Stories about death
Welcome to the Top 24 Stories about death for kids to read online! This collection has been specifically curated to provide a range of stories for children of all ages. These bedtime tales will be perfect to read aloud with your little ones, as they unwind at night and enjoy an engaging, educational story. Available in various formats such as PDF, free online, downloadable, and printable, these stories will be accessible to every reader. Our selection includes short tales to tell with pictures, easy-to-read pieces for the youngest minds, along with longer, classic stories for older kids. Presented in English, each story comes with an accompanying audio, making it an entertaining and fun learning experience for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary students, as well as toddlers and children in their early years (EYFS).
The Top 24 Stories about death offer a variety of themes suitable for girls and boys, allowing them to explore the concept of death in a gentle, non-threatening manner. While death may seem like a difficult subject for bedtime or night-time stories, it’s important for children to learn about various aspects of life. These intriguing tales will teach valuable morals, offering the ideal opportunity for parents to engage in discussions with their kids about love, loss, and the circle of life, fostering empathy and understanding. So, snuggle down and enjoy these classic, good fairy tales as part of your child’s bedtime routine and introduce them to a valuable life lesson through the time-honored tradition of story time.
Top 24 Stories about death for kids to read online:
- The Little Match Girl: A poor little match girl wanders through the city on a freezing cold New Year’s Eve, attempting to sell matches while she shivers and goes hungry. When her matches offer her visions of warmth, comfort and love, she exhausts her whole supply trying to stay in those visions, even as they disappear. When her last match burns out, the girl dies of cold, but her grandmother, who is already in heaven, takes her away from misery and into eternal happiness. Despite her tragic fate, the girl ultimately finds peace and joy in the afterlife with the grandmother she so dearly loved.
- The Travelling Companion: A boy named Johannes sets off on a journey after his father’s death. He meets a strange travelling companion who has a magic ointment, and together they arrive in a city where the king’s daughter challenges every suitor she has with three riddles. Johannes falls in love with the princess and with the help of his companion, he solves the riddles and rescues the princess from a curse. In the end, the companion reveals his true identity as a deceased man whose debt Johannes paid, and Johannes and the princess live happily ever after.
- The Happy Prince: In this story, a little swallow befriends a golden statue of a prince. The prince, although once happy, is now sad because he sees all the misery of the town. He asks the swallow to help the poor by taking his ruby and sapphire and eventually, his eyes to give to those in need. Despite the swallow’s original plan to leave for the south, it stays with the prince until the end of its life. At the end of the story, God rewards the bird and the prince for their kindness and love.
- The Rose-Tree: In this story, a girl with golden hair is sent to buy candles by her evil stepmother, but a dog keeps taking them. When she returns home, the stepmother gets jealous of her hair and chops it off. She then cooks the girl’s heart and feeds it to the father, but the brother buries the heart under a rose tree. When the tree blooms, a white bird with a beautiful voice sits on it and sings the story of the girl’s death. The bird trades a pair of red shoes, gold watch, and finally a mill stone for singing the song. When the stepmother goes outside to see what the noise is, the bird drops the mill stone on her and she dies.
- Sisterly Love in a Snowglobe: The story is about a little girl named Lily who loses her sister in a tragic accident and struggles to cope with the pain. Her parents give her a snowglobe that her sister had left for her before passing away. Lily discovers that whenever she shakes the snowglobe, she can relive all the good memories she had with Daisy, her sister. Initially, she needs it a lot, but eventually, she realizes that her sister will always be with her in her heart. The story teaches the importance of memories and the power they have to provide comfort and healing.
- Story of the wonderful mango fruit: This is a story about a poor Brahmin who raised a parrot like their own child. The parrot heard about a mango tree that gave eternal youth and brought a fruit back for the Brahmin, but he decided to give it to the king instead. The king planted the fruit and it eventually grew into a tree bearing poisonous fruit. A green parrot, who was the previous parrot reborn, demonstrated the fruit’s rejuvenating properties to save an old woman wanting to die. The king gave a fruit to an old imprisoned goldsmith who became young, proving the fruit was not poisonous. The king righted his wrongs and rewarded the poor Brahmin with a fruit and restored his eye and youth.
- Conquering the Dark: The story is about a little girl named Mila who loses her mother and develops a fear of the dark. She tries everything to overcome it and finally seeks help from a therapist who helps her understand and work through her emotions. With her mother’s love to guide her, Mila learns to live with the memories and conquer her fear of the dark. The story highlights the importance of seeking help and talking about one’s feelings to overcome fear and grief.
