Do you have a young child who struggles with anxiety? One of the most comforting and empowering tools to have on hand are picture books. I want to give you some great titles that have helped both of my children at times when anxiety was running rampant. I’m recommending 10 picture books to comfort kids with anxiety, with the hope that these titles will benefit you and your child as much as they’ve helped my family.
Because let’s face it, watching our children suffer with intense feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety is heartbreaking. And it often feels impossible to know the best ways to provide support, encouragement, and comfort.
We want to teach our children life skills to help them navigate unpleasant feelings and meet challenges with resilience. But sometimes it can feel like such a lonely road! This is where these 10 picture books provide a simple and effective tool to help comfort kids who struggle with anxiety.
There are lots of great resources available, including this list of 10 Picture books to comfort kids with anxiety.
by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
This sweet book illustrates separation anxiety beautifully
School is about to start for Chester Raccoon but he is afraid to go. His mother reassures him and shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand. This provides Chester the strength and comfort he needs to be brave and face his fear of going
For homeschoolers, Chester’s school experience can be compared to any number of other circumstances. A sleepover at Grandma’s, the first day of soccer practice, a new homeschooling co-op… any experience that causes your child anxiety.
Out of all 10 books on the list, this one might just be my favorite! It’s a gentle, sweet, and empowering book that provides lots of comfort to kids with anxiety.
A beautiful example of a mother’s love and devotion to her child, while equipping him to face his fears.
by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
Feeling small and insecure, a little mouse decides that he must learn to roar like a lion in order to appear strong and confident. As he bravely approaches a lion in order to learn how how to roar, he discovers that the big lion is actually afraid of him, a teeny-tiny mouse!
The mouse ends up comforting the terrified lion and they end up becoming friends.
A sweet story teaching us that regardless of our perceived appearance and abilities, we all have both a lion and a mouse inside of ourselves.
by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
This one’s been around for a while!
It features beloved Sesame Street character, Grover. He narrates the story anxiously and warns us NOT to turn the page because there is a monster at the end of the book!
But of course, we DO continue turning pages and eventually we reach the end where we discover that the monster is actually Grover.
This book offers a humorous and silly look at fear and shows us how easy it easy to blow things out of proportion and let our fears get the best of us.
by Laurie Wright and Ana Santos
In this book, a boy named Sebastien is introduced to the concept of positive self-talk as a way to manage his anxiety and self-doubt.
He learns the mantra “I can handle it”, which becomes a tool he can use when tough situations and emotions arise. Whether saying the words aloud or simply to himself, he learns that through repetition, “I can handle it” becomes ingrained in his self-talk.
Our kids can practice this positive self-talk along with Sebastien and learn skills to manage everyday anxieties as they arise.
by David Shannon
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she never eats them. This doesn’t make any sense! Why won’t she eat something she loves
Because her classmates don’t like lima beans and she is extremely worried about what other people think of her. She is so worried, in fact, that she is about to develop a bad case of stripes!
This story provides an illustration, both simple and empathetic, about our own self-consciousness and fears about what other people might think of us.
by Kira Willey and Anni Betts
This book contains a variety of 30 mindfulness exercises which offer children tools for managing their bodies, breath, and emotions.
These simple breathing practices and movements can be performed anytime and anywhere, providing tools for any stressful
These tools are easy to implement and help children increase feelings of calm, focus, and peace.
by Virginia Ironside and Frank Rodgers
Jenny has A LOT of worries, and they follow her around everyone, in a big blue bag. They follow her to school, at home, and even in the bathroom. She desperately wants to get rid of them but isn’t quite sure how to.
This is an honest, reassuring, and empowering book about managing worries and anxiety.
by Debi Gilori
Small is worried that Large doesn’t love Small and is in need of constant comfort and reassurance.
Fortunately, Large knows exactly how to reassure Small through generous warmth and tenderness.
This story addressing a child’s worry about parental
by Julia Cook and Anita Dufalla
While everyone feels fearful and worried sometimes, some children experience these feelings so intensely that they avoid engaging in activities they either want or need to do.
This fun book addresses the problem of anxiety in simple ways that children can relate to. It offers creative strategies for adults to use that can help lessen the severity of anxiety.
Children are given the tools they need in order to feel more in control of their anxiety.
by Andrew Daddo and Emma Quay
This is a sweet and lovely book which is perfect to read before bedtime.
This simple and gentle ritual of saying
One more thing before we wrap this up! I have an Honorable Mention!
I know that technically, this list is supposed to be compiled of 10 Picture Books, but I have one more fantastic resource that I believe is well worth mentioning.
my honorable Mention: Big Life Journal for Kids
Back in 2017, founder Alexandra Eidens and her husband Scott, launched a Kickstarter project with the hopes of raising enough money to create the first edition of Big Life Journals.
Their mission was to create a journal for kids, incorporating stories, creativity, suggested projects, and imagination, which would help to empower kids, encourage a growth mindset, and build resilience and self-esteem.
I remember hearing about it from a fellow homeschool blogger and I immediately wanted to help support their project. It sounded like something I could 100% support! So I donated and once enough funding was raised and the journals were created, I received two copies for each of my children.
And they are fantastic!
I hope you’ll take a little time to check out these titles. They offer lots of easy to implement tools and plenty of comfort for children struggling with anxiety.
And be sure to check out these related posts:
I hope these 10 picture books (and the honorable mention!) help to provide comfort for your child, as well as provide them with empowering tools they can use at any time. Do you have any other questions or concerns about your child’s anxiety? If so, please reach out in the comments below!