Books For Young Children Around Mental Health

In keeping with mental health awareness week, I thought I’d put out some recommendations for mental health awareness for young children. The book image goes to Goodreads!

The Cloud

Everyone has bad days, and children are no exception. When a black cloud descends on a little girl at school, support from a classmate with a great deal of imagination helps to brighten up everyone’s lives. 

The Color Thief: A Family's Story of Depression

A child recounts his experience of losing his father to depression in this poignant and beautifully illustrated picture book. The boy’s father disappears into a world without color. As the father seeks help, color begins to reappear and with it hope. 

This is such an important, powerful book!

The Goldfish Boy

Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac. 

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?

I’m yet to read this book but I have heard such amazing things about it. The main character has OCD. It’s aimed at middle grade aged children!

The Red Tree

When a child awakens with dark leaves drifting into her bedroom, she feels that ‘sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to, and things go from bad to worse.’

Feelings too complex for words are rendered into an imaginary landscape where the child wanders, oblivious to the glimmer of promise in the shape of a tiny red leaf. 

Everything seems hopeless until the child returns to her room and sees the red tree. At that perfect moment of beauty and purity, the child smiles and her world stirs anew.

I truly believe there is no harm in children learning about mental health. I know I experience children with anxiety in the class and some even with self-harm issues. We need to educate our young children to deal with their mental/emotional health. It’s just as important as our physical health. I’m thrilled that so many books are now representing mental health. It’s not only something adults experience.