If your young child worries a lot, they’re not alone! Anxiety is the second most common mental health problem in kids. From being alone to making friends at a new school, many situations can cause anxiety.
Picture books about anxiety, mindfulness and overcoming fear give kids words to describe their feelings, reassure them anxiety is normal, and offer ways to feel better. When read together with a school-age child, the books below can start an important conversation about anxiety.
Don’t forget to check the cloudLibrary app for e-books and audiobooks about mental health.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
In this imaginative tale, Humpty Dumpty loves to watch birds high up on a city wall – until he takes his infamous tumble. Now he’s afraid of heights and can’t do the thing he loves most. This masterfully written and illustrated book shows young readers the power of getting back up and facing your fear.
The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul
This gentle and approachable book is great for kids who pick up on grownups’ reactions to current events. After an unspecified incident covered on national news, the preschool-age narrator in this book finds small but impactful ways to make a difference at home.
Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey
Calming illustrations blend with simple, kid-friendly mindfulness exercises. The techniques can be done by a grownup and child in many situations, like a trip to the grocery store or just before bed. Each one is designed to help kids find calm and focus on the present moment.
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker
Sometimes kids need to be reminded that everyone – including superheroes – has bad days. When they feel overwhelmed, mad, or afraid, the colorful superheroes in this book demonstrate positive coping techniques that kids can try at home.
Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna
The elementary-age girl in this book is facing a big life change: her family is moving to a different country! In order to keep her safe on that journey, her fear – a ghost-like creature that gets bigger and bigger – prompts her to feel alone and afraid. But when she kindles a friendship with a boy in her class, she realizes she has the power to keep her fear from growing too big.
Puppy in My Head: A Book About Mindfulness by Elise Gravel
Kids can learn to manage big emotions by thinking about their minds as a puppy – like the adorable cartoon pup in this book. With fun illustrations perfect for school-age kids, this book offers techniques for calming the puppy in your head when it gets a little overexcited, worried, or scared.
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
Ruby’s Worry isn’t so big – at first. But every day, it gets a little bigger and a little bigger, until it’s all she can think about. With help from a new friend at the park, Ruby learns that she’s not the only one with a Worry and that she can manage her Worry by acknowledging and talking about it.
There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi
Sukie, a small dog, wants to go swimming in the ocean but gets overwhelmed by all that could go wrong. The looping text in this picture book captures the way worries can feel in our minds, and it’s fun to read out loud!
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
A beloved classic, Wemberly Worried introduces a mouse who’s anxious about everything: will her parents disappear? Will she spill juice on her toy rabbit? Will she get along with everyone at her nursery school? This book respects Wemberly’s emotions, realistically portraying her anxiety and how she learns to manage it.
What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
This book offers kid-friendly wisdom about how to think about and solve life’s problems. The young boy shown throughout the book finds that avoiding his problem makes it scarier – only doing something about it reveals a hidden opportunity. Kids and grownups alike will appreciate the way color is used to illustrate our inner emotional worlds.