Books With Goodbyes by Corrinne Averiss

We are really excited to be part of the blog tour for the fantastic ‘My Pet Star‘ by Corrinne Averiss and Rosalind Beardshaw. In this exclusive piece, Corrinne reflects on her favourite children’s books which feature goodbyes…

I wanted to write a bit about books with ‘goodbyes’ in. If you’ve read My Pet Star you’ll know that once the little girl nurses her star back to health, he’s well enough to return to his home in the night sky and so, the two friends must say ‘goodbye’ as he takes his final flight from her bedroom window.

A ‘goodbye’ is often a sad event, so as parents keen to see smiles on our children’s faces – it’s likely we won’t deliberately seek out a book which features separation and farewell. Or, we seek it out only at a time when it can help us talk about a very specific or serious loss experienced by the child.

However, children experience ‘goodbyes’ in a thousand small ways from the day they are born. ‘Goodbye’ to mum or dad as they go back to work, ‘goodbye’ to a favourite lost toy, ‘goodbye’ to that cot, that friend, those socks… life is full of ‘goodbyes’ both big and small.

So, a book with a‘goodbye’ can help a child to understand that it is an experience shared by everyone and provide an opportunity to reflect on it. In that way, when the big serious ‘goodbyes’ come along (as inevitably they will), we’re prepared to openly discuss together and support each other through it.

Here are three fabulous books I’ve read with my three-year-old, Wren, which feature ‘goodbyes’:


‘”Thank you for my nice tea. I think I’d better go now.” And he went.’

This is a wonderful book for so many reasons. Something extraordinary can walk into our lives and just as quickly leave again. It might be good, bad or something in between, like this mysterious Tiger
– thrilling to share your sandwiches with but who drains your taps and leaves your house in a mess.

FOOTPATH FLOWERS – Jon Arno Lawson and Sydney Smith

A beautiful wordless book. On a walk with her father, a little girl gathers a bunch of wildflowers found hidden in the places people don’t usually look. Then, in small, loving gestures, the little girl transforms the world around her by giving each one away… I love the message here about the importance of sharing and passing on kindness – a ‘goodbye’ to us can be a ‘hello’ for someone else. As in My Pet Star there is a message here about the natural world not belonging to anyone.

THE PAPER DOLLS – Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb

‘And all the pieces joined together, and the paper dolls flew into the little girl’s memory, where they found white mice and fireworks, and a starfish soap, and a kind granny…’ Sometimes a ‘goodbye’ isn’t our choice, it’s forced on us. As it is for the little girl who owns the paper dolls when the boy snips them into tiny little pieces. Julia finds such a beautiful way to express how physical things we love and attach ourselves to can live on in our hearts and minds evenafter they’ve disappeared. It’s a very abstract notion for small children to understand but here it is painted so simply and poetically, it’s quite possible the penny will drop. We can cherish the memory, and that memory will live on as we grow.

Corrinne Averiss

Want to know more? Read our review of My Pet Star here.

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