Helpful stories

‘A terrible thing happened’ by Margaret M. Holmes

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire.

‘Memory bottles’ by Beth Shoshan

Nobody knows what Mr McAllistair keeps in the shed at the bottom of his garden. Just what is in the colourful bottles which fill the shelves and sparkle with hidden secrets? Step inside as a magical mystery is uncorked.

‘The boy who didn’t want to be sad’ by Rob Goldblatt

A boy who doesn't want to be sad tries eliminating all sources of sadness from his life, including toys (they can get broken), pets (they can't live forever), friends (what if they don't call?), even his own family (sometimes they get mad at him). Ultimately, he realises that all sources of sadness are also his sources of happiness, and he reclaims them all.

‘The day the sea went out and never came back’ by Margot Sunderland

A practical guidebook, with an accompanying illustrated storybook, written to help children aged 4-12 think about and connect with their feelings. This book explores loss and memory through the story of Eric the sand dragon, who loves the sea very much.

‘The gift’ by Carol Ann Duffy

The story of a girl's journey through life and the desires that shape it. With a kind of magic that is timeless, The Gift speaks to everyone who wonders about the mysteries that lie at the heart of the human experience. The Gift portrays the cycle of life in a subtle, accessible way while exploring themes of birth, death, love and the importance of family and friends.

‘The invisible string’ by Patrice Karst

A very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Here is a warm lesson teaching young and old that we aren't ever really alone and that we are loved. "People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love."

‘When dinosaurs die: a guide to understanding death’ by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Here to offer advice and reassurance are some very wise dinosaurs. This succinct and thorough guide helps dispel the mystery and negative connotations associated with death, providing answers to some of the most-often asked questions and also explores the feelings we may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to remember someone after he or she has died.

‘Where’s grandad?’ by Jennifer Taggart

How do you talk about the death of a much loved grandparents to young children? 'Where's Grandad?' tells the story in a gentle way children can understand. The pictures encourage the reader to remember games played and times shared and to keep those thoughts alive in their hearts.

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