The new titles in the classic series focus on emotional wellbeing, getting the conversation started early, and helping the next generation to flourish
The Mr. Men and Little Miss books by Roger Hargreaves have been staples in the lives of children for generations, and their colourful pages have made their way onto many a childhood bookshelf.
But, now, a new Mr. Men Little Miss series is launching, and 10 books that focus on exploring emotional wellbeing are hitting the shelves. The Discover You series has been created to help kids address their emotions, and work through feelings, and has been designed to be used as a tool to help parents explore these topics with their children.
Titles in the series include: Try Again – a book about resilience; Be Kind – a book about kindness; Worries – a book about feeling anxious; and All Different – a book celebrating diversity.
Each book works through its topic in the classic Mr. Men Little Miss style. Worries, for example, tells the story of Mr Worry, who worries about everything – sometimes, it starts with a funny feeling in his tummy. As Mr Calm and Little Miss Sunshine help him to ease his worries, the story prompts conversations about the worries that we all feel, how they make us feel, and the things that we can do to ease them.
The new release comes at a time when a report from the NHS saw the rates of probable mental disorder have increased from 2017 from one in nine to one in six. With much evidence pointing to the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown for this increase.
Books and reading have long been celebrated for their ability to build comprehension skills, but also emotional intelligence, and to support wellbeing. In fact, research from the National Literacy Trust found that children and young people who like to read are three times more likely to have better mental health than those who don’t. Beyond that, regularly reading to a child can strengthen the bond between parents and children, creating a supportive and open home environment.
When it comes to facing mental health and wellbeing topics head-on, it can be difficult to know how to explain such complex subjects to children. But, as Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, a children’s clinical psychologist working with Mr. Men Little Miss, explains, it's worth pushing through the challenges.
“Through my 20 years experience, I’ve learnt how tough it is for children to understand emotions and personality traits and how difficult it can be for parents and children to talk about these complex ideas,” Dr Kilbey says. “Even though it is really tough, it is vitally important we get this right for them. That’s why I’m working with Mr. Men Little Miss to launch their new Discover You book series. The stories bring to life a range of different emotions and feelings to help children understand what it means to be happy, sad and everything in between.”
Beyond the new book released, Dr Kilbey also shares further tips for parents, and free resources to help young children explore their emotions at hub.mrmen.com
While the pressures that today’s young children face are complex and unique, conversations about mental health and emotional wellbeing are becoming mainstream, and the first step to opening up the topic with your little one could be turning to page one.
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