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Book suggestions for a toddler who has lost his mummy.

(18 Posts)
stinkypants Mon 15-Aug-11 19:49:03

a wonderful friend passed away a few months ago - leaving behind 2 beautiful boys and a husband. the boys are 2.5 yrs and 6 months.
they have been through a very painful few months and our friend has not known how best to talk to his toddler about mummy, where she is, etc. he is also finding it hard that all the children's books seem to mention 'mummy' and sometimes he wants not to - are there any books which are positive and just about a daddy and children?
have just ordered a couple of books about pets dying from amazon as this may be a gentler way in at first.
many thanks.

steviesmith Mon 15-Aug-11 20:16:44

What a terrible loss for those boys.
Harry and Hopper is a very moving book about the death of a pet.
It's really hard to find stories just with dads but what about:
The Gruffalo's Child
Big Bear Little Bear stories by Martin Waddell
Hiccup the Seasick Viking (might be a bit grown up for 2.5)

leddeeburdee Mon 15-Aug-11 20:21:14

That is heartbreaking. My Dad by Anthony Browne is another one which is lovely and good for that age range too.

timidviper Mon 15-Aug-11 20:23:26

There is a lovely illustrated childrens book called "Badger's Parting Gifts" that is good for bereaved young children. All the woodland animals meet to reminisce after the death of the old badger and remember the good things he brought to their lives and taught them (his parting gifts)

My friend found it very useful with her children when her father died as a way to talk about the good things to remember

Besom Mon 15-Aug-11 20:25:06

I'm so sorry, how very sad.

No Matter What is about eternal love and what happens when we're not here. The characters are not gendered but called 'big' and 'small'. It might be a bit emotional for the dad though.

Sleepyspaniel Mon 15-Aug-11 21:33:12

I just wanted to recommend some age appropriate bereavement books.

Are you sad Little Bear gently approaches the notion of death in a gentle way. Thoroughly recommended. here

Always and forever also nice here.

Sleepyspaniel Mon 15-Aug-11 21:40:23

PS If a book mentions Mummy/Daddy etc but your friend would rather not read this word out all the time, or wants to make the book more neutral, I would suggest where Mummy is referenced to replace with Big Bear or Fluffy Bear or another name IYSWIM. The 2.5yo won't be able to read the words but the message and gentle and positive handling of the topic in the book will remain.

GRW Mon 15-Aug-11 22:04:18

I'd recommend a book called "I miss you, a first look at death" by Pat Thomas. Also "Waterbugs and Dragonflies" by Doris Stickney. Both are available on amazon; I'm sorry I don't know how to post links.
I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.

peterpansmum Mon 15-Aug-11 23:20:57

My son was 4 when his wee brother died and i can personally second some of the suggestions above... I miss you, a first look at death is good cos it gives many pictures that can be used as a springboard to talk around for pre-readers;
No matter what by debi gliori has helped me an our older son loads (wording is tough going initially to read but it has helped my son immensely with his understanding that 'love goes on' when we are 'dead and gone') - the full text of the book is on our bereavement thread title here... www.mumsnet.com/Talk/bereavement/1247195-Love-like-starlight-never-dies-Our-precious-children-sparkling-in-the-sky-xx?pg=16
Another book we use is 'sad isn't bad'
Hope that helps, love and condolences to you and your friend xxx

acsec Mon 15-Aug-11 23:25:54

I Miss You

ChippingIn Mon 15-Aug-11 23:30:59

I'm sorry about your friend x Those poor boys - all 3 of them sad

This book here is pretty good (not about death, just about a great Dad) Best Daddy I don't think it has any mention of the Mummy Bunny, but you would need to check.

Tommy Mon 15-Aug-11 23:32:21

we had one called When Uncle Bob died which I thought was good too

would second Badgers Parting Gifts and also to contact [[ http://www.simonsays.org.uk/ Simon Says charity ]] or http://www.winstonswish.org.uk/ Winston's Wish ]] - excellent Child Bereavement Charities

Tommy Mon 15-Aug-11 23:33:57

sorry - rubbish linking there:

Winston's Wish
and Simon Says

neolara Mon 15-Aug-11 23:37:10

I can also recommend No Matter What, although I think it would be pretty difficult for the Dad to read.

I think Badgers Parting Gift is lovely, but totally not appropriate for a 2 1/2 year old. More suited to 5 years and upwards. Also, it's about someone dying when they are very old so may not be suitable for a situation where someone young has died.

Also, if the dad hasn't already done so, it may be worth him contacting Winstons Wish who help children with bereavement.

Humpletumple Mon 15-Aug-11 23:44:13

I love Michael Rosen's Sad Book.

I take it you mean books in general to read that don't mention mums?

Rosen's going on a Bear hunt features a Dad figure and some younger children. One girl is sort of teenaged but definately doesn't look like a mum.

The Snail and the Whale

We have a book calle Panda Big and Panda Small which isn't gender specific.

stinkypants Tue 16-Aug-11 08:28:32

thank you so much for your ideas and kind words. some great suggestions - i love the big bear / little bear books - and antony browne - not familiar with some of the others but will look them up. really like the idea of replacing the word 'mummy' sometimes. he doesnt want his son to forget her but it is just hard to talk about her sometimes.
yes - any books about dads / sons, just so he has some he can read easily.
thanks again.

tartanbuggy Tue 16-Aug-11 12:03:45

So sorry to hear about your friend. So terribly sad.

I'd like to recommend a lovely book called Cowboy Baby

Just in case the link doesn't work (I've never done a link before!), it's called Cowboy Baby by Sue Heap. It's about a little boy (Cowboy Baby) and his dad (Sheriff Pa) and how they have to round up all his toys before going to bed. It's a wonderful, gentle, warm, affirming story with beautiful illustrations. It was DS's favourite when he was about 2-3 years and "only" DH could read it to him because it was about a dad and his boy.

stinkypants Wed 17-Aug-11 12:00:55

thank you - yes the link worked and have ordered it. some of the other books arrived today and they're great. ireally love the 'my dad' by anthony browne.

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