Grief touches all our lives, even those of our youngest members. It can come as a result of death, loss of a loved one, or other emotional hardship. The stages of grief are unique to each individual and situation. Grief can come and go without warning, sometimes even violently. There is no time limit to grief. Grief is unpreventable.

Supporting someone who is  grieving can be as difficult as going through it yourself, especially when that someone is a child we love. One place to turn for help in dealing with children’s grief is picture books. There are several good ones to choose from and today I want to share a new 5 star picture book with you.



written by Angie Lucas         illustrated by Brigitta Sif            Sounds True, 2019

When Ollie’s mom comes to pick Ollie and his friend up at the park she opens her mouth three times before she can speak. Immediately a big giant invisible dragon appears and sits on top of Ollie’s friend. No one can see the dragon, but it weighs heavy on his chest when he tries to sleep. It keeps him from concentrating and makes it hard for him to stand up straight. Ever since the dragon appeared, the boy and his father have to learn how to live without his mother. He tries to get rid of the dragon by shouting at him and even ignoring him, but he won’t go away and even his friends no longer want to play with him. Eventually, Ollie comes back and invites the boy to go back to the park to play. They start to see animals in the sky and the boy notices that his dragon floats away for a few minutes. Little by little the dragon begins to spend more and more time away, although it is never completely gone. But now the boy knows how to recognize when someone else has a big dumb invisible dragon weighing them down, and he can help.

I love how even though the main character is the one with the problem, it’s his friend Ollie who helps him lose his dragon and he learns that he can help someone else too.

“My Big, Dumb, Invisible Dragon is not only for those who are actively grieving, however. My hope is that it will help all of us—children and adults alike—to see each other more clearly. That it will increase our understanding and empathy, and maybe inspire us to reach out to those who are weighed down by sorrow and loss.”

-Angie Lucas

You can learn more about the author Angie Lucas  and illustrator Birgitta Sif on their websites.


Listen to a reading of My Big Dumb Invisible Dragon.




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