Explaining mental health issues to children can be tough. Here, we share five unmissable picture books that help teach kids about anxiety, depression, and mindfulness.
1. Don’t Worry, Murray! by Anna Adams and Josiane Vlitos
Vibrant and fun, Don’t Worry, Murray helps young readers learn how to develop
a calmer, more positive outlook. Follow Murray the dog’s first day at his new school, as Hoots the owl guides him, and helps him to overcome his fears. Thoughtful and encouraging, readers can follow practical steps to learn calming breathing techniques, and discover the benefits of mindfulness and positive thinking.
2. The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket and Matthew Forsythe
From the beloved, best-selling children’s book author Lemony Snicket comes a new picture book about emotions and their impact on us (and others). A simple yet refreshing story, The Bad Mood and the Stick takes a thoughtful and humorous look at how a bad mood can wreak havoc, yet lead to opportunities for laughter, forgiveness, and love.
3. The Princess and the Fog by Lloyd Jones
A modern take on a familiar childhood classic, The Princess and the Fog shares the story of a happy princess who has everything she could possibly want until the fog of depression arrives. Designed to help children better understand depression through vibrant illustrations, simple metaphors, and humour, readers are introduced to not only the symptoms of childhood depression but are given a spark of hope that things can get better with help and support.
4. Why Are You So Sad? by Beth Andrews
Designed to help children understand and come to terms with parental depression, Why Are You So Sad? creates the opportunity for caregivers to open up with children about the mental health struggles their loved ones may be facing.
5. Baby’s Big World: Mindfulness by Alex Fabrizio and Hilli Kushnir
Learning how to practise mindfulness is becoming a more necessary skill in our ever-busy world. Help set your child up for success by introducing them to mindfulness. Filled with simple questions and prompts to work through together, children can practise the basics of mindfulness and meditation.