Helping children understand what happens when we die

20th November 2020#nature#talking-about-death
Helping children understand what happens when we die

The Fox: A Circle of Life Story

We recently heard about a very special book on Woman’s Hour that helps families to talk about death in an open way with children. ‘The Fox: A Circle of Life Story’, is written by Isabel Thomas and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. It helps to answer a big question that many children will ask at some point, ’what happens when we die?’

​The book is not linked to religion or after death belief, instead, it explains the concept of death itself. “Fox: A Circle of Life Story answers the big scientific question: What happens when we die?” – Bloomsbury.

Talking about death

Listening to Isabel on women’s hour speaking about the fact that death is a part of life was refreshing. It’s something we all have to face at some point in our lives and often children will ask about death and why it happens. This book is a nice way for children to, as Isabel said, “make sense of the situation.” It encourages children to ask questions and not to be afraid to talk about death.

Hearing her talk about her own experience of death, including visiting the woodland burial ground she chose for her mum, has allowed her children to talk openly. We felt this was something we wanted to share. This is because many of our natural burial grounds are family ventures. Our children have learnt that death is a natural process and are able to talk openly about it. It’s wonderful that with the help of Isabel’s book families can sit down and explain this. It’s not always an easy subject to discuss.

​In the frost-covered forest of early spring, fox is on a mission to find food for her three cubs. As they grow, she teaches them how to survive in the wild. Until one day, fox dies. Her body goes back to earth and grass and air, nourishing the world around her and bringing the forest to life. Death is not just an end, it’s also a beginning.

Visit ‘Fox: A Circle of Life Story’ to find out more or buy a copy of this wonderful book by Isabel Thomas.

You can hear the clip of Isabel talking about ‘Fox: A Circle of Life Story’ on BBC Women’s Hour here.

We would like to thank Isabel Thomas ( and Bloomsbury for allowing us to share this with you. We would also like to thank them for providing us we these wonderful images for this blog.

(Twitter: @KidsBloomsbury & Instagram: @bloomsburychildrens) ​