boy crying

13 Tender Children's Books about Death of a Sibling

where's jess 

Where's Jess?

This picture book about the death of a baby sibling is straightforward and easy to understand. This story helps young children express all of the emotions they experience when a sibling passes away, especially guilt, confusion and sadness.


sad boy


Picture Books Help Kids Cope With Loss of Sibling

Finding the write words to explain the death of a sibling to a young child can seem impossible, especially for parents and family members who are also overwhelmed with grief. There are a lot of important things to consider when talking about this painful topic, such as the age and maturity of the surviving sibling, the circumstances surrounding the death, personal religious or spiritual beliefs around heaven, and other factors. 


girl crying


Reading About Grief Over Loss of Brother or Sister 

We encourage you to collect a variety of children's books about the death of a sibling to help guide your conversation. Some of these books address the topic of death in a more subtle, gentle style while others approach it in a very direct, matter-of-fact manner. Many of these stories about a brother or sister dying have been written by grief counselors and include helpful guides for parents. 


lost and found

Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister

A little girl works through various stages of grief after her older sister dies. Her grandparents keep using the term "lost" in reference to the girl's death, which sends the surviving sibling on a journey toward "finding" her sister again. She works through very dark days filled with grief, sadness, anger and all the other confusing emotions that follow a tragic death. But then she realizes that healing power of keeping her sister's memory alive and with her at all times.


you'll always be

You'll Always Be

A tender book about a four year old boy who passes away suddenly and unexpectedly. This beautiful story was written by a mother who wanted to keep her sons's memory alive for  his two year old sister.  Death is explained in terms that preschoolers and very young children can understand. Beautiful, uplifting illustrations soften the message and capture the friendship and love shared between the two siblings.



a birthday present for daniel

A Birthday Present for Daniel

When a child dies, parents and siblings are at a loss for how to handle his or her birthday. This book, part story/part guide, shares the experiences of Ellen after her brother, Daniel, dies. Every page is written to help families talk about their feelings, especially when there is a sibling who needs special emotional support.


my yellow balloon

My Yellow Balloon

An incredibly simple, powerful and symbolic book about death. In this story, a little boy cherishes a yellow balloon that he wins at a carnival. He plays with this balloon and takes it wherever he goes, until one day it slips out of his hand and floats away. The boy feels a sense of sadness and loneliness at the loss of his "friend", the balloon. The book includes creative use of color, with bright illustrations turning dark and gloomy when the balloon disappears. The bold, colorful pictures, return when the boy find his happiness again.


always my brother

Always My Brother

This book addresses a very important but sometimes overlooked emotion- the guilt a sibling experiences when a brother or sister dies. In this tender children's story about sibling death, a little girl goes to a fun birthday party and later feels guilty about having a good time. Her mother offers comforting words about how her brother, who recently died, would still want her to laugh and be happy. Grief, acceptance and recovery are all covered in this accessible picture book for young children.



stacy had a little sister

 Stacy Had a Little Sister

 Jealousy toward a newborn is a normal, natural feeling for siblings who are accustomed to having their parents' undivided attention. For most children, these feelings of resentment pass as they adjust and learn to love the new baby. In this heartwrenching story, Stacy's little sister dies from SIDS. Not only does Stacy feel incredibly sad, she is overwhelmed with guilt as she wonders if it is her fault.



why do i feel so sad

Why Do I Feel So Sad?

An all-encompassing book about grief for children. Written by a licensed professional counselor, this book does a solid job of helping children work through their feelings when they suffer a hardship. Using terminology that is easy and accessible for young children, the author validates and normalizes a child's emotional distress when a loved one dies. Helpful in starting a conversation with a young child is experiencing sadness over loss of a sibling.



the memory box

The Memory Box

One of the most highly-regarded, award-winning children's books about death that parents should read to siblings who have lost a brother or sister. The concept of this moving picture books about death is simple yet so very crucial- keep memories alive forever. Children are encouraged to store mementos, small toys, photos, notes and anything else that reminds them of their sibling in a special box for safekeeping. The Memory Box teaches us a crucial part of the grieving process- giving children a constructive way to remember a loved one. 


the invisible string

The Invisible String

This is the #1 best-selling book for children about death. This beautiful story emphasizes the unbreakable connection between people and those they love, even when they can't be together. For a child who is devastated by the death of a sibling, the concept that they will always be connected by an invisible string that can never be broken can offer some comfort. 



the invisible string workbook

The Invisible String Workbook

An incredibly helpful companion to The Invisible String, which includes an abundance of interactive elements. Children will love engaging in all of the writing and art activities designed to help them understand their connection with another human during a time of loss or grief. Reflection cards are designed to stimulate introspective thought. Children are encouraged to forge connections with others as part of their healing process.



when someone very special dies 

When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief

Child therapists often use this interactive storybook/journal to help their young clients cope with the death of a loved one. The book does a nice job explaining the cycle of a life, which sometimes tragically ends too soon. There are opportunities to color, write down feelings, and complete other activities that assist children in processing their grief.


 someone i loved died

Someone I Loved Died

 A comforting children's book about death with religious messaging throughout. Tender words written expressly for children convey what happens after a loved one dies, including references to an afterlife with God in heaven. The interactive pages provide opportunities for children to personalize this treasured book with memories of their own loved one.This heartfelt book is helpful for children needing comfort after experiencing the loss of a sibling.


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boy with bear


How to Help Kids When a Sibling Passes Away

When a young child dies, the emotional aftermath is devastating for parents and the surviving siblings. Kids often do not possess the ability to express their feelings using words. While crying is the most obvious outward expression, other behaviors that mask the grief may come to surface. Children will experience a tidal wave of emotions, like guilt, anger, sadness, loneliness, and many more. That's why it's important to read picture books about the death of a sibling. These books help a children understand that what they are feeling is normal and will help open dialogue.  When a sibling is lost in infancy or during pregnancy, here are the some comforting children's books about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death.


sad boy


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