shiva by Karen Carney (1997) describes the Jewish tradition of burial and mourning. It includes an explanation of the term “Sitting Shiva” and of the rich symbolism of mourning ribbons, covering mirrors, memorial candles, the meal of consolation, unveiling, and other practices of the Jewish heritage.
What Happens When Someone Dies? A Child’s Guide to Death and Funerals by Michaelene Mundy, illus. by R. W. Alley (2009) Written for primary school age children, this book answers a series of basic questions from “Does it hurt to die?” to ”What happens in a funeral home?” and even “What will heaven be like?”
What We Do When Someone Dies by Caroline Arnold, illus. by Helen K. Davie (1987) Explains different customs of dealing with death and remembering the dead, such as funerals, burials, cremation, mourning, wills, and memorials.
*** You Hold Me and I’ll Hold You by Jo Carson, illus. by Annie Cannon (1992) A curious young girl travels with her family to the funeral of a Great Aunt. This book walks young (ages 6-10) readers through the experience of traveling to and attending a funeral. [NHCPL)
*** Books I personally think are exceptional either in content or readability or both. Worth buying.
This bibliography was prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Funeral Consumers Alliance – Costal Carolina. Notation of “NHCPL” means the New Hanover County Public Library.
Please check your local public library, or request titles by Interlibrary Loan. Virtually all titles are also available from online bookstores, like amazon.com, often in “used” and other inexpensive editions.,
Questions or for more copies contact:
Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406Email: BecTreks@aol.com