Review: What Happened to Daddy’s Body? by Elke Barber & Alex Barber

What happened to Daddy's body?

  • Elke Barber, Alex Barber
  • Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • 21st July, 2016
  • Children's Nonfiction

My daddy died when I was (one…two…) three years old. Today we are out in the garden. It always makes me think about my daddy because he LOVED his garden. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to my daddy’s body…

This picture book aims to help children aged 3+ to understand what happens to the body after someone has died. Through telling the true story of what happened to his daddy’s body, we follow Alex as he learns about cremation, burial and spreading ashes. Full of questions written in Alex’s own words, and with the gentle, sensitive and honest answers of his mother, this story will reassure any young child who might be confused about death and what happens afterwards. It also reiterates the message that when you have experienced the loss of a loved one, it is okay to be sad, but it is okay to be happy, too.

Alex Barber lost his father when he was three years old. He started to wonder what happened to his dad’s body after he died. There is a saying that if a child is old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to be given an answer. The truth is told in a very straightforward manner with no confusing euphemisms, metaphors or talks about heaven. Just straight forward honesty.

It can be very tricky to talk about death with younger children, but it is my strong belief that children needs to know truth in sensitive and caring ways. This book plot is very specific and I can see how much it could help children in similar situations.

I also should mention very expressive illustrations – brings all book up to life. Exploring illustrations and re reading these real conversations will become a part of journey of healthy grieving.

There is a touching moment when Alex asks what’s happens to the body and the coffin after it gets buried. Mum explains it in very inspiring and creative way – loved it.

Saying that, Elke writes from personal experience of talking with her own children therefore this book will be an amazing resource for anyone in need to answer child’s questions about death.

I have also reviewed another book by Elke Barber called Is Daddy coming back in a minute?  You can find full review here.


I received a review copy for honest opinion.