This year Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 1st – 7th February, and is themed around the different ways we can express ourselves. This week is an important opportunity for parents and teachers to open up a discussion with children about their worries and how this affects their mental health.
Below are some recommendations for books that support mental health and can help you discuss this topic with children.
The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright and Chris Chatterton
This charming picture book follows the story of little Worrysaurus who goes on an adventure, but his head starts to worry about what might go wrong and the worry butterfly inside him starts to grow bigger and bigger.
Created by picture book duo Rachel Bright, the bestselling author of The Lion Inside and Chris Chatterton, illustrator of Ten Minutes To Bed, The Worrysaurus is the perfect book to help every anxious little worrysaurus let go of their fears and feel happy in the moment. Find out more here ordownload a colouring sheet here.
My Monster and Me and Today I’m Strong by Nadiya Hussain and Ella Bailey
These touching tales help children who are struggling with worries or new experiences. Having suffered with panic disorder herself for as long as she can remember, Nadiya wrote these heartfelt stories to help give children and parents the tools they need to talk about worries and anxiety, to ensure that no child suffers in silence. You can find out more about both books here and here and download resources here.
This Book Will Help Make You Happy by Suzy Reading
The world is a pretty stressful place, especially right now, and we all need some help reminding us to take care of ourselves. But the good news is that there are loads of easy tips and tricks to keep yourself feeling happy, from customising your own bedtime ritual to how to resolve arguments with your parent. Complete with simple breathing exercises, yoga poses and even advice on the best food to eat when you’re feeling down, this is a one-stop guide to transform worried kids into happy, confident ones. Find out more about the book here and download some fun Challenge Sheets here.
Dare to Be You by Matthew Syed
Drawing examples from sport, science and even business, Dare to Be You empowers young readers to follow their own path, love what makes them different and question the world around them. With You Are Awesome‘s trademark mix of hilarious text, stylish illustration, personal insights and inspiring real-life examples, including Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, Matthew Syed introduces children to the power of diverse thinking. When you stop doubting yourself, embrace change and let your kindness loose, you become your own action hero. This groundbreaking, practical and positive book will help kids develop the inner confidence to grow into happy adults who know – and, more importantly, LIKE – themselves. Find out more about Dare to Be You here, or download the PiXL Changemakers resources here
Break the Mould by Sinead Burke
Break the Mould is a heartfelt and inspiring guide to celebrating differences and finding your place in the world, for readers aged 8 and up.
Written by activist and educator Sinéad Burke, who draws on her own experiences as a little person to show children the power of difference, help them to celebrate the things they love about themselves and to use their voices to make the world a kinder, more compassionate place. Find out more about Break the Mould here or download resources here.
Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings
Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything.
Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.
Stunningly illustrated, this is volume 1 in a new graphic novel series, for fans of Heartstopper and Jennifer Niven, and for anyone who’s ever felt invisible.
Find out more about The Sad Ghost Club here