Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute? : Explaining (sudden) death in words very young children can understand


We recommend this…

if you need to help a young child understand a sudden death, especially of a father figure.

A quick summary

Very sadly, this is a true story: when Alex Barber was 3 years old, his Daddy died suddenly of a heart-attack. This book is based on Alex’s questions and his mother Elke’s answers – in the words they used at the time. It is a real example of how to give young children honest, age-appropriate, helpful answers in a time of enormous sadness and loss. It could help if you can’t imagine where to start or what those words could be. It could also help a child understand they are not alone in this experience, and to hear another child’s questions may help them articulate their own.


Very sadly, this is a true story. Alex’s beloved Daddy died of a heart attack on a father-son camping trip, when Alex was 3 years old. This book is Alex and his mother Elke’s account of what happened. It is the questions he asked, and the answers she gave him.

Elke advises anyone else in this situation to tell children, “The truth – but the best version of the truth”. Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute is a model of how to do this. From the first moment, Elke gave Alex the facts, in plain language, balanced with comforting ideas, and a sense of meaning and connection.

This book really shows how a young child can ask questions and be given age appropriate, true, helpful answers. We suggest it for a young child who identifies with the details in the story – particularly the sudden death of a father figure.

Additional information

Format Paperback
Weight 178 g
Dimensions 278 × 216 × 6 mm
Book Author


ISBN 9781787757646

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