Like all of us, children are confused and scared right now. With so many uncertainties and our way of living changed in a short period of time, it is understandable for young ones to feel anxious right now. This reading list includes books about curbing stress and fears, remembering what’s important and finding ways to be calm during hard times.
A charming arts-and-crafts approach to dealing with first moments of heartbreak. Be it caused by a lost pet, a friend’s moving away, or even simple childhood injustice, Sara Gillingham understands the gentle touch needed to soothe a sore heart. Her fresh and whimsical design makes an enticing vehicle for her advice.
When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.
Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolour illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace will help readers of all ages feel grounded and restored.
Margo is an imaginative, adventurous little girl who has just one problem — worry has found its way into her life. She sometimes feels nervous and uncomfortable, especially inside the wild world her imagination sometimes creates. Whenever her mom gives instructions, Margo’s mind turns the everyday advice into worries and worst-case scenarios. Mom tells Margo to be careful with the craft glue, and Margo imagines becoming stuck to all the furniture and decorations in her room. Mom advises Margo not to swing too high, and Margo envisions ending up on the roof.
Monica Arnaldo’s warm and inviting mixed-media artwork brings these flights of fancy to life, playing out Margo’s fears and highlighting her expressive face. Luckily, Margo’s mom comes up with an idea to ease her daughter’s anxieties and encourage her inventive spirit in a positive way. Careful readers will pick up on subtle hints throughout the book before the secret is revealed: Margo’s family adopts a pet dog! He’s energetic, friendly, clumsy and messy — just the outlet she needs to snap out of her worries.
The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy. International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happiness to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this paperback as a dual-language (English and Plains Cree) edition.
On the News gently introduces young children to the realities of natural disasters, terrorism and other forms of tragedy. In age-appropriate language and tone, Dr. Roberts explains what tragedy is, the feelings it may create and how to manage those feelings. She also emphasizes the good that can come out of tragedy, looking at how people help one another in caring, compassionate and heroic ways. The book’s question-and-answer format will help parents have a meaningful conversation about these difficult topics with their children and equip them to better handle questions that arise when children are exposed to the news.
Peace is an offering.
A muffin or a peach.
A birthday invitation.
A trip to the beach.
Join this group of neighbourhood children as they find love in everyday things — in sunlight shining through the leaves and cookies shared with friends — and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it. With rhyming verse and soft illustrations, this book will help families and teachers look for the light moments when tragedy strikes and remind readers of the calm and happiness they find in their own community every day.
When the tsunami destroyed Makio’s village, Makio lost his father… and his voice. The entire village is silenced by grief, and the young child’s anger at the ocean grows. Then one day his neighbour, Mr. Hirota, begins a mysterious project — building a phone booth in his garden. At first Makio is puzzled; the phone isn’t connected to anything. It just sits there, unable to ring. But as more and more villagers are drawn to the phone booth, its purpose becomes clear to Makio: the disconnected phone is connecting people to their lost loved ones. Makio calls to the sea to return what it has taken from him and ultimately finds his voice and solace in a phone that carries words on the wind.
In the haze of a food-induced stupor, Zoey Dalton and her best friends Bean and Jenna make a pledge to begin performing random acts of kindness — anonymously. Their previous track record for altruism is pretty much a flat line, so anything they do to help others is bound to be an improvement.
Or is it?
What if the random acts of kindness are unwanted and misunderstood? What if, instead of spreading joy and good will, the trio’s actions stir up trouble, wreak havoc and maybe even cause bodily harm? That, of course, would be a different story.
This story, in fact.
When the party’s over and the baby finally falls asleep, when the dog is all barked out and the screens are dark, the Silence pads in on soft, furry feet. A warm, comforting presence, the Silence curls up in a sun-beam like a cuddly cat and helps you read, think and be still. The Silence is friends with the Dark. Together they soothe the jagged edges left when the Noise has rolled on and gently launch the boats of your dreams into the night. When the day becomes overwhelming or other feelings become too big, the Silence slips in.
With soft illustrations and soothing text, this is a quiet story about learning to find calm in the busy world around you. This title is also available in French as Le Silence se glisse près de toi.
Good mental health is as important as good physical health to our overall fitness. This timely title helps young readers understand signs of stress and offers strategies to manage their emotions and help reduce feelings of anxiety. Simple activities such as breathing exercises help children learn how to relieve tension and improve concentration.
On the night before the first day of school, a pack of stray dogs moves into Molly’s head. They are friendly, but a bit wild. They scamper through her thoughts, yap at the door to her dreams, and scratch at her brain, begging to be let out. So Molly starts to draw them. When Molly draws dogs, she feels better — but not everyone can see the value of her strange habit. Her teacher tells her to focus. A special tutor urges her to concentrate. But Molly can’t erase the dogs, even if she wants to. As her anxiety peaks, Molly runs away. Once she is found, safe and sound, people around Molly realize the protective power of her pack and how the dogs help tame her troubled feelings.
In a series of simple yet evocative questions, this impactful book asks children how they will show kindness and consideration for others. Written by the editors of Pajama Press, and illustrated by celebrated Pajama Press artists, these stunning pages inspire meaningful discussion and storytelling about the understated yet powerful ways in which children might influence the world around them. A World of Kindess goes beyond mere rhetoric to examine, in a child-friendly way, everyday social interactions where a kind word or act could have a transformative affect on others. Royalties from the proceeds of this book will be donated to Think Kindness. Many of the original images in this book have been donated by the artists. The cover art was created and donated by award-winning author-illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo.
Find a complete list of resources for families self-isolating here.