Worry. Kids have a lot going on at the moment and returning to school next week might be daunting for some.  BookBairn is, like me, a natura...

Picture Books about Worry

Monday, August 31, 2020 BookBairn 2 Comments

Kids have a lot going on at the moment and returning to school next week might be daunting for some.  BookBairn is, like me, a natural worrier and I suspect she overthinks things a lot. So these books have been a great support for her over the past few weeks and I would highly recommend them to anyone who has a child who might be a bit anxious. They a brilliant, funny, caring, gentle, and full of ideas for building resilience and asking for help as well as understanding it’s ok to not be ok. And they look great on a shelf together!

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton

I know that BookBairn isn’t an adventurous personality and her tendency to worry about what will happen sometimes stops her from doing things like going down the big slide, or going on fairground rides. So I know she understands the butterflies in the tummy of the Worrysaurus. It’s a beautiful day and the Worrysaurus has planned a special picnic. Really planned it. Every eventuality. But it isn’t too long into his adventure that the butterflies start to creep in. What if he doesn’t have enough to eat? What if he gets lost? Or trips and falls? What if it starts to rain? Fortunately he gets some advice from his mummy, and puts into place his strategy for calming his anxiety so that he can get back to having fun. This is a charming rhyming story which is light hearted and approachable for little worriers. The illustrations are bright and the Worrysaurus so adorable and lovable that he’s bound to enter your hearts. Definitely a new favourite in our family.

Ruby's Worry by Tom Percival

Ruby is worried. She has a worry that follows her around everywhere. She tries to ignore it but everyday it gets bigger. No one else can see Ruby's worry so Ruby tried pretend that she can't see it either. But the Worry is always there - stopping her from doing the things that she loves. Ruby worries about the Worry. which only makes it worse. Until one day Ruby notices a boy sitting alone who looks exactly like she feels - sad. And then she notices something hovering next to him. Could it be that he has a Worry too? And maybe they can find a way to shrink their worries together. This is a reassuring and sensitive book to open a conversation with children about worries. But it's also a lovely story about about friendship. Beautifully illustrated and with very clever use of colours, this is a great read to enjoy together.

The Worry Box by Suzanne Chiew & Sean Julian

This lovely story stars Murray Bear, who has a lot of worries. So many, in fact, that it's stopping him from exploring and going on adventures with his friends. With the help of his sister, Milly, Murray makes a special box to keep all his worries in and sets out to explore, adventure and make new friends. With soft illustrations and adorable characters that children will relate to, this is a brilliant story to encourage children to talk about their worries and fears. A much-needed book for classroom and school libraries!

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain & Ella Bailey

This picture book places telling someone, about sharing your “monster”, right at the heart of taking control of your worries. This is the story of a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. It’s there when he gets dressed, when he plays with his toys, it gets in the way of him playing with his friends. But his monster is very good at hiding from his family so his parents sand older siblings don’t notice that it is there. But when he opens up to his grandmother, there is a big change in monster. And whilst monster might never go away completely it becomes so small that the boy can carry him around in his pocket. And if ever it feel like getting out of that pocket he knows how to make it go away. His monster is part of him, and it’s natural to have some worries but with support he can make sure his monster behaves. Beautifully illustrated, and with monster that looks more playful and mischievous than frightening, this book is a powerful tool to show children that they needn’t be afraid of their worry monster but they shouldn’t let it boss them around. 

A Little Bit Worried by Ciara Gavin & Tim Warnes

The main character in this is perfect for children coping with anxiety or struggling with new experiences and they way the story is constructed it will also give empathy to those who are more confident and outgoing. It’s the story of Weasel who is caught in a big, angry storm, so he builds a fortress to hide in. But inside his fortress one day, he discovers Mole, who loves to play in the wind and splash in the rain. And Mole helps Weasel to overcome his fears and find joy, whatever the weather! I love the way that this book isn’t dismissive of those self-protective behaviour we have but rather encourages a more mindful approach to the fearful things we can’t control. The illustrations bring to life the characters through a clever use of expressions and the clever use of the changing weather to portray the changing mood and emotions of the character is a subtle way to share with children that after the rain comes the sunshine.

The Problem with Problems by Rachel Rooney & Zehra Hicks

Have you ever met a problem? Problems are creatures. They come in all sizes. Some even wear disguises! Each one is different but all of them want to cause trouble. They certainly can be tricky creatures. But the key is to keep quiet calm, don’t let them trouble you. There are so many things you can do to send them on their way! This lovely picture book brings to life ‘problems’ in a way that very young children can understand and helps them explore the problems with problems and the solutions! This is an ingenious book which has very cleverly personified problems in a way that makes them feel approachable, ignorable, solvable. The illustrations are bright and cheerful! Making you feel bright and cheerful as you read and choose to tackle your problems head on. A wonderful addition to your bookshelf and a great conversation opener about children’s problems and mental health!

Almost Anything by Sophy Henn

This is a wonderful story about self-confidence and stars a whole cast of woodland creatures. George, the rabbit, thinks he can’t paint, bowl, dance or skate like his friends and he’s too afraid to try. Bear makes him a magic hat to give him the courage to try and when he does it turns out he can skate, and dance and read and a whole host of other things! But then George loses his hat, and his confidence with it. How will he be able to join in with his friends? If he can't do all the new things he has learned how will he have fun? So Bear tells him the truth: the magic didn’t come from the hat, it came from inside. Now doesn’t that sound like a magic picture book? When you feel like everyone else can do something but you can’t it can leave you feeling lonely and left out. And in this book little ones will see that all they need is a little bit of confidence to try, resilience if they fail, and friends to help them find their own magic to succeed. And if all else fails - a paper hat might do the trick!

Sometimes I am Worried endorsed by Dr. Janet Rose and illustrated by Marie Paruit

This fantastic book is full of tactile lift the flaps and turn wheels show what it feels like inside our bodies when we are worried and how our body might react as well as things we can do to ease that discomfort. I love how kid-centric these books are and how direct and to the point - just here is what it’s like to be worried and here is what it might feel like inside. They can lift the flaps, slide the tabs and turn the wheel to explore what a worry is, why they might worry and how they can stop their worries from becoming too big and we love the sliding scale on the final page! On the cover it says “for sharing and talking” and this is just perfect for exactly that!

I hope you find these supportive for your little worriers and that they start a conversation about your bairns' worried. If you are looking for more of our very favourite books to support children's mental health check out my Amazon shop and click on the section for Children's Books about Mental Health.

Happy reading!
Kim and the bairns x

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  1. When you worry about worrying that’s when to worry. These books look great for helping youngsters talk about any problems. It’s always good to talk. Anyway, I’m writing this after BookBairn has been in school for a couple of weeks. No need to have worried - she is loving it!!!

  2. Thanks you! Its a great pleasure reading your post.