This Children’s Mental Health Week we’ve put together a list of six book suggestions that cover an array of different topics from dealing with anxiety to issues with OCD. The books are suitable for children ranging from 0 – 10 years old so that discussions can take place at any age.
Books are a great tool for helping children to explore mental health issues, encourage dialogue, help reduce stigma and gain a better understanding of what’s going on in their own little minds. Here are a few of our favourite titles for you to share and explore:
0-5 years old
The little colour monster is having a hard time, as his feelings are all jumbled up. He is red, green, yellow, blue and black, all at the same time. It’s making him very confused and he doesn’t know why. Luckily, help is at hand and the colour monster learns to make sense of his mixed-up emotions by labelling them, which leads to a heart-warming conclusion.
It can be read as a simple story about friendship, but can also help children to recognise, discuss and label emotions, providing them with vital emotional literacy skills.
Rachel Bright and Chris Chatterton
1-5 years old
It’s a beautiful day and Worrysaurus has planned a special picnic. But it isn’t long before a small butterfly of worry starts fluttering in his tummy . . .What if he hasn’t brought enough to eat? What if he gets lost in the jungle? What if he trips and falls? What if it rains?! Can Worrysaurus find a way to chase his fears away and have fun?
The perfect book to help every anxious little dinosaur let go of their fears and feel happy in the moment.
3-6 years old
Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first, it’s not such a big worry, and that’s all right, but then it starts to grow.
This is a very beautiful, sensitive look at anxiety and how a problem shared is a problem halved. It demonstrates this message through gentle, subtle illustration, so even teeny children should grasp it.
Vanessa Green Allen
7-10 years old
Sometimes, emotions like anger or jealousy or excitement can seem too big to keep inside. Me and My Feelings is here to tell you: It’s okay to have big feelings. And the good news is, you can calm down those strong emotions―so you won’t feel like you’re going to explode!
This book shows you how to stay in control―by breathing deeply, saying positive things to yourself, talking about your feelings, and more. You’ll learn to deal with all kinds of feelings, including the hard ones like sadness, anxiety, or even fear.
Sally J. Pla
8+ years old
Nobody knows comics trivia like Stanley knows comics trivia. It’s what he takes comfort in when the world around him gets to be too much. And after he faints during a safety assembly, Stanley takes his love of comics up a level by inventing his own imaginary superhero, named John Lockdown, to help him through.
Help is what he needs, because Stanley’s entered Trivia Quest—a giant comics-trivia treasure hunt—to prove he can tackle his worries, score VIP passes to Comic Fest, and win back his ex-best friend. Partnered with his fearless new neighbour Liberty, Stanley faces his most epic, overwhelming, challenging day ever.
9+ years old
Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business. Matthew Corbin hasn’t been to school for weeks. He passes much of his time observing the goings-on of the local neighbourhood from his bedroom window. He even makes little notes about neighbours’ movements.
This is an utterly captivating read, combining a compelling whodunit with additional questions about what it was that triggered Matthew’s OCD.
If you’d like to find more reading resources as well as exploring some tips on making reading fun and engaging, visit our Parents’ Resources.