These are some very helpful books I have found relating to pet loss. Most are picture books intended for children aged 3-8 years old and are available for purchase. All of the books on this list are available through the Virginia Beach Public Library system. Books marked with an * are out of print, but available to be borrowed from Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice.
A Special Place for Charlee*: Debby Morehead
A little boy takes care of his dog, Charlee, as she gets older. Eventually, when Charlee is very sick, the young boy takes part in the decision to euthanize Charlee so that her suffering ends. The little boy and his family are very sad with Charlee gone and create a memorial place for her. Eventually, the little boy realizes Charlee’s memory will always live on in his heart.
Jasper’s Day*: Marjorie Blain Parker
From the Book Jacket: Today, Riley’s family is celebrating Jasper’s day. Everything they do will be in honor of Jasper- sort of like a birthday. But it isn’t Jasper’s birthday. The old dog’s cancer has gotten really bad. Riley knows they can’t let him suffer any longer, but letting go will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney: Judith Viorst
From the Book Jacket: Barney was a cat. He died last Friday. And everyone was sad. They did what most people do when a cat they like dies. They had a funeral. And then they tried to think of good things about him. Whenever a cat dies, or a dog, or a bird, or a friend, it can be a little like this story about Barney. Since dying is as usual as living, it’s good to know about him.
Goodbye, Mousie: Robie Harris
From the Book Jacket: It takes time for the young narrator to understand that Mousie is dead and he’s not coming back. With the help of his family, the child finds out that it’s perfectly ok to feel angry and sad when his pet mouse-whom he loves- dies. By voicing his feelings and asking questions, he finally begins to accept Mousie’s death.
Sammy in the Sky: Barbara Walsh
From the Book Jacket: Sammy, the best hound dog in the whole wide world, loves his girl and she loves him. When illness cuts Sammy’s life short, the girl’s family keeps his spirit alive by celebrating his love of chasing wind-blown bubbles, keeping loyal guard a night, and offering his velvety fur for endless pats and tummy scratches.
Saying Goodbye to Lulu: Corinne Demas
From the Book Jacket: A young girl and her loveable, spunky dog, Lulu, are faithful companions from the very start. As Lulu starts to slow down, they are unable to do all the things the pair loved to do together. When the time comes to say goodbye to Lulu, the girl is unable to do so. How can she say goodbye? She doesn’t want another dog, as her parents have suggested. How do you honor a loved one and still move on with your life?
Dog Heaven: Cynthia Rylant
From the Book Jacket: If you have ever been lucky enough to have a special dog in your life, then you know there is a place called Dog Heaven.
Cat Heaven: Cynthia Rylant
From the Book Jacket: If you have ever been lucky enough to have a special cat in your life, then you know there is a place called Cat Heaven.
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