By Kirsti Granholm
As adults, we know that health and wellness are an important part of our lives. For kids, health and wellness are just as, if not more, important. These books celebrate and educate us about taking care of our bodies.
Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! by Rebecca Sjonger (Crabtree Publishing, 2015) Ages 5 and up.
Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! teaches children about the importance of daily exercise. This book highlights the importance of physical activity, from building muscle and being strong to improving your mood through exercise. This title is both informative for children and fun to read, making it a wonderful way to teach children about physical education. Understanding the importance of exercise from a young age will promote life-long health and wellness.
Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat by Paula Ayer (Annick Press, 2015) Ages 12 and up.
Relationships with food vary from person to person. Healthy relationships can be difficult for some, so it is critical that children have access to resources that can teach them the importance of eating healthy. In Foodprints, Paula Ayer investigates all aspects of the food world, from marketing to economics to the history of food. This book is packed with knowledge for teens to explore and implement in their own lives.
Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds (Scholastic, 2018) Ages 4 and up
Happiness, satisfaction and wellness go hand-in-hand. Happy Dreamer teaches children through simple text and eye-catching illustrations that having a dream is a wonderful thing. This book motivates children to go out into the world and make their dreams come true. When children feel confident in themselves, they are able to make decisions and complete tasks with satisfaction, which is absolutely crucial in the developing years. Pick up this book to show the kids in your life that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.
Red Carnation by Alicia Raimundo and Deborah Ellis (Pearson Canada, 2015) Ages 13 and up
Today there are still so many stigmas about mental health, and these assumptions can be passed on to children too. Understanding the importance of advocating for mental health from a young age is critical, it could even save somebody’s life. Red Carnation takes readers through Alicia Raimundo’s mental health journey as a young teen. After a suicide attempt at age 13, Alicia was put into a psychiatric ward where she was then able to take charge and improve her overall health and wellness with the help of a few kind individuals. This title is highly recommended for all teens looking to further their understanding of mental health and wellness.
See How We Move! introduces children to the importance of physical activity and living a healthy, active lifestyle. As young children meet for a swim meet, they begin to recognize the rewards of being active. Not only do they feel strong and confident, but they are able to be active with their friends and have fun too. This sweet and simple story will definitely have your children looking forward to being active with friends and family!
In this book, Clem Martini shares her brother Olivier’s experience with schizophrenia. Clem explores the difficulties faced by Olivier and the family as a whole, from finding treatment and acceptance to navigating the healthcare system. The title “Upside Down” comes from Clem’s perspective of how their world was turned upside down with Olivier’s diagnosis. Despite the difficulties they faced, Clem and her family stayed resilient and supported Olivier as much as they could. This title is very personal and touching and offers important insight into the world of mental illness.
You Need Rest to Be at Your Best! by Rebecca Sjonger (Crabtree Publishing, 2015) Ages 5 and up
Children need to be well-rested so that they can conquer each day with confidence. While a child may not understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, parents certainly do. This title educates children on why they need to sleep, in an informative and engaging way. Rebecca Sjonger takes readers through the different aspects of sleep, from having a routine to making your sleep space cozy and comfortable. Read and share You Need Rest to Be at Your Best to ensure your children are keeping their health and wellness in mind while getting good sleep every night.
What do you think of this wellness-inspired book list? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know on social media @kidsbookcentre.