Find some literary reassurance for your family.
As the world learns how to navigate concepts like social distancing and isolation, everyone is forced into a new normal. This includes your littlest ones. It’s natural for them to experience a little anxiety as their everyday shifts.
Looking for a way to reconnect, comfort them, and hel them with this transition? Reading together is an excellent activity to help soothe their weary minds.
Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite children’s books about anxiety, perfect for those days and nights when the questions outnumber the answers. Read on to find your new favorite page-turner!
La, La, La: A Story of Hope
Beloved children’s author Kate DiCamillo beautifully portrays a child’s longing to be heard in “La, La, La: A Story of Hope.” The book opens with a little girl, who has a pretty song to sing for the world. She releases it with all her might, but no sound comes back to her.
Gathering her courage, she ventures further out, singing to the trees and the pond. After climbing almost to the moon, she falls asleep, feeling dejected. Then, she’s awakened by a melody: She’s been heard. This poignantly simple, almost wordless book speaks to our universal need for connection and the promise that we’re never alone.
The Stars Will Still Shine
Author Cynthia Rylant wrote “The Stars Will Still Shine” for any pint-sized heart facing a crisis or time of uncertainty. With powerful prose and gorgeous accompanying illustrations, the book reminds readers that no matter what they’re facing, there are certain daily pleasures that will always be there.
From church bells to the dazzling nighttime sky, life’s golden moments never truly dim, and sometimes we all need a little reminder.
This Beautiful Day
If your tots loved “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” they’ll adore “This Beautiful Day” by Richard Jackson. Written with the same adventurous spirit and sense of discovery, the book follows three children as they hop, skip, and play in a dreary, gloomy day.
The more they splash and dance, the more they chase the gray away! Suddenly, the illustrations come alive with color and the pages turn into a technicolor fantasy land, proving that with the right attitude, even the biggest storms can turn into rainbows.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day
We all have days when our world feels a little upside down. In this children’s classic, author Judith Viorst reminds us that we’ll all go through this, and it’s OK to feel upset every now and again.
Throughout the pages, Viorst paints a vivid story of Alexander, the kid who can’t catch a break. From gum in his hair to no prize in his breakfast cereal, the day starts bad and seems to get progressively worse. Readers will laugh along at his antics and maybe see themselves in the narrative, too. In the end, they’ll find that even in the bleakest times, humor can prevail and there’s always a silver lining.
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
Life is full of little messes, and that’s what makes it so spectacular!
In “A Perfectly Messed-Up Story,” author and illustrator Patrick McDonnell creates an engaging story about embracing everything that happens to us, even the parts that don’t look perfect.
The main character, Louie, is trying to create a story about his life that looks immaculate, but his plans keep getting thwarted by spills, scribbles, and stains! Once he takes a deep breath, he realizes that everything is actually fine and his tale is a fantastic one, flaws and all.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
Autumn is on its way, and Fletcher the Fox’s favorite tree is starting to change colors and lose its beautiful leaves. Worried, he tries to help but realizes his attempts are futile as the last leaf drops to the ground.
In “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves,” author Julia Rawlinson puts a beautiful, child-friendly spin on the anxiety we feel when things are beyond our control. The watercolor illustrations are soothing, the characters are gentle, and the morale is timeless: When loss comes our way and things feel heavy, a new season is right around the corner.
The Kissing Hand
Is your child struggling with separation anxiety? Author Audrey Penn knows the feeling, and “The Kissing Hand” is her soothing anecdote.
Chester Racoon is about to start school in the big forest but is worried and nervous about leaving his beloved Mother Raccoon. To help ease his mind, she lets him in on a cherished family secret. If she plants a kiss in the palm of his hand, he can take it with him wherever he goes!
First published in 1993, the book is now charming a new generation of readers, reminding millions of children that no matter how far you roam, you’re never too far from home.
A Bad Case of Stripes
Author and illustrator David Shannon has a penchant for creating lively, vibrant characters that seem to jump from his pages. In “A Bad Case of the Stripes,” that character is Camilla Cream, a girl who wants more than anything else to blend in and fit in with her friends.
At the very moment she wants to disappear the most, Camilla suddenly becomes covered in colorful stripes! No one can explain it, but in the end, everyone discovers that denying your true self can be the most isolating thing of all. A wonderful way to teach children the value of individualism, this memorable story is perfect for anyone who feels confused about their place in the world.
Read these children’s books about anxiety together.
It’s natural to feel anxious, especially when things aren’t as they’ve always been. If you sense that your child is nervous about changes going on in the world, relief and comfort are only a page away.
These children’s books about anxiety offer humor, color, and long-lasting lessons that kids of all ages can appreciate. Snuggle up tonight and enjoy one together, and remind your family that even when things feel scary, they’re just part of a greater adventure waiting to happen.
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