Skip to Content
What does dead mean?: a book for young children to help explain death and dying

What does dead mean?: a book for young children to help explain death and dying

Jay, Caroline, 1953-; Dale, Unity-Joy; Thomas, Jenni

'What Does Dead Mean?' is an illustrated book that guides children gently through the 'big' questions they often ask about death and dying. Suitable for children aged 4+, this is an ideal book for parents and carers to read with their children, as well as teachers, therapists and counsellors working with young children

Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: Jessica Kingsley, 2013

No availability records for this item


Statement of responsibility: Caroline Kay and Jenni Thomas ; illustrated by Unity-Joy Dale
ISBN: 085700705X, 1849053553, 9780857007056, 9781849053556
Intended audience: Juvenile.
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Physical Description: [29] p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm.
Subject: Personal Issues.; Grief Juvenile literature.; Death Juvenile literature.; Non-Fiction 5+.

Author note

Caroline Jay founded and runs the Seeds of Hope Children's Garden, a national charity which aims to promote the use of nature in helping children manage loss. For twelve years she ran a SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) group, supporting families who have lost babies. Jenni Thomas OBE is widely recognised in the UK as a leading authority in grief support and education. She founded Child Bereavement UK (formerly the Child Bereavement Charity), and is now Patron of the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and Rosie's Rainbow Fund. She has over 40 years' experience supporting grieving families and children.


This practical book is designed to help parents and carers answer some of the difficult questions that children often ask after someone has died. It also gives children the opportunity to explore and discuss their own thoughts and feelings about death, with a caring and supportive adult... This book uses gentle illustrations and easy to read text... A helpful list of websites and organisations offer additional support for children and their families.||Honest, gentle and frank, this book doesn't shy away from difficult areas or try to mask the truth... A reassuring book for young child and adults to share, offering real answers and ways to work through grief, as well as a list of bereavement websites.||Death is never easy, but looking at this book together might help everyone understand and release their emotions and so move along a path of coping with what has happened.||This is an excellent and beautifully produced book on the general subject of death, aimed precisely at very young children.||This would be a useful book to have tucked away on the shelf in the hospice, to be loaned out from time to time.||Children's questions are a window to their souls and a mirror to their inner thoughts and feelings. This important book allows caring adults to acknowledge and explore these questions with children in a sensitive and informed way. I highly recommend What Does Dead Mean? for anyone who aspires to create a meaningful dialogue with children about death.||At last a book that really answers the questions or fears a child may have about death. I would recommend this to any parent who, like me, wonders how they will support their child through the death of a loved family member, friend, or even pet. I will have it waiting on our shelf and hope that schools will snap it up as a fantastic 'information' book for teachers to use and children to access in the school library.||This is a truly delightful book which would be an invaluable resource for any adult wishing to support young children through an experience of death.
NAPCE Journal: Pastoral Care in Education