A book that always springs to mind is Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. Beautiful and poignant, it is especially appropriate on the occasion of the death of an older family friend or relative. I'll be honest, I had to steel myself as I prepared to read it in readiness for this review as it has left me in tears before with it's gentle, poignant illustrations that celebrate and sum up the life of Badger.
The story sees Badger's friends deal with his death and the void that this creates in their lives. Through their memories of him we learn about the amazing legacy that he has left behind in the skills he has imparted and the emotions he provoked when alive, the parting gifts in the title.
The book manages to avoid too many metaphors for death (such as 'gone to sleep' and 'in the stars') which can be confusing for young children. It does talk about Badger imagining he is going down a long tunnel but uses this in the context of a dream he has as he peacefully passes. It uses the word 'died' which is factual - again talk of someone 'going to sleep' can alarm children.
If reading the book during a period of bereavement it might help a parent and child to be able to think about happy memories of their loved one, realising the positive impact that person has had on their lives. This may hopefully bring some comfort in their grief.