Mental Health Awareness Week Best Books

11th May 2022

Book being read

This Mental Health Awareness Week the Doorstep Library team are sharing their favourite comfort books.

Studies have shown that reading as little as six minutes per day can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress and sharpen the mind. As it is Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to shed light on the power of books and their ability to help us build a greater sense of connection and empathy towards those around us and their innate power to help us feel less alone.

We asked our team to tell us what their favourite comfort books were growing up and the stories that took them to different worlds, below are their responses.

For book recommendations for children’s mental health read our Book Recommendations for Children’s Mental Health.

We hope these books inspire you in Mental Health Awareness Week.

Eren's Pick

When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne

“The only comfort book I had as a kid was a book of poetry called When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne. There’s a Turkish dessert similar to rice pudding called Sutlaç which was my dad’s favourite when I was young, so I used to read and re-read the poem “Rice Pudding” on loop (I didn’t understand yet that people other than my dad ate it, so was very excited that the dessert made such a big feature lol).”

Amy's Pick

A Year in Percy’s Park by Nick Butterworth

” I loved all the animals, and Percy the park-keeper was always around to keep everyone safe & happy. I love finding his stories on project. I also was obsessed with The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch, but I think this was mostly because of all the yummy illustrations of food and that I had an insatiable appetite for snacks…”

Pia and Julia's Pick

Old Bear by Jane Hissey

“I always used to watch Old Bear, it was the christmas themed one!”

Steph's Pick

Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne

” I also loved A.A.Milne when I was tiny – I had Winnie the Pooh (with the line illustrations) read to me time and again. Funny in a wry kind of way, and allowances made for every kind of character and mood (grumpy Eeyore, overenthusiastic Tigger, sweet little Roo, perky little Piglet,  slightly brusque Rabbit….).”

Naomi's Pick

I’ve Lost My Yellow Zebra by Angela Brookbanks

“The books that spring to my mind are both tales of toys lost and found. I think there’s something really reassuring about something going wrong and then it all being all right in the end. I loved Angela Brookbanks’ I’ve lost my yellow zebra (this book is also a lift the flap book AND a subterfuge alphabet book), and of course Shirley Hughes’ Dogger.”

Henri and Sandy's Pick

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

“I loved reading The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  The funny characters (Moon-Face and Saucepan Man) always made me laugh but more than that – it made me believe there was magic in the world.  What’s not to love about that?!  I still have a copy in bookshelf today.”

Emily's Pick

The Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

“The Brambly Hedge books: the hidden world of mice who live tucked away in Brambly Hedge. I particularly loved the Autumn book as it had intricate illustrations of their homes, lives and belongings, and it looked so cosy and safe and warm. I poured over those pictures for hours!”

Judah's Pick

Things People Do by Anne Civardi

“A book I really loved escaping into though was Things People Do by Anne Civardi. I loved exploring the island and meeting all the inhabitants. I especially fond of the Mayor, Mayor Naze (who for some reason behaved like she was more a queen than a mayor) – so much so I named my cat after her. Of course, this rather confusingly for adults made it seem like I’d named my black cat mayonnaise.”

Kirsty's Pick

Pippo by Helen Oxenbury

“One that I loved as a very small child was “Pippo”. It’s about a little boy called Tom who has a monkey soft toy called Pippo. As I didn’t have any siblings living with me I often felt that soft toys were my friends. I often felt that there was some magic to Pippo and he came to life in the stories and loved to think of my soft toy companions coming to life too, to keep me company.”

Tay's Pick

Sleepovers by Jacquline Wilson

“I always liked the way the protagonist overcame the bully and received such fantastic support from her new friendship group. It gave me a lot of comfort!”