(50 customer reviews)

“I wasn’t able to tell him that I loved him!” “Did he think we had abandoned him?” “Am I going to die too, Mommy?”


Gramps is a short story for children, in the form of a dialogue between a mother and her son, that tenderly and lovingly deals with the loss of a grandfather to Covid-19.


For 5 years+. (also available in French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese)


Gramps is a short story for children, in the form of a dialogue between a mother and her son, that tenderly and lovingly deals with the loss of a grandfather to Covid-19.

For 5 years+. (also available in French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese)


“This story, profound and pertinent, helps the reader to deal with key elements relating to the concepts of grief and death: sadness, loneliness, memories, our own mortality etc.
It is a useful educational tool for a bereaved child, but also for parents who are looking for support when faced with their children’s questions and emotions.”
Barbara Bienias , Clinical Psychologist, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Service – France


“Congratulations for this book, a must-have tool for young and old, which demystifies death and gives it meaning with perspectives of the future and joy, which are necessities in life. It answers this existential question in a simple and concrete way, allowing all to accept their emotions without guilt, to grieve. Recommended in all unfortunate circumstances.”
Lucie Chédot, Doctor – France


“A touching and sincere story of a conversation between a little boy and his mother, who are affected by death and grief in this so specific and painful situation that we are currently going through. It remind us of the cycle of life with accuracy, honesty and emotion. As a children’s psychomotor therapist,
I recommended it to any family who find themselves in this situation.
This book is a must-have in your personal and professional library.”
Anne-Sophie Jaouen, Psychomotor Therapist – France


Gramps is a short story whose message is relevant for children of this age group.
It is pertinent in its description of life after the loss of a loved one, and the fact that the departed remain with us spiritually for as long as we think about them.”
Jean-Jacques Grappin, Doctor in Clinical Psychology, CIRPPA board member – France


“How to grieve when your world is turned upside down? This story deals with the questions of a young boy, faced with the death of his grandfather due to coronavirus, with sincerity and tenderness. For young and old, Marion Donon has successfully written a story to help remember the happy moments, to help to pull through the present difficulties and to imagine a future beyond the grieving of a loved one.”
Chouchane Kieusseian, Clinical Psychologist – SESSAD – France


Interview by
Dr. Gloria Horsley, Ph.D., M.S. C.N.S and Dr. Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW, MS

50 reviews for Gramps

  1. Sabrina

    The conversation is written in a light child-friendly way, while still addressing all the difficult questions a child might like answered.

  2. Sharna C, Reviewer

    This book is amazing! It made me weep, but also made me howl with laughter.

  3. Karinéva I, Reviewer

    Petit livre qui avec des mots simples, bouscule vos émotions, vos ressentis de cette période particulière que nous traversons tous. La perte d’un être cher, les mots d’un enfant et d’une maman réconfortante. Merci pour ce petit moment doux malgré tout.

  4. Elizabeth H, Librarian

    The story is beautiful and the dialogue is on point with the questions that children are asking right now. I would have liked to see illustrations to go along with the words.

  5. Dana W, Reviewer

    What a beautiful story to read to a child. I loved reading the story.

  6. Kayla P, Educator

    A beautiful dialogue between a mother and child after the loss of their beloved “Gramps.” This story is sensitive and is a bridge to discussions about grief, loss, afterlife and allowing children to honour their own memories following the death of a loved one. I would recommend this to those struggling after the passing to begin a dialogue of their own with their children, it would help to have illustrations to accompany this important and necessary piece.

  7. Meg I, Educator

    It was amazing how this story could be so simple, but also be very descriptive at the same time. It is also very relevant to now, and I could see this book being an important piece of historical children’s literature in the future. I think that this story can help children of all ages (and even adults) go through grief of a lost one due to COVID-19 and/or other severe illnesses. I could see this book being translated in many languages as well, and being an international best seller. I look forward to sharing this with my high school students either in my advisory class or in my foreign languages classes, and with my own children in the future.

  8. Sarah S, Reviewer

    Deuil d’un grand-parent Covid-19, Papinou de Marion Donon est une petite histoire émouvante à lire à vos enfants pour les aider dans l’épreuve de la vie que nous vivons actuellement avec le virus du Covid-19. Découvrez le livre sous forme de dialogue entre une mère et son petit garçon, et qui traite avec douceur et amour la perte d’un grand-père. Très actuel, je ne peux que recommander ce livre car le texte est fort et permet ainsi d’aborder les notions essentielles de deuil, et de mort. Utile également pour les parents qui peuvent se sentir démunis face aux questions et aux émotions de leurs enfants.

