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What Happens When a Loved One Dies?
Our First Talk About Death
By author: Dr. Jillian Roberts   Illustrated by: Cindy Revell
Selling Points: death, dying, grief, loss, sadness, children, education, facts of life, difficult topics, first conversations
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Apr/05/2016
Pages: 32
Nonfiction Ages 3-6
Price:  $19.95
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Whether children are experiencing grief and loss for the first time or simply curious, it can be difficult to know how to talk to them about death. Using questions posed in a child’s voice and answers that start simply and become more in-depth, this book allows adults to guide the conversation to a natural and reassuring conclusion. Additional questions at the back of the book allow for further discussion.

Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts designed the Just Enough series to empower parents/caregivers to start conversations with young ones about difficult or challenging subject matter. What Happens When a Loved One Dies? is the second book in the series. For more information, visit
Booklist - March 15, 2016
"This helpful book...employs simple, yet truthful, responses that either immediately satisfy or give children additional tools for articulating more specific questions...An excellent choice for preschools as well as libraries."
Publishers Weekly - February 22, 2016
"Gentle but straightforward...Revell’s smudgy, brightly colored illustrations provide a friendly, reassuring backdrop for the big questions being discussed."
Kirkus Reviews - February 1, 2016
"Designed for adults to share with very young children, this gentle informational text begins with the part death plays in the natural world and goes on to answer the questions of children who lose grandparents...[The author] reassures young listeners that it's normal to be sad and offers ways to cope with grief...Revell's digitally painted illustrations support the text...consciously multicultural...A boon for families with young children."
CM Magazine - January 8, 2016
"Death is explained in an age-appropriate way...The text, which has a story book quality, is soothing and, above all, is suitable to this age level. The book has extra questions at the end which can even reach a bit older audience in covering other related topics in the concept of death. In spite of what is a grim and serious topic, Revell’s watercolour illustrations are colorful, lively and child-like, with nature and the child’s surroundings playing a large role. Her drawings feature a variety of ethnicities and families which lends depth to this topic. Kudos to Dr. Jillian Roberts for tackling a serious issue in such an accessible way. The author brings with her years of experience in this area, as both a teacher and a child psychologist."

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Key Features:
Grades K-3
Beautifully illustrated
Engaging characters
Award-winning authors
Exciting plots

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' guides available for many titles

Picturebook Audio & Book Collection

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See the full list of Orca Picturebooks.