The pandemic, shutdown, economic turmoil and very violent images of police brutality we’ve experienced over the past few months — that’s more than enough to make anyone feel worried and anxious. And kids are not immune to anxiety. So we asked Kim Tano, the children’s-book buyer at Portland institution Powell’s City of Books, to recommend some kids’ books that can help preschoolers and older children manage their worries. (And while you can’t get lost in the stacks at Powell’s these days, they are taking online orders and offering curbside pickup through powells.com!)
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
One day, Ruby discovers a worry that grows and follows her everywhere she goes. As much as she tries to ignore it, it never seems to go away. Once she notices other people have worries and starts talking about them, her worries shrink in size until they’re almost gone. A great lesson in acknowledging feelings and dealing with them for ages 3 and up! $17.99.
Little Unicorn Is Scared by Aurélie Chien Chow Chine
The Little Unicorn books by French author Aurélie Chien Chow Chine are always a hit for kids. They help children identify feelings and teach them how to deal with them in an approachable way. Little Unicorn imagines a golden armor that gives him courage, and learns breathing exercises to help him calm down and face his fears. Great imagery and helpful tools for ages 4 and up! $12.99.
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom
Kobi Yamada’s books are always so amazing, with great messages and beautifully detailed illustrations! I love how this one explores using problems as an opportunity to learn and be brave, knowing that some chances only come once. A great lesson in converting a dilemma into something good. Highly recommended for all ages, but perfect for 6 and up. $16.95.
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
I can’t recommend this book enough! Graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier shares her own childhood experiences with fear and anxiety through warm illustrations, and provides helpful tools and methods for coping with stress. Great for ages 10 and up. $12.99.