Book Recommendations For Children’s Mental Health

7th February 2024

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With young minds facing an array of challenges in the modern world, promoting mental health awareness from an early age is key. Children’s Mental Health Week (5th-11th February 2024) serves as a reminder to prioritise the mental well-being of the younger generation. A powerful tool that can contribute towards this is literature. Books can engage, educate, and provide support, making them an invaluable resource for navigating the complex landscape of children’s mental health.

 

What Is Children’s Mental Health Week?

Typically observed in February, Children’s Mental Health Week is a dedicated time to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health challenges that children may encounter. Organised by a number of mental health organisations, this week aims to encourage open conversations, reduce stigma, and emphasize the importance of early intervention in supporting children’s mental well-being.

 

How Does Reading Benefit Children’s Mental Health?

The act of reading can go beyond the pages of a book. Books can provide a safe space for children to explore and understand their emotions, read about diverse characters, encourage communication, and reduce stress amongst a variety of other benefits. Children are exposed to a range of narratives and scenarios, allowing them to appreciate different perspectives and ultimately develop a wider worldview.

 

Children’s Mental Health Book Recommendations

These carefully selected books offer a diverse range of perspectives on children’s mental health. Providing valuable resources for parents, educators, and caregivers to initiate meaningful conversations and support young minds in their journey towards emotional well-being.

Books For Ages 3-7

My Daddies!

Gareth Peter

Ages 2-5 years

A heartwarming story celebrating diversity, My Daddies! introduces young readers to a family with two fathers. Through delightful illustrations and a reassuring narrative, the book fosters inclusivity and understanding of different family structures.

 

 

Rhinos Don’t Cry

Mark Grist

Ages 3-5 years

In this whimsical tale, children discover that it’s okay to express their emotions. The story encourages emotional honesty and resilience, portraying vulnerability as a strength rather than a weakness.

 

 

 

Don’t Feed The WorryBug

Andi Green

Ages 3-8 years

This creative book introduces the concept of worry bugs that can grow when fed. It serves as a tool to help children understand and manage their worries, teaching valuable lessons about anxiety and coping mechanisms.

 

 

 

No Hitting, Henry: Don’t Hurt

Lisa Regan

Ages 4-8 years

Addressing the important theme of non-violence, this book gently teaches children about empathy and the consequences of their actions. It encourages positive behaviour while promoting the idea that everyone deserves respect.

 

 

 

Beautifully Me

Nabela Noor

Ages 4-8 years

Nabela Noor’s empowering book celebrates self-love and acceptance. Through vibrant illustrations and affirming messages, Beautifully Me encourages children to embrace their uniqueness and appreciate the beauty within themselves.

 

 

 

When Sadness Is At Your Door

Eva Eland

Ages 3-7 years

Delicate illustrations and a gentle narrative make Eva Eland’s book an accessible resource for young children to understand and navigate sadness. It teaches them that it’s okay to acknowledge and sit with their emotions.

 

 

 

First Emotions: How Am I Feeling?

DK

Ages 3-5 years

This interactive book introduces young children to a range of emotions through vibrant images and simple language. It encourages emotional literacy, helping children to identify and express their feelings.

Books For Ages 7+

You Don’t Have To Be Loud: A Quiet Kids Guide To Being Heard

Ben Brooks

Ages 9-12 years

Tailored for quieter children, this guide empowers them to embrace their unique qualities. It provides valuable insights and strategies for navigating social situations while emphasizing the importance of being true to oneself.

 

 

 

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Michael Rosen

Ages 6-11 years

Authored by the renowned Michael Rosen, this poignant book explores the experience of sadness. With honesty and sensitivity, Rosen shares his own journey through grief, offering a compassionate perspective on processing complex emotions.

 

 

 

Tease Monster

Julia Cook

Ages 5-11 years

Julia Cook skillfully addresses the topic of teasing and its impact on mental health in her book Tease Monster. The book provides strategies for children to deal with teasing situations, fostering resilience and self-confidence.

 

 

 

My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey Of Home, Loss, and Hope

Diane Guerrero

Ages 9-12 years

Diane Guerrero’s memoir offers a powerful narrative about the challenges of family separation. The book sensitively explores the impact of immigration policies on mental health, resilience, and the search for hope.

 

 

 

The Fix-It Friends: Have No Fear

Nicole C. Kear

Ages 6-9 years

Part of a series, this book follows a group of friends who tackle fears and anxieties together. It provides practical tools for coping with fear while emphasizing the importance of friendship and support.