Books for Kids about Divorce

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Books that deal with separation & divorce

Oct 2008

I am curious if anyone can recommend any good childrens books that deal with separation and/or divorce. My kids are 6, 5, 3 -my spouse has moved out (spouse had an affair), but we are splitting the kids 50:50 and the future is uncertain. I am just looking for some books to read with my kids and help them understand the situation, at their level. -Anon

First of all, I'm so sorry about your heartbreaking situation. My favorite book, which I've used for divorce groups with kids as young as 5, is ''Dinosaur's Divorce.'' (This is part of a wonderful collection of books by authors Marc Brown & Laurie K. Brown. There is one called ''When Dinosaurs Die'' that is great, too) I have even used Dinosaur's Divorce with much older kids (with the caveat that it's a little kids' book) because the issues can be addressed at many levels.

Also, in case you haven't heard of it, please check out Kid's Turn , an organization based in SF with educational groups throughout the Bay Area. I wish everyone knew about this fabulous program. It's a 6 or 7 week class series where kids are grouped by age and parents each go to their own group. It's all about how to address kids' needs through divorce, and done very well. They used to offer a class for kids as young as 3; not sure if that's still true. Web: Best to you

Books on divorce for two small kids

Sept 2007

My husband and I are separating. We have two small kids. Could you please recommend books on how to tell kids about divorce and how you deal with a situation like that in the long term? Thanks. anon

Here are some good resources for you:

Dinosaurs Divorce: A guide for changing families by Laurene Krasney Brown and Marc Brown

This award-winning book is designed for parents and young school-aged children to read together \x97 at least the first few times. Stories are presented in a cartoon strip pattern and organized around topics that are recognized as important for children experiencing the divorce of their parents. Issues such as why parents divorce, living with one parent, having two homes, telling friends, parents' new partners, and celebrating special occasions are discussed. Solutions to problems that may come up are seen through the actions of the dinosaur children and their parents. A table of contents and a glossary are useful for children who may chose to re-read specific stories. The artwork is very appealing to children.

It's not your fault, KoKo Bear by Vicky Lansky

This book is designed for parents and children ages 3 to 5 years to read together. Each page provides a large picture to show what is happening in the story and includes messages for parents. The messages for parents help make a connection between the story and what happens to children in real families. KoKo Bear faces situations that help him learn what divorce means, and that he is not to blame for the divorce. He is helped to talk about his feelings, and is told that he is still loved by both parents. Daily events that children and parents may have to face differently due to divorce are presented and problems are solved through talking, sharing, and special activities.

My Mom and Dad are Getting a Divorce by Florence Bienenfeld

Ages 4-12. Tells ''How it is'' for two fictional characters, Amy and Dan, at the same time the book describes the feelings of millions of real children who experience divorce.

Children Ages 3-5

  • \tWhen Mom and Dad Divorce , by Emily Menendez-Aponte
  • \tMy Family's Changing , by Pat Thomas
  • \tMom and Dad Break Up , by Joan Singleton Prestine
  • \tTwo Homes , by Claire Masurel
  • \tDinosaur's Divorce , by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

    Children Ages 5-7

  • \tLet's Talk About It: Divorce , by Fred Rogers
  • \tI Don't Want To Talk About It , by Jeanie Franz Ranson
  • \tWhen Mom and Dad Separate , by Marge Heegaard
  • \tSometimes a Family has to Split Up , by Jane Werner Watson, Robert E. Switzer, and J. Cotter Hirschberg

    Good websites: Laurie

    I'm glad you're concerned about how your kids handle your separation, it's really tough even in the best scenario. ''Mom's House/Dad's House'' is the book my ex and I read. It walks you through the mechanics of a ''business relationship'' with your ex and ways to put a positive spin on the whole thing for the kids. I found it helpful initially but benefitted more from a divorce therapy group where I could tackle the emotional side of it all. Good luck! btdt
    I just started reading ''What About the Kids'' by Judith Wallerstein (an expert on divorce) and Sandra Blakeslee. In the first section that I've read, they address how to speak to children about divorce and about ways to assess your children's own coping with it, especially based upon their developmental level. Based on what I've read, I would definitely recommend this for your situation. anon.
    One of my favorite books is ''Dinosaur's Divorce'' by Laurene Krasny Brown. As a school counselor and therapist, I have used it with young kids, as well as older kids (even middle school, with some caveats or humoring). There are numerous books in that series, btw, including ''When Dinosuars Die'' There's also a great publisher for books related to academic and socio-emotional development: Free Spirit Publishing (

    The other resource I highly recommend is KIDS TURN, a 6-week educational workshop for parents (each in his/her own group) and kids (in age groupings, ranging from toddlers to teens). For parents, helps them figure out how to put kids' needs first, and for kids, normalizes and gives opportunities for expression to peers, as well as parents (through a journal they publish together.) or call (415)437-0700 They run groups all over the Bay Area and offer scholarships.

    I also recommend for parents ''Mom's House, Dad's House'' a classic by I. Ricci, and a book associated with Kids Turn called ''Good Parenting Through Your Divorce'' by Hannibal

    long message, but hopefully valuable for many. lisa k

    Its a class - free or very low price. This is a great, great class for kids, they get to meet other kids who are going through the same thing which normalizes/removes shame. very powerful. Google: Kids Turn. sistersue
    Here is a related resource that may be helpful.

    Starting in late September, the U.C. Berkeley Psychology Clinic will be offering \x93New Beginnings\x94 - a free ten-week program for mothers who have been divorced or separated within the past three years and who have at least one child between the ages of 3-18. A key aim of the New Beginnings Program is to facilitate children\x92s adjustment to divorce or separation. Interested mothers should contact the clinic at 510-642-2055 or email newbeginningsucb [at] New Beginnings Program


    I wanted to give advice on some books regarding divorce for the parent seeking recommendations.

    Mama and Daddy Bear's Divorce by Cornelia Spelman

    Was It the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story For Little Kids About Divorce by Sandra Levins

    Hope this helps :-) Sharifah

    Books for 7-year-old about Daddy living somewhere else

    March 2000

    Can anyone recommend good books on divorce. I need some help talking to my 7 year old daughter about daddy's living somewhere else. also have an 18-month old. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks. Jane

    Recommendation on good books for divorce: Marc Brown (author of the Arthur series) has written a book called something like Dinosaurs Divorce. I haven't looked at it closely recently, but his book Dinosaurs Die (for kids to help when someone dies) is absolutely wonderful! My impression of the book was good when I skimmed through it. Marie
    I don't know the names of good books for you and your kids re:divorce, but I do know of a good workshop for you and your kids to attend: A Kids Turn 510.835.8445. This is a terrific resource for families during a difficult transition. Good luck. JH