  9. Educator

    Cette histoire est très belle. Elle explique le décès très facilement, et très adapté à des enfants. On y explique, le décès, le deuil, l’acceptation. Ce livre est notamment dirigé vers les décès en cause de la situation actuelle, avec le Covid19. Même si ce livre est adapté pour un jeune public, je trouve que ce qui y est dit, permet d’aider n’importe quelle personne dans cette étape très difficile de la vie. Malgré mes 22 ans, le décès reste un moment difficile et de lire ces petites phrases, d’une maman à son enfant, m’a permis de me rendre compte, que moi aussi, j’aurai eu besoin de ces phrases à certains moments. Ce livre est vraiment composé de dialogue entre deux personnes. L’écriture était très belle! C’est un sujet qui reste très peu adapté dans la littérature pour enfants, et pourtant, je trouve qu’il en parle très bien.

  10. Cherlynn N, Reviewer

    “My angel, everything that is born will die one day. It’s the circle of life.”

    Simple but raw and emotional. A great book for anyone going through grief and loss.

  11. Amanda M, Reviewer

    This short story would be a good conversation starter for families who are experiencing a similar situation. I think adding illustrations would really benefit the story since it’s target audience is young children who don’t really understand this horrible time that we’re currently going through. I really liked the reassurance that Gramps knows he was loved and wasn’t abandoned as I can imagine that that would definitely be something that kids would latch on to, however I wasn’t a fan of the “willy” jokes. Adding a little lighthearted moment is great for difficult situations, but this one didn’t really sit well with me.

  12. Reviewer

    Une courte histoire ponctuée de questions d’un petit garçon. Des questions en lien avec la mort, et la vie forcément ! Certes cette histoire se passe dans les circonstances particulières liées au confinement, à cause du Covid-19. Cependant la très grande majorité des questions peuvent se poser dans toute autre situation de deuil. Je ne suis pas sûre que je pourrais lire cette histoire à des enfants (il manque au moins, à mon sens, des illustrations), mais je trouve que ça peut être un bon outil pour les parents qui se retrouvent parfois démunis face aux questions emplies de simplicité, de naturel, que leurs enfants peuvent poser. Ça pose les choses… en toute simplicité.

  13. Nidhi S, Reviewer

    Have you lost a family member to Coronavirus?
    Yes? And do you have a child who cannot place his/her little head around the sudden death and all the baggage that comes with it?

    If you have a tiny tot in your house whom you don’t know how to explain why he/she couldn’t say their last goodbye to their grandpa; and why couldn’t they even see the face that was so dear to them for one last time, please read this book to those tiny hearts.

    Slowly engulfing our lives like a python does to its prey, Coronavirus has made a too personal impact upon our lives. Many of us have lost our dear ones to it. And with kids with you, you might not know what to tell them.

    It is difficult to answer all the whys your kids might be asking.
    Just read them this book; they’ll find a relatable story to connect with, and will try to accept the situation. They’ll understand why they couldn’t meet their gramps for the last time. They’ll even learn about mortality, and about the cycle of life; all explained gently by a mother. The kids will also understand that love is never stopped by death.

    Heartbreak. This is the one thing this book will give you. But you’ll also learn acceptance. You and the kids will feel that there surely is a companion to share your sorrows with.

    The book Gramps has been written especially for the kids who have lost a grandparent to COVID-19. The author aims to provide relief to the clueless and grief-ridden kids.

  14. Courtney R, Reviewer

    This is a simple book that could help young children understand the reality of a loss of a loved one due to Covid-19. I hope they will eventually add illustrations to it as originally intended because it would be even more beautiful.

  15. Marjorie Q, Educator

    Tout petit texte d’une vingtaine de pages, mais d’une profonde justesse sur des thématiques d’actualité : la perte d’un être cher, la douleur psychique, la tristesse, le souvenir, le confinement et le deuil… afin de permettre de poser des mots sur des maux pour les tout-petits. Récit émouvant qui permet de repositionner le deuil dans une dynamique : vivre le présent, se souvenir du passé et imaginer un futur. Bel outil pédagogique… à utiliser sans modération Merci #netgalleyfrance #mariondonon

  16. Anoeska N, Reviewer

    In ‘the loss of a grandparent to COVID-19’, we get an idea of how it is for children to lose their grandparents during the pandemic. I love the easy language. The story truly is for young children. It helps them understand about why their grandparent(s) died, also teaches them about getting older and what might happen.
    It’s a very short but clear story. However, it’s written very plainly. This is for children, but I don’t feel like many children would enjoy reading this book since it simple text. Also, reading it to a child might be boring because they have nothing to look at. This story would be great with some images or drawings to it. A picture book would be ideal.