- The spring-tide of love: The story follows a young girl named Elsa who gets lost in the woods while searching for flowers and finds herself in a strange, abandoned mansion. She meets a rough-looking man named Ulric, who provides her with shelter and care. Elsa becomes a part of his daily routine, accompanying him while he hunts and doing household chores. As time passes, Elsa becomes curious about the mystery surrounding Ulric and the mansion. Ulric shares with her that he was cursed for showing no mercy to a poor family on a New Year’s Eve, which resulted in the death of the family and his wife. Elsa becomes determined to help Ulric break the curse by showing him love and forgiveness, and in doing so, the curse is lifted, his wife wakes up from a long slumber, and the mansion and garden come back to life.
- Graciosa and Percinet: The story tells of a king who is charmed by the duchess’s wealth and agrees to marry her, giving her power over his kind-hearted daughter, Princess Graciosa. With the help of a fairy prince named Percinet, Graciosa overcomes several impossible tasks set by the jealous duchess, but ultimately, the duchess succeeds in trapping Graciosa in a hole. Graciosa crawls through a small door and ends up in a beautiful garden where her love, Percinet, is waiting for her. They get married, and they lived happily ever after.
- Under the Willow Tree: Two little children, Joanna and Knud, loved to play in gardens full of elderberries and willows. They were told a story about two gingerbread people who fell in love on a counter but never spoke to each other, and eventually, they lay there for weeks until they became dry and brittle. Joanna grew up to be a beautiful singer and Knud a shoemaker. Knud never forgot Joanna but when he professed his love to her, she rejected him. She left for France, and Knud went on a journey to find peace. In a dream, Joanna and a gingerbread couple appeared to him. The next morning, the villagers found Knud dead under a willow tree covered in snow.
- Protective Wings: In a bitterly cold and deserted town, many birds were freezing to death. A group of kind-hearted pigeons offered to shelter some freezing sparrows under their wings, despite the risk to their own lives. Later that night, a man discovered the pigeons and brought them inside to warm up, and many of the sheltered sparrows survived too. The story ends with every pigeon that had sheltered a sparrow being able to rejoice in the coming days, knowing that their compassion had saved a life.
- Rainbow and Autumn Leaves: In this Native American tale, the animals in Canada once talked and worked like humans. The wise Turtle asks Thunder God to take him to the heavens, and while there, he decides to stay forever. The animals on Earth become fearful of a new race of beings and want to join Turtle in the heavens. Deer meets Rainbow to take him there but has to wait until mist covers the lake. When he finally goes and sees Turtle, he decides to stay. The other animals continue to live in heaven and send their offspring to Earth, but Deer doesn’t attend the Great Council anymore. The animals follow Turtle’s advice to go to heaven and are angry with Deer for leaving them without warning. When it is time to cross the Rainbow Bridge to heaven, Bear confronts Deer, and they fight until Wolf stops them. The other animals then cross the bridge, but Bear and Deer’s descendants still don’t live together in peace.
- King Lear: The story is about King Lear, an old king who plans to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. To test their love for him, he asks them to express their love. Two daughters flatter him with phony love, while the youngest, Cordelia, expresses her love with duty and honesty. Disappointed, Lear banishes Cordelia and divides his kingdom between the other two daughters. Lear soon realizes that his other two daughters do not truly love him and that Cordelia did. When Cordelia returns with an army to save him, she is ultimately killed along with Lear, revealing the true cost of pride and delusion.
- The Worthy One: After a King dies, leaving behind four sons who quarrel over the crown, the King’s advisors and wise old men come together to determine who the Worthy One is, the only one fit to be King. They tell the princes to list the crimes of their father, and whoever knows and confesses the most while avoiding committing the same sins themselves will become King. The first three princes list varying amounts of sins, but the fourth prince refuses to speak ill of his father and says that even if he could name three thousand injustices, he wouldn’t. The advisors and wise men proclaim the fourth prince the Worthy One and the new King.
- Horaizan: The story is about two wise men, Jofuku from China and Wasobiobe from Japan, who both struggle with a word written on their hearts that troubles them. Jofuku is tasked by a tyrant to bring back the herb of immortality from the Island of Horaizan or face execution, and sets sail with a group of companions. They face many challenges and eventually Jofuku is the only survivor who washes up on the Island of Horaizan where he discovers eternal youth and happiness. Wasobiobe accidentally steers his boat to the same island but longs for humanity and his home. He persuades a crane to take him home where he dies holding onto a fisherman who offers him comfort.
- The Black Bowl: This is a story about a poor girl who lives with her sick mother and wears a black wooden bowl on her head. Despite the bowl causing people to mock and mistreat her, she finds work with a farmer and eventually marries his son. On their wedding day, the black bowl explodes, revealing a rain of jewels, but the groom sees the true beauty of his wife’s eyes. The story teaches that inner beauty matters more than outer appearances and that true love sees beyond superficialities.
