The Dragonfly Story – explaining the death of a loved one to children and families

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‘I have yet to find any kind of book or leaflet for siblings that even comes close to being able to explain this [sibling loss] as well as your book does.’
Senior Nurse in NICU at Addenbrokes Hospital 

The Dragonfly Story is a retelling of the popular fable of the waterbugs and the dragonflies. This story is often used to help explain death and the concept of heaven to people of all ages. In fact, it was the story that inspired this blog! You can read about that here.

After my daughter Abi’s death, I was so moved by the dragonfly fable that I wanted to recreate the story, beautifully illustrated for children and adults to share. There wasn’t a book like it available. My version features a bit about our story and touches on the loss of Abi, so it relates to the loss of a sibling or child; however, I have kept it as general as possible so I hope anyone who is grieving can draw comfort from it.

The Dragonfly Story is a tale of hope. It provides a view of death that captures something of what heaven might be like. It is also suitable for anyone with or without a particular faith. The story allows you to discuss death and what you might believe happens when we die.

In 2018, I was shortlisted as a finalist in the JustGiving Awards for the book.

The book was also shortlisted by independent book review site, The Bookbag, as one of its Top Ten Self-Published Books 2018.

You can view a full reading of The Dragonfly Story here

Media (click the link)

Reader reviews

“This book is beautiful. It is both gentle and strong; it gives so many opportunities for children to widen the story and add their own memories and thoughts to it. It brings the dragonfly story to a supremely accessible and relatable level in such a simple format, ideal for younger children. I was enchanted by it.” Mary, UK

“My Dad died last August and I’ve wanted to find a book that would help my 7-year-old with his grief, his other Grandad had only died the year before. Nothing that I’ve found is as well written, beautifully illustrated and honest as your book. My son is so aware, over simplifying what has happened was never going to work for him. It’s truly a gift, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.” Beth, UK

“The Dragonfly Story is written with such compassion and understanding for the families to read to their young loved ones without fear and in the knowledge that it will bring happy thoughts and love at the end of it. It could lead to sharing wonderful memories and not fearing the unspoken. As a mum this also lifted my heart and mind into beautiful thoughts of love ones passed. I also work within a school as a SEN teaching assistant and this book I shall be sharing with the families that need it as I feel that a child in whichever level of learning they are at this is very accessible for their understanding. A must in my mind to be on all home and school book shelves to be shared together.” Kimberley, UK

“As a GP, this is a wonderful resource to have in our surgery, to help families cope with the death of a child.” Annalisa, UK

“The book is beyond perfect. Such a well-written and gentle approach. But I also love the fact it allows siblings to know it’s ok to still feel happy and play.” Melissa, UK

“Bathed, cosy and tired, we began reading this beautiful book called ‘The Dragonfly Story’. I have to admit, I was very apprehensive and desperately wished we were just reading something simple, like Charlie and Lola. With a lump in my throat, I started to read. I didn’t want to pre-read the book, I thought reading it for the first time together, would mean we can feel similar emotions, have similar questions and support one another. The book flowed and seemed to make sense, the Christian beliefs I have installed in Rosie-May shone through, as it spoke about heaven. The park the book described is a park we visit regularly, and the boating lake is our favourite place to be. The story ended, and Rosie-May glanced up, I could tell that she took it all in and it made real sense to her. Rosie said, ‘That book is about my sleeping daddy too, he is a beautiful dragonfly having fun and playing with Abi’. For once, this four-year-old saw death as something beautiful, not something she had to be angry about. A promise has been made that we will go to the boating lake tomorrow, after nursery, and look for any dragonflies dancing. Thank you Nanny and Grumpy for this gorgeous book, and thank you Kelly Owen for giving families a child-friendly, positive book about a situation that is so horrific.” Shelley, UK

You can read more reviews on Amazon.

Please click an image below to see an example spread:


The book is self-published through Ultimate Publications.

140 x 140 paperback
Printed on glossy paper
32 pages

You can contact me on

If you do enjoy the book, please do leave a review or send me your thoughts to the email above.

** I would like to make a special mention to all the family, friends, acquaintances and followers of this blog who donated money to help support the design costs of The Dragonfly Story. Anyone who requested it has their child’s name added to the In Memory page in the book. Thank you again! To see the donations page, please click here to be taken to JustGiving. **