  17. Marina I, Media

    The Loss Of A Grandparent to COVID-19, Gramps is a children’s book written to aid children in coping with their loses during this current pandemic. It is a sweet story written in the form of dialect between a mother and her young son explaining the passing away of a dear grandfather. It answers difficult questions in ways that are easy for children all ages to understand. It is a dear tale that, I believe, will help both children and adults alike.

  18. Fatima A, Reviewer

    This book is a beautiful conversation between a boy and his mother, who had recently lost his grandfather due to Covid-19. It is a hopeful conversation which helps us cope in this time of crisis and makes us believe that “This too shall pass”.
    I really liked this book though it was very short.

  19. Kritika N, Reviewer

    This is a lovely, heartwarming tear-jerker. In the midst of the pandemic, one of the most harrowing things is the distance we have to maintain from the already departed. Like the book says, it seems so unfair. I cried when I first realised how funerals are taking place. So I cried a bit reading the book too.
    It is written very well, and poignantly.

  20. Esta M, Educator

    There are many positives about “The Loss of a Grandparent to Covid-19, Gramps.” Discussing death with little children is trying, and parents (and others) often are at a loss as to what to say. This book provides a script, especially for children who have lost a relative to COVID-19 — explaining why they couldn’t be with their loved one in the end, and even why they cannot see the body. The mother explains all of this tenderly to her child, while emphasizing that love doesn’t die — only people do. I also appreciated that this book promotes alternate ideas to what happens after death rather than the heaven/hell narrative.

    There are a few things about this book that I question, such as the author’s choice of the word “willy” rather than the actual body part — or why that was even germane to the conversation. The author also plants the notion that all children grow up to have children of their own, which is not realistic. Moreover, the mother in this story tells her child that she will not die until her child is very, very old, which is something that we do often tell children, but as our world changes, we may want to think twice about that.

    I applaud the author’s rapid response to COVID19 and her effort to offer some type of explanation to children, at a time when they have more questions than we, as adults, can answer.

  21. Angélique L, Reviewer

    Je viens de découvrir cette nouvelle destinée aux enfants dès 5 ans. Quelques pages, quelques mots pour répondre aux questions qu’un enfant peut se poser suite au décès de l’un de ses proches. Dans cette histoire, le petit garçon vient de perdre son papi, sa maman répond donc à toutes ses questions avec beaucoup de douceur. C’est joli, tendre, touchant. Vous pouvez sans souci lire cette petite nouvelle avec votre enfant, elle ne fait que quelques pages, à peine 5 minutes de lecture, mais elle en dit beaucoup… Disponible sur Amazon pour kindle ou sur la Fnac pour Kobo, ce petit livre est gratuit 😄 Je vous souhaite à toutes et à tous une très bonne lecture !

  22. Amanda C, Librarian

    This book answers a need parents will have during the COVID-19 epidemic. I enjoyed the honest dialogue between the mother and her son as they grieve the loss of Gramps to the virus. I read this story on my Kindle and was wishing for some type of illustrations/graphics to go along with the story since it is written for children.

  23. R. A, Reviewer

    This is a very emotional book with a very serious subject. I decided to read this one as a family and speak to the kids about loss in general (since we recently lost a great/grandparent). It has been hard, but I think this book explained it fairly well for children to be able to understand. The approach of having the child ask questions, similar to the ones most little ones would ask, made it easy for them to understand. I think this book was too long for the audience? My daughters weren’t a fan of the length of this book, but took away a new understanding. I wish this was more of a picture book since the child that the mother is speaking to seems fairly young?

  24. Shae K, Reviewer

    A beautiful story of a mother and son grieving the death of “Gramps” due to the COVID-19 virus of 2020. Although there is no illustrations, and the storyline is a little indirect, the book presents a great way to navigate the discussion of a loved one due to COVID-19 and could serve as a useful guide for parents, particularly those unsure of how to discuss this with their children.

