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The Goodbye Book

 Printable Version »                                                                                                             

Author:Todd  Parr                                                                                                                           

Recommended for Ages: 3-10

About: Grief

“The Goodbye Book” is a beautifully written story about loss, grief and hope. The author, Todd Parr touches on such a difficult topic for adults and children, in a simply written and clear text, with vibrant pictures.

The main character in this story, a small pet fish, experiences the loss of his friend. In his own journey of grief and loss, he encounters big feelings; some days he feels sad, and other days he feels mad or confused. The fish is faced with difficult days, there are days the fish retreats and doesn’t speak to anyone, and other days he pretends the loss never happened. After a while the fish begins to feel better and finds comfort in drawing pictures of his friend, talking to someone, and thinking of all the great memories they shared together. The fish is reminded that he is not alone and that he is very much loved by the people who surround him.

I would recommend this story for any child who has experienced a loss in their life.  Loss, whether it’s the death of a pet, loved one, or a separation is a very difficult and painful process for everyone. This is an excellent book for young children as they have yet to grasp the concept of death and loss. Children may think of loss as a reversible event, often believing that death is temporary. This limited understanding can leave them feeling vulnerable and unsure of the world around them. When faced with such circumstance, young children may not have the words to communicate to adults how they are feeling.  This is why it is so significant that adult caregivers provide children with the support needed to process their grief, in a safe environment.

This story, explores the different ways that children grieve when experiencing a loss. Todd Parr normalizes for young children the experience of loss and the process of healing.  People of all ages, who have encountered a loss may benefit from this book.


Betsy Rivera Ruiz

Early Childhood Consultant 

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership