Books to support a child's mental health

Books to support a child's mental health

Just like physical health, the habits we develop in our early years can affect our mental health for the rest of our lives. It’s important to teach children about their emotions and mental wellbeing as early as possible to give them the tools to cope and care for themselves when difficult times arise. Whether it's anxiety, grief, depression, anger, sadness or any other big emotion, there's a picture book to help you talk about these issues with your child. 

Here are some great books to get you started:

 Book cover of Timid - it shows a Lion and a child on a colourfully decorated stage. Both look nervous.

Timid by Harry Woodgate – Timmy’s shyness and fear of performing is holding them back from doing the one thing they love. This beautiful book shows kids how to live with anxiety and talk about mental health.


Book cover of Sometimes I Just Won't. A boy wearing glasses has a bowl on his head with rice and peas scattered around. He is crossing his arms and looking defiant, while a dog licks his elbow. 
Sometimes I Just Won’t by Timothy Knapman and Joe Berger – Part of a series of books about emotions, this funny story sees a child exploring their autonomy and all the emotions that come with it.

Book cover of Up and Down Mum. It shows a mother and child on a rollercoaster going up and waving their arms in the air happily. 
Up and Down Mum by Summer Macon – Having a parent with bipolar disorder is full of ups and downs. This book will help a child understand what their parent is going through and how to live alongside it.  


Book cover of How to be a Lion. It's a simple cover with a line illustration of a lion looking straight out with a slight smile.

How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere – Leonard isn’t like all the other lions, and soon his unique way of life is threatened. An empowering book about learning to speak up for yourself and others.

 Book cover of The Colour Monster. A small green monster is sitting happily blowing bubbles that are all different colours.

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas – this ingenious book shows different emotions as colours to help children visualise and talk about them. A simple but effective introduction to emotions for young children.

 Book cover of Ruby's Worry, which shows a young black girl looking at a small grey cloud beside her that is clearly her "worries" personified.

Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival – part of a series about big feelings for children, in this book Ruby has a worry that soon grows out of control. A story that encourages kids to talk about their own worries.   

 Book cover of Stompysaurus which shows a cartoon orange dinosaur with its fists clenched and stomping.

The Stompysaurus by Rachel Bright and Chris Chatterton – Stompysaurus’s day keeps going wrong and his feelings of frustration start to take over until he manages to turn his day around. Part of a series of books with dinosuars and big emotions, this is perfect for talking about anger and annoyance.

 Book cover of When Sadness Comes to Call. A child dressed in orange is looking up at a large, green creature that is looming over them.

When Sadness Comes to Call by Eva Eland – focusing on the importance of mental wellbeing, this picture book helps children understand and accept difficult emotions

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