5 Best Books About the Death of a Pet
From The Goodbye Book to Goodbye, Friend, here are five books that answer the question, “What’s a book that can help kids cope in times of loss or death of a pet?”
- The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
- Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
- Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas
- Goodbye, Friend by Gary A. Kowalski
- When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers
The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
One book that can help kids cope with the loss of a pet is The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr. It tells a story of a boy who has to say goodbye to his pet fish. Through the lens of an animal who has lost its companion, the author helps children understand the circle of life and cope with the loss of a pet. The book uses simple, easy-to-understand language and colorful illustrations to help children connect with the story and the characters and to understand the feelings they may be experiencing.
It covers grief, saying goodbye, and remembering a pet. It also encourages children to express their emotions and helps them understand that it’s normal to feel sad when a pet dies. The Goodbye Book also provides a valuable tool for parents and caregivers to start a conversation with children about the loss of a pet and offers both support and guidance to children and adults during this difficult time.
Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
Dog Heaven is a book by Cynthia Rylant that tremendously helps kids cope with the loss of a pet. It tells the story of a place called dog heaven, where dogs go after they die. In Dog Heaven, dogs have fun and play without limitations. They get plenty to eat, soft beds to sleep in, and lots of new friends to play with. The book suggests that dog heaven is a beautiful place where dogs are happy and one day can be reunited with their owners. The book gives kids a positive idea on what happens after a pet has died.
Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas
Attachment to a thing, people, and even an animal is heart-felt. No matter what your age is, loving an animal is priceless and provides a different experience. We had a tortoise a few years back. It was part of our house for many years and my 5-year-old daughter was fascinated by it. She used to play, eat, and talk with the tortoise. Unfortunately, she lost the tortoise and was devastated. Now she is eight and still can’t forget the pet.
But a book that helped me and my daughter to overcome this trauma was Saying Goodbye to Lulu. The book tells a story about a young girl and her beloved dog. One day when the girl returns from school she finds Lulu has died. She cried, didn’t eat, and finally buries Lulu in the backyard. After some time, her family bought her a new dog. She whispers to this new dog, “You are not Lulu, but I still love you”. It was a heartfelt story and taught my daughter to not let the pain of losing a pet consume her, and allow space in her heart to move on toward other opportunities for love.
Goodbye, Friend by Gary A. Kowalski
I recommend a book that helped ease the comfort of losing a dog when I was young. The book is Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet, written by Gary Kowalski. This book offers comfort during times of loss and grief, providing healthy coping strategies when dealing with the strong emotions of pet loss.
To better reach kids and help them understand, it uses both animal and human experiences and includes practical tips on ways you can always remember your beloved pet, celebrate its life, and help ease the bereavement process. I found Goodbye, Friend to be extremely valuable growing up, so I hope any kids and adults who are experiencing the pain of losing a pet can find and use this resource to help.
When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers
In the book, When a Pet Dies, author Fred Rogers teaches young kids how to approach the loss of a pet. He shares the experiences of other kids in a captivating way that teaches children not to despair and helps them understand the cycle of life and why their pet is now in a better place. An easy-to-digest book, When a Pet Dies, features pictures that aid in comprehension.
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