The all-time classic bestselling book explaining death to children is Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between.

Children experiencing loss in their lives may benefit from the simplicity of the message as told in the above story. In addition, Shine is a more recent book and one that may be read individually by a child or together as a family. It is simple and eloquent.

The story goes that as a young horse “Shine” was kind, bright and full of energy, galloping about and living life to the full. “What a joyful time they all had.”

He met his soul mate, “she was the loveliest horse he’d ever seen” and they settled down, having a family.

The comparison of major life events to happenings in the star-filled skies add beauty and feeling to the story. For example when Shine meets Glitter, “a sparkle came down from a star and then another, right into their hearts.”

Horses are a good choice of animal to portray that unbridled freedom and joy of life.

When, “like every horse” it is time for Shine to say goodbye, there is room for grieving in the story, but the grieving is shown to be a necessary and useful part of healing.

Read on to find out how the children and mother left behind console themselves in a beautiful and appropriate ending. There are no particular religious affiliations with both the above stories.

A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is now a full-time wife and mother of two.