    The story is beautiful, and my heart goes out to anybody who has lost a loved one due to this horrible virus, but this story is missing a lot of things. Also, never in any way did I expect to read the words “black hairs on your willy” in a book about COVID-19. I know what the intention was there but I think it was just a bit unnecessary. But still a wonderful book.

  25. Ivonne R, Educator

    As of this writing, the United States is losing 15,000 lives EVERY SINGLE WEEK — most of them someone’s grandparent. Young children — always upset by death — are bound to be even more disturbed by a silent killer that strikes so quickly and lethally. They need a book that can help them deal with the grief and — let’s call it what it is — terror. And Marion Donon has provided it. For free!

    In this short story, a mother explains the inexplicable to her young son: how they could not visit Gramps at his death, why the coffin was closed at the funeral, why the family couldn’t gather at the hospital, or even later, the fear of death. Parents will find almost as much solace in this gentle, touching book as will its young target audience.

  26. Sandra H, Librarian

    In our changing world, these events might be hard for children to apprehend. This little book can be a great conversation starter. Relevant to our world today. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks NetGalley for the ARC. I will be recommending this one to others to buy when it’s published.

  27. Nicole Meeker

    Very compassionate story to communicate with children about dealing with loss due to COVID-19. Marion Donon makes the concept accessible to kids. A very helpful guide for parents during this challenging time.

  28. Emily C, Reviewer

    I thought this was a beautiful story however it would not have been suitable for my 6 year old due to referring to willy. I just didnt think it was appropriate but other than that it was well told and relateable for a child on their loss.

  29. Anne C, Librarian

    That was a nice wee book. Very timely at this time. It would be very helpful to many parents with small children.

  30. Olivia O, Educator

    During these unprecedented times, it is the job of writers to put pen to paper to describe the world around them. That is just what this author did in a very heartfelt, emotional way. The title and story so bluntly paint a very real story of grief. I wonder exactly what age group this is tailored to as I am sure many children are confused by the losses of loved ones around them.

  31. Rogene C, Educator

    A very heartwarming and interesting dialogue between a mother and son over a grandparent that just died. The only strange thing was the talk about pubic hair…it was a little laughable and not really necessary or informative for the story.

  32. Joyce L, Media

    This is a beautiful, sad but wonderful book. I think that it would be best to read it aloud or together with a child. This title honestly and movingly conveys what it means to lose a cherished family member. The story is about the loss of a young boy’s grandfather. It is clear that this grandfather will be deeply missed and the boy is given plenty of opportunity to reminisce and hear stories about his family. In addition, the book explains why a child could not visit a relative with Covid and allows for different beliefs about what happens when someone dies. The boy is assured that his grandfather will be honored and remembered. The boy, himself, is reassured that he will live for many years.

    Of course it is deeply sad to need a book like this. I think though that it will be a welcome resource for families who don’t know what to say or how to explain death to young children.

  33. Vanessa B, Educator

    So touching and since, brought tears to my eyes.

  34. Jillian B, Educator

    I so appreciate this resource in a time when I have been looking for exactly this—a book to help children understand and cope with the loss of a grandparent due to covid19, I am a therapist in New York, at the epicenter of this outbreak. This is unfortunately very needed right now. This book is simply written and helps children understand, answering some of the questions they might be afraid to ask through the conversation form of the book. Thank you for writing/publishing this in such a timely manner. Truly. Thank you.

  35. Abdel R. A, Reviewer

    How warm is that book! How emotional is that book! I loved it very much.
    It will make you cry, however, it will make you laugh too.
    It is short story in the form of a dialogue between a son, who had lost his gramp for COVID-19, and his parents, mostly his mother, trying to explain to him the meaning of death and how he is not going to see his gramp anymore.
    You can read it to your children these days especially who had lost their beloved ones.

  36. Mallory Anne-Marie H, Reviewer

    Be prepared to weep copiously. A mother and her small son grieve for the beloved grandpa lost to Covid-19, especially [for the child] because of the quarantine preventing the family’s presence. As they both recall verbally their favorite memories of Gramps, a little peace begins to settle in.

  37. Kerry-Louise J, Reviewer

    It made me smile, it made me weep, what a short but powerful punch it packs! This is the perfect book to help explain loss of a loved one and to help understand grief.

