Picture Books for Challenging Days
The books on this list offer sensitivity, comfort and hope for kids (and grownups) dealing with unstable routines, worry and depletion. Whether providing coping strategies or simply acknowledging feelings, these titles will brighten a gray day.
Balloons for Papa by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia, illustrated by Erika Meza
A child’s empathy for his father reminds us that there is hope and light in the worst situations. A poignant reflection on the sensitivity of children.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
Instead of trying to fix his problem like the other stuffed toys, Taylor’s rabbit simply listened.
Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley
A caterpillar assures a worried bear that they will see one another soon once the caterpillar emerges from its cocoon
Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Beth Griffen, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga
Lily is sad about all the necessary changes in her life but her grandmother helps her find ten beautiful things they can share.
All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann
Through a quizzical depiction of bird behavior, this humorous yet compassionate book provides an understanding of anxiety and offers coping strategies.
Outside, Inside by LeYuen Pham
A compassionate chronicle of the pandemic that honors change, loss, and growth through simple text and beautiful illustrations.
Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young
As a young cat searches for the meaning of her name, she learns about the Japanese concept of finding balance and beauty in imperfection.
The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul
When bad news leaves her parents worried and depleted, a young girl learns that tiny acts of kindness can help her community in big ways.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
When the hard-working zookeeper gets sick, his animal friends travel by bus to care for him.
Jenny Mei is Sad by Tracy Subisak
Jenny Mei’s friend finds simple ways to comfort her when she’s feeling sad. Find a Copy