- The Flute: In “The Flute” there lived a man in Yedo who loved his wife and daughter and was always honest. When his wife died and he remarried, the stepmother was jealous of his daughter and tormented her. The father went on a business trip to Kyoto and before leaving, his daughter gave him a bamboo flute to remember her by. However, when he played it in Kyoto, he heard his daughter’s voice begging him to come back and found out that the stepmother had killed her. He avenged his daughter and became a pilgrim, carrying the flute with him always.
- The Green Willow: Tomadata, a loyal samurai, was sent on a mission by his Daimyo, the warlord of Noto. While on his journey, he got lost in a fierce storm and stumbled upon a cottage where he met a beautiful girl named Green Willow. Despite his Lord’s orders not to look into the eyes of a woman, Tomadata and Green Willow fell in love and ran away together. They lived happily for three years until Green Willow suddenly died. Tomadata became a holy man and years later, stumbled upon the remains of the cottage where he recited a poem to his lost love.
- The Child of Maria: The story is about a poor woodcutter’s daughter who is taken by Maria, the mother of baby Jesus, to live in heaven. Maria gives the girl the keys to thirteen doors of heaven but warns her not to open the thirteenth door, which has a little key. Curiosity gets the better of the girl, and she opens it, touching the fire and turning her finger into gold. Maria catches her in the act but gives her a chance to confess. The girl lies, and Maria takes away her ability to speak. Later, the girl marries a king but loses her newborn children to Maria because she doesn’t confess, and people wrongly accuse her of cannibalism. She is eventually given the chance to confess and is forgiven before living happily with her restored family.
- The Rose Elf: The story is about a Rose Elf who lives in the most beautiful rose in a garden. One night, he cannot enter his rose as it is closed, so he flies to a garden house where he sees a young man and a girl who love each other. The girl’s brother hates their relationship and kills the young man. The Rose Elf witnesses all this and tells the girl through her dreams. The girl dies of sorrow, burying the murdered man’s head in a flowerpot containing a jasmine twig. The Angry Brother sleeps near the jasmine bush and dies due to poisoned jasmine flower spirits. The Bee Queen and her swarm take revenge on the Angry Brother. The story ends with the Bee Queen singing about the revenge of the flowers.
- The Daisy: This is a story about a Daisy that is content in the grass, enjoying the sun and listening to the birds. It admires the large and beautiful flowers inside the garden but doesn’t envy them. The Daisy is ecstatic when a Lark notices it and sings to it. However, the next day, the Lark is trapped in a cage and is miserable. The Daisy wishes to comfort the bird but can’t. Eventually, the Lark dies, and the Daisy is thrown away. The story teaches to appreciate what we have and to offer help to those in need.
- The Devoted Friend: This is a story about a kind and honest man named Hans who had a beautiful garden. His best friend, the rich miller, would often take his produce without giving anything in return, but Hans didn’t mind because he believed in the nobility of true friendship. The miller would ask Hans to do many unreasonable tasks, but Hans would always oblige in order to maintain their friendship. However, when Hans died, the miller was only concerned about the wheelbarrow he was going to give to Hans. The story highlights the theme of selflessness and the true meaning of friendship.
- The Fairy Tulips: In a village near Dartmoor, an elderly woman tended to a garden filled with tulips said to have a magical secret, which the pixies loved and sang to their babies. Each morning, the pixies returned to care for their little ones, showering them with love and kisses. When the woman passed away and her garden was replaced with parsley, the pixies caused the parsley to wither in their disappointment. They continued to sing sweet songs around her grave, making it a lush and beautiful space filled with flowers in honor of the woman and her beloved tulip garden.
- The Old Oak Tree’s Last Dream: The story is about an old oak tree that has lived for 365 years and can only sleep during winter. The tree meets a day-fly who is content with his short life, but the oak tree is saddened by it. In the oak tree’s dream, it rises above the clouds and sees all the trees and plants he has ever known, past and present, growing and alive. However, the oak tree is struck by lightning and falls during a storm on Christmas Eve. The sailors on a ship notice the fallen tree and lament its loss. The story ends with a hymn about the joy of Christmas and the life everlasting.
In conclusion, the Top 24 Stories about death for kids to read online provide children with a gentle and thoughtful approach to understanding and processing the complex topic of death. These stories offer valuable lessons about loss, grief, adaptation, and the celebration of life, all while being delivered in an age-appropriate and engaging manner. By reading these stories, children can develop a deeper and more compassionate understanding of the inevitable cycle of life and gain insights that will help them cope with the feelings and emotions that accompany the experience of losing a loved one.