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Goodbye Grandma

goodbye grandmaMelanie Walsh
Walker Books
Age 0-5

It’s often hard for children to cope with their feelings and to understand what happens when someone, or a pet, they love dies. Goodbye Grandma presents a clear explanation that is both sensitive and straightforward in answering the questions children are likely to ask. This is a valuable book for children and parents to share at any time, in preparing for sad times and for offering a way to talk about the difficult experience of a loved one dying.


Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, talking together about the pictures as you do. Talking about the book makes space for children to ask question, share their thoughts and deepens their understanding.

Join in
Read the story again, letting children turn the pages and leaving spaces for them to join in with the reading

Tell the story
When children hear the story several times they will get to know it really well. This will help them to say it in their own words, using the pictures to help them. Listen for the ways they use words and phrases from the story. This confidence will help them to read the story independently. Rereading also gives children a chance to ask other questions and to deepen their thinking and understanding

Things to make and do

Children can use photographs or objects of a loved one (family, friend or pet) to talk about what they remember about them and the times they shared together. You can take it in turns to share your memories, starting with: “Do you remember when..?”

Make a memory book
Make a book of photos, drawings and stories about a loved person or pet. Children can also include some mementoes such as a small piece of fabric, a ticket to a shared event, a cut-out from a favourite newspaper or chocolate bar wrapper.

Paint or draw a portrait
Using a variety of materials, including collage, children can create a portrait of someone they love. They can do this from memory or look at photos to help them.

Find out more

Read more books on this theme:

Always and Forever by Alan Durant

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

Bear’s Last Journey by Udo Weingelt

Dead Bird by Margaret Brown Wise


More books by author/illustrator Melanie Walsh:

Living with Mum and Living with Dad: My Two Homes

My World, Your World

10 things I can do to help my world

My nose, your nose

My Green Day

Do Donkeys Dance?