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By Oceane Goriou

12 Kids Books to Read During Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As mental health becomes more of a priority in our day-to-day lives as well as our children’s, it’s important that our kids are educated on such an important topic. Books will help them learn and become aware of their own mental health. We’ve created a list of 12 Kids Books to Read During Mental Health Month that will bring awareness and knowledge to all children in all different reading levels!

Early Readers

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

Ages: 0-5 Years

This book uses strong and colorful images that are paired with simple verses that will help children connect with their emotions and inner thoughts. The Way I Feel advocates the positive expression of feelings and emotions. It’s important for kids to develop their social-emotional learning at a young age and this story builds empathy and resilience!

B is for Breathe by Dr. Melissa Munro Boyd

Ages: 2-8 Years

The beautiful illustrations in this children’s book are a perfect way to get children to learn more about their own feelings and how to cope with them! As they read, they’ll be able to learn how to express their feelings in a healthy way as well as develop coping skills at a young age that could help them in the future. Throughout the book, kids will be able to see and choose from their favorite techniques of coping such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, art, writing and much more!

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee

Ages: 4-8 Years

Awareness about mental health needs to start at a young age, and with this book, children will be able to relate and understand more about themselves through the boy in the pages. He has feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks and even spill out of his eyes! He experiences all kinds of extreme feelings but instead of coping with them, he stuffs them down. His journey will help kids realize that their feelings should be celebrated and talked about! It’s very relatable for any child, especially those that are anxious, sensitive, or experience extreme emotions.

When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland

Ages: 3-7 Years

While promoting mental health awareness, emotional literacy, and mindfulness, this story encourages kids to visualize the feeling of sadness as though it is a guest. The author gives this feeling a face, shape and even encourages kids to give it a name. This book helps kids distinguish their sadness from themselves while suggesting activities like sitting quietly or drawing with the guest. Learning how to view such feelings in a more positive mindset will help children cope with their emotions in a healthy way instead of producing anxiety-inducing notions.

Upper-Level Readers

Outsmarting Worry by Dawn Huebner

Ages: 9-12 Years

As kids get older, worrying can take form in their minds without them even being able to pinpoint it. If children aren’t aware of their anxiety, it can often lead them to create toxic cycles that keep their anxiety coming back. With this book, children will be able to learn about their worries and anxieties as well as a set of skills that will make it easier for them to overcome these emotions. It’s also a good way for you to open up discussions with your children about their mental health and how you can help them!

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

Ages: 8-12 Years

With her botanist mother suffering from depression, Natalie is certain that Cobalt Blue Orchids will inspire her mom to fall in love with life again! However, Natalie can’t do it alone. Her friends show her that talking about her problems and feelings is just as important as exposing a plant to the sun. Kids will be able to follow a journey of hope, love, and miracles while they navigate through difficult emotions and conversations that will prompt them to follow in Natalie’s example and journey.

For the full list of kids books, visit NewYorkFamily.com.

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