What’s In My Therapy Library: Kids Books Edition
As you guys are well aware of by now, I’m an avid believer that stories can heal. Today, I want to make sure that statement applies to literally everyone by offering a list of therapy books for an unexpected population- kids!
There are lots of reasons we read to children. Reading develops their language skills, fosters imagination, and the stories teach them important lessons about the world and life. But stories are also an amazing tool when children go through things we wish kids would never have to deal with. For example, being touched inappropriately or witnessing abuse. Not only will a good book help a child escape from the day-to-day torment of those situations, but the books on this list in particular will literally help teach them to deal with them.
**Affiliate Disclaimer: I am an affiliate with Amazon and Bookshop.org and will receive a small commission for any purchases made from this post. This is at no cost to you. I have personally read all of these books and endorse them regardless of compensation.
Just to be clear– I’m not a tech wizard and I haven’t figured out how to make my heading links look like links! Still, each heading with the name of the book is a link to Amazon or Bookshop.org where you can purchase.
Related: Master List of Book Posts
Great Kids Books for Therapy
by Barbara Esham
This book brings ADHD down to the level of a child and empowers them to find creative solutions. David’s teacher is often frustrated with his inability to sit still and focus in the classroom. He wishes he could do what she asks, but his thoughts just come so fast, he forgets to think before he acts them out! David comes up with his own plan to combat what his dad calls the Wiggle Fidgets.
I love this book because it teaches kids that they have the power to solve their own problems, even big, challenging ones like the Wiggle Fidgets!
This book is part of a series of kids books called Adventures of Everyday Geniuses. I have not read the others, but I am listing the Amazon links below just in case you’re interested!
by Jo Witek
In this book, Witek helps children understand many different feelings. The die-cut heart that gets smaller as you flip the pages is engaging for little kids, and the illustrations by Christine Roussey are simple yet beautiful.
Each emotion is described in language that a toddler can understand. It covers happiness, sadness, and anger, and more complex ones like being heartbroken from mean words, shyness, and feeling strong.
This book is part of a rather large series called Growing Hearts. Again, I have only read In My Heart, but have linked the rest of the series below. They cover a bunch of different things that toddlers might need to adjust to, like changing of the seasons, sharing, and gaining a sibling! They all have those fun die-cuts that keep little ones completely fixated!
by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
This book helps kids distinguish between secrets that are okay and secrets that are dangerous. Clinicians or parents may find this book helpful if they suspect their kids are, for example, being touched inappropriately by an adult or bullied at school.
A common complaint about the book states that the “good secrets” they mention are better described as surprises. The idea of keeping secrets to make people feel good may be confusing to children with abusers who tell them exposing the secret will hurt them. Of course, the authors are really referring to something like a surprise party.
Do You Have a Secret is part of the Let’s Talk About It! series, though Jennifer Moore-Mallinos is like a kids books powerhouse, and has written several series. Many of her books are also available in Spanish, which is super cool. Here’s the list of books that I have not read, but are a part of the series:
The Colors of the Rainbow (about diversity)
by Kobi Yamada
What Do You Do With a Problem encourages kids to see opportunities in their problems. The illustrations by Mae Besom are gorgeous, and they portray a problem as a storm that gets bigger and scarier as the child tries to avoid it. I like it because young kids totally get the metaphor. One criticism I have is that it may be too simple for children struggling with grownup problems like bad touch.
As with the others thus far, this book is part of a series of books which I have not read. If you’re interested in the others, here are the links:
The Invisible Boy
by Trudy Ludwig
Ludwig’s story helps children learn to both deal with shyness, and be kind to those who are shy. Brian is the main character. Patrice Barton illustrates him in black and white at first, while the rest of the drawings are in color. He is so shy that even his teachers sometimes overlook him. But then, a new boy moves to his school. Brian helps Justin feel welcome, and they form a friendship that coaxes him out of his shell.
Of course, when Brian begins to shine, his illustrations do as well 🙂
by Robert Kahn
There are many kids books out there that tackle good and bad touch, and this is by no means the best. However, it is short and simple, with very few pages which is great for younger kids with short attention spans. It also comes with a quiz to make sure the kids have comprehended the information, and a safety plan in the back.
A common criticism I see on Amazon is that the illustrations are a little disconcerting. I did not find this to be true, but it’s up to your interpretation and what you feel is best for the children in your care!
Robert Kahn has written several Bobby and Mandee books, listed below:
by Carol McCleary
McCleary writes the book from the perspective of a little girl named Laura who has witnessed domestic violence. She uses language easily understood by young children, thereby giving them the words to describe their own experience. It’s very empowering! I also like how the illustrations by Naomi Santana look like children’s drawings, because it makes the experience more immersive.
Kids Books Wish List
There are a lot of other kids books that I’d like to add to my therapy library! Here’s a look at what I want to get soon. As I purchase and read them, I’ll move them over to the previous section and add a short review! If you’ve read any of the books on this list, please feel free to comment your review!
Special Siblings: Growing Up With a Sibling Who Has Special Needs by Jessica Leving. Jessica and I met in a Facebook group for creative entrepreneurs (because of Spill The Tea bags!) and she told me about her book that had just come out on August 20th! It’s BRAND new and I can’t wait to read it!
The Mindful Mantras series
By Ms. Laurie Wright & Ms. Ana Santos
The Color Monster by Anna Llenas
Listening to my Body by Gabi Garcia
Listening With My Heart by Gabi Garcia
My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor
I Am Peace by Susan Verde
I Am Human by Susan Verde
A World of Pausibilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank Sileo
What Should Danny Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy
Once I Was Very Very Scared by Chandra Gosh Ippen
A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes