Children’s Mental Health Week Book Recommendations
6th February 2023
This Children’s Mental Health Week Doorstep Library has put together a list of our 10 top picks for discussing mental health topics with your little ones.
Children’s books can help to address many challenges, from emotional to learning challenges. Books like those mentioned below, can help children to name and understand complex feelings and experiences they may be struggling with.
At Doorstep Library, we have compiled a list of some of our top 10 children’s mental health books that address feeling shy, the importance of community, self-esteem and some older themes like counselling and friendship. The book choices range from the ages of 3 – 12 so there is bound to be a book here for everyone.
Brimming with positivity, I Love Me! is a fun and empowering book of affirmations to help little ones stand tall. Written by Marvyn Harrison (founder of Dope Black Dads) and with art by Diane Ewen (the award-winning illustrator of Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England), this upbeat book is perfect for sharing, easy to put into practice, and celebrates the very best in all of us!
I Don’t Like Birthday Parties
Ages 4-7 years
More than anything, Lucas wants to enjoy birthday parties like his friends… but he is overwhelmed by all of the sights, sounds and sensations that come with celebrations. When he gets invited to a birthday party for his friend, he makes a brave plan to join in, thinking that he should act like everyone else. But when his plan fails, a new friend teaches him that there is more than one way to enjoy a birthday party… and that’s perfectly fine.
Ages 4-8 years
In Alphabreaths, children learn both their ABCs and the basics of mindfulness through playful exercises and vivid illustrations they’ll want to come back to again and again. Each letter of the alphabet teaches a simple mindfulness or compassion-based practice. Kids will spread their arms like beautiful butterfly wings, imagine blowing out candles on a birthday cake, and be as still and silent as a ninja. Alphabreaths offers a meaningful introduction to mindfulness for children, all while keeping them delighted with imaginative inspiration and hours of fun.
Ages 3-8 years
Ever had a bad day and wished that you were someone else? Perhaps a mountain gorilla? Or a fierce tiger? But wait . . . just think of all the amazing things that you can do! You can sing, you can write and you can dream. And never stop being incredible you! This picture book brings a breath of fresh air filled with postivity, zest and energy from a sensational new pairing.
My Beautiful Voice
Ages 4-7 years
Follow a child who is so shy she doesn’t speak. With the encouragement on an enchanting and magical teacher, she writes a poem. But a poem is meant to be read aloud! She musters all her courage, stands at the front of the class and shows her classmates that she does have a voice. And her voice is BEAUTIFUL!
The perfect way to encourage empathy in young children and show shy children how to feel brave, this beautiful story will delight readers time and time again.
Books for ages 7+
Ages 4- 9+ years
What happened to Tipi, our black PhilosoCat? She looks upset and angry, but why? The PhilosoCats book “I thought we were friends!” is a story about anger, trust, and forgiveness. These concepts are introduced in the story and will be further explored in the included Activity Book.
The goal of the PhilosoCats series is to foster critical thinking and reflection. It supports adults and children in having meaningful conversations and in spending quality time with each other.
Your Mind is Like the Sky
Ages 7-10 years
Your mind is like the sky. Sometimes it’s clear and blue – but sometimes a raincloud thought comes along and makes everything seem dark. So what can we do about rainclouds? This beautiful picture book, written by child psychologist Bronwen Ballard and illustrated by award-winning artist Laura Carlin, shows children that worries and negative thoughts are normal and helps them develop healthy thinking habits. Tips on mindfulness and extra resources for parents are included at the back of the book.
The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse
Ages 7+ years
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a collection of loosely linked illustrations about a lonely boy who ambles through the countryside on a spring day, finding companionship: first meeting the mole, then the other animals of the title. Discover their story and their most important life lesson
Not My Fault
Ages 9-12 years
Maya and Rose won’t talk to each other. Even though they are sisters. Not since the accident. Maya is running wild, and Rose doesn’t know what to do. Now Maya and Rose have to go away together on a week-long school journey. But will the trip – and a life-threatening adventure – fix their relationship… or break it for good? A beautiful story of family, forgiveness, and finding out who you are.
All The Things That Could Go Wrong
Ages 9+ years
Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he’s taking it out on the
nearest and weakest target: Alex. Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan and his gang are waiting for him at school . . . Then the boys’ mums arrange for them to meet up and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother. Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays – what could possibly go wrong?
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom
Ages 8-12 years
“Give me a dollar or I’ll spit on you.” That’s Bradley Chalker for you. He is the oldest child in the class. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls, and the teachers say he has “serious behaviour problems.” No one likes him – except Carla, the new school counsellor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and she even enjoys his far-fetched stories. Carla knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is believing in yourself.