  38. Céline R.

    Je suis certaine que cette courte histoire aiderait beaucoup d’enfants à comprendre et à accepter la mort d’un proche du covid. Le dialogue est puissant, touchant mais aussi plein d’espoir et c’est tout ce dont on a besoin en ce moment 😃

  39. Marine F, Media

    Très bon support pour parler du deuil ! C’est bien écrit, accessible à tous, et ça vient forcément toucher les coeurs.

  40. Jen

    A heartfelt short story of the very real worries and questions a child might want answering after the death of a grandparent or indeed anybody they love. It is especially relevant at this time when there is so much loss and changes in everybody’s lives.

  41. Edith Bougon

    C’est une conversation simple et sans détour, pour ces enfants qui sentent tout mais qui ont besoin qu’on mette des mots sur ces ressentis, dans une atmosphère aimante. Un petit livre qui peut venir à point.

  42. Barbara De Giuli.

    Magnifique livre qui nous plonge dans le coeur d’une histoire tragique qu’un grand nombre de familles dans le monde ont vécu. Il est traité avec douceur, finesse et poésie et aidera beaucoup de personnes à faire le deuil. A lire absolument.

  43. Darren S.

    Merci pour ce livre bien pensé. J’ai un enfant de 4 ans et un enfant de 2 ans, et je livre à chaque semaine l’épicerie, tout pré-lavé, à leurs grands-parents, qui s’isolent comme nous tous, pour éviter une telle situation. Ma propre grand-mère paternelle – leur arrière-grand-mère, qu’ils appellent Nana – est toujours à l’hôpital à 97 ans, après s’être remise de Covid19 la semaine dernière, après l’avoir contractée auprès du personnel ou de la nourriture de la résidence pour aînés où elle habitait. Nous pensions, il y a 2 semaines, qu’elle ne survivra pas, mais elle est de retour sur ses pieds et se sent victorieuse. À son hôpital ici à Montréal, ils ont fourni des iPads aux patients de Covid pour voir et parler avec leurs proches, car effectivement nous ne pouvons pas leur rendre visite en personne. Ma conjointe Vanessa et moi avons eu des discussions, lorsque la situation semblait de mauvaise augure, sur la façon de parler à nos enfants si Nana décéderait. Je pense que ce genre de livre est aussi bien pour les adultes, qui ont parfois besoin d’un peu d’inspiration et d’idées à ce sujet. Ma jeune fille et moi avons déjà discuté de la mort en général à plusieurs reprises, et elle sait que Nana ne vivra pas éternellement, mais je pense qu’il aurait été très difficile pour mon fils de ne plus être capable de parler ou de voir son arrière grand-mère – il l’aime beaucoup. Merci encore pour votre contribution à rendre le monde meilleur en cette période difficile.

  44. Isabelle C.

    Un petit texte émouvant, comme un câlin plein de tendresse. Merci pour ce livre !

  45. Emma T.

    Les mots sont simples et délicats, et permettent au travers de la lecture, d’accompagner son enfant qui a perdu son grand-père du covid-19. Émouvant, ce livre peut-être également un outil pour les parents parfois démunis face aux questions de leur enfant confronté à la question existentielle de la mort. Je recommande plus largement ce livre lors de la perte d’un être cher.

  46. Robert Hayward

    Death is a difficult topic to bring up with children, but one that small minds keep coming back to. This short, sweet dialogue picks through the minefield with warmth, humour and optimism.

  47. Anne Michelard.

    Un petit livre sur le deuil qui évoque avec douceur et poesie la perte d’un être cher. La thématique est intemporelle ; la douleur mais le souvenir et le renouveau.

  48. Vanessa P.

    Plein de douceur pour accompagner son enfant s’il est touché par la perte d’un grand parent.

  49. Jennifer Z.

    Très doux et léger malgré le thème, simple et parfait pour un enfant. Le texte est très beau et émouvant et permet une lecture et une compréhension accessible aux enfants d’un jeune âge. Le livre aborde avec délicatesse des sujets très émouvants et des solutions possibles pour rendre hommage au grands- parents décédés durant cette période de covid 19. Je recommande vivement, cette lecture peut faire l’objet d’une histoire à raconter à son enfant comme point de départ à une discussion pour décharger les émotions encore présentes et répondre aux incompréhensions de l’enfant.

  50. Jennifer Weisbrich

    What a well thought out story to provide comfort to children and their families during very difficult times. The author put much thought into the psychology of what children might go through during a global pandemic and the death of a loved one, helping to ease these children’s anxieties.

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