Book review: What happens when a loved one dies? our first talk about death

Written by Dr. Jillian Roberts + Illustrated by Cindy Revell 

Tackles: Death 

Age Range: 3-6 years 

Genre: Picture Book 

This book gives questions about death from a child’s perspective and answers from an adults perspective. The questions appear in a childlike handwritten font and the answers from the adult perspective appear in plain text to differentiate the  two sides of  a conversation. This books covers life, death, what happens when someone dies, funerals, souls, the afterlife, sadness, and finding peace after death.  There is a section in the back with additional questions and answers that covers what happens to peoples bodies, reincarnation, the death of a pet, and grief. 

The language is very direct and unabashedly uses the words death, died, and dead, and clearly explains the topics and words. I appreciate that this book doesn’t dance around the topic and teaches children to use the proper words, and also confronts death and the topics surrounding it. The book is inclusive of lots of ideas about afterlife, incorporates faith without giving direct religious based ideas, and makes an effort to include multiple views and ideas. The illustrations are colorful and kid friendly while still depicting the topics in a clear way. 

This book, following a question and answer format, is based on facts and answers to big questions rather than following a fictional story format. I appreciate the use of correct terminology and transparency while not coming off too scary. This book is very inclusive of a lot of information and I think it is one of the best to talk about death overall. 

10 out of 10 butterflies

Buy it here.

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