Helping Little Ones Say Goodbye

One of us babysat for a 3-year-old cousin yesterday, so his parents could be at the hospital with Little Cousin’s dying grandma. Little Cousin’s nursery teacher had sent home The Goodbye Book, which we found touching and appropriate for a very young child.

Here’s a description from Common Sense Media:

The Goodbye Book is about loss — the pet fish’s friend may have died or may have moved away. This ambiguity helps make the book relatable to children dealing with many kinds of loss. The story addresses the many forms of grief, both emotional and physical, and how people who are grieving might find comfort.

Saying goodbye is hard, but this understanding, supportive book offers comfort and guidance to children dealing with the messy emotions of grief. Sadness, anger, confusion, loneliness — it’s OK to feel any of these or none, The Goodbye Book reassures.

Author-illustrator Todd Parr employs his trademark style — bright colors, simple lines, and warm, straightforward prose — to connect with very young children on their level. Parr offers assurance that it gets better, but he doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulty of grief. He acknowledges that the pain of loss never completely goes away, but warm memories and love and support from those around you help you through it. This is a perfect choice for children struggling with any kind of loss or separation.

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