Last week, I introduced anxiety and the differences between typical anxieties and anxiety disorders. You may be looking for more resources to support students with anxiety and I am here to help! I have gathered up my favorite books for teaching about worries, modeling coping strategies, and explaining anxiety to children. These books are wonderful texts to accompany my new anxiety curriculum – Worry Wizards!
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Books introducing worries
These books are perfect introductions to the idea of being worried or afraid and teaches children that everyone has those feelings sometimes. It reassures children that there’s always something comforting around the corner. They also teach children that mistakes are not something to be afraid of – mistakes are a beautiful thing!
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzerg
This beautiful book shows children that it is okay to make a mistake and mistakes can actually turn into masterpieces! It also shows how creativity can help solve problems and mistakes! This book is perfect for the students who are too afraid of making a mistake that they don’t want to try new art projects or other school work.
The Good Egg by Jory John
This book is such an engaging story about an egg who spends too much time worrying about what others are doing, that he starts to crack. It is a great conversation starter for taking care of ourselves and how we can’t control what other’s do, but we can control how we react to it. It also is a great conversation starter for not trying to be so perfect – that it’s important to have fun too!
100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler
This book is a classic book to read near the 100th day of school, but it is a great introduction for what to do when we have a worry and how can we overcome it. This shows a student who worries about an assignment – not a student with anxiety. It is important to distinguish this and to point out to students that everyone has worries!
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
In this book, we meed Wemberly who worries about everything, but especially her first day of school. However, she soon learns that school is too fun to waste time worrying!
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
This book shows how everyone might feel a little worried before their first day of school… even the teachers!
Books that feature characters with anxiety or worries
How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear? By Jayneen Sanders
In this book, Little Bear is a worrier! With his mother’s help, he learns that his worries aren’t so big after all. This is a great book to read when learning about the size of a worry or when talking about the difference between normal worries and anxiety.
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
In this book, Ruby is a happy child who finds a worry and that worry gets bigger and bigger until it is all she can think about. She learns that everyone has worries and learns a strategy for handling them. This is a great book to start talking about when worries get out of control compared to normal worries that everyone has.
Books that teach strategies for worries
A Little SPOT of Anxiety: A Story About Calming Your Worries by Diane Alber
In this story, the spot shows a visualization of children’s anxiety. When it is gray and big, the book shows ways to shrink it back to a green peaceful spot.
Worry Says What? By Allison Edwards
In this book, we learn about how anxiety can feel in your body and how we can flip our thinking when the anxious thoughts start to begin.
Don’t Feed the WorryBug by Andi Green
In this book, the main character Wince worries. And as he worries, his WorryBug grows. The book shows us how not to let our worries grow to the point of ruining our day.
Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree by Gail Silver
In this book, Bea feels some worried about her upcoming birthday party. We hear how the worries feel in Bea’s body. Bea uses deep-breathing and visualization techniques to calm herself down.
The Worry Tree is Waiting by Rebekah PrinceBergeron
This guided imagery is perfect to help children relax.
David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety by Anne Marie Guanci
In this book, David worries a lot. He finally confides in the adults in his life and they teach him techniques to control his worries.
Wilma Jean – The Worry Machine by Julia Cook
Wilma has anxiety and this book shows different strategies for children to feel more in control of their anxiety.
Is a Worry Worrying You? By Ferida Wolff
Author Ferida Wolff uses humor to showcase different situations that may cause worry with children and how we can be creative with our problem-solving. It also helps launch discussions on what worries are realistic worries and which worries won’t really happen.
Guidebooks to Explain Anxiety and Strategies For It
Please Explain Anxiety to Me!: Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents by Laure E. Zelinger
Author Laura Zelinger explains anxiety to children in simple terms and gives children practical therapeutic techniques to help.
When My Worries Get Too Big by Kari Dunn Buron
This relaxation guidebook aims to empower children to develop their own self-calming strategies. This guidebook uses a 5-point scale and imagery to teach emotional regulation strategies.
What to Do When You’re Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids by James Crist.
This guidebook teaches children where their worries and fears come from and teaches them strategies for managing them. It also helps them understand when and where to get help for worries they can’t manage on their own.
This book explains anxiety to children and teaches them different cognitive-behavioral techniques used in the treatment of anxiety.
Books that guide mindfulness
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde
In this book, children learn what mindfulness is and how to practice it. There is also a guided mediation included.
I Am Yoga by Susan Verde
This book is a wonderful introduction to yoga for children. A child-friendly guide to yoga poses is also included.
This book has wonderful mindfulness exercises that teach children how to manage their bodies, breath, and emotions. They are quick and easy and fun!
My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor
This book has such beautiful illustrations and writing to help children visualize the power of their breathing. Your students will love it, just like mine do! My students refer to it all the time when they are upset!
I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids by Gabi Garcia
This book models positive, mindful affirmations that children can use daily to support their mental health and inner strength!
Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin
In this book, Charlotte feels like she’s always surrounded by noise, and she tries to find some quiet. This book shows her practicing mindful breathing to experience the beauty of quiet!
Covid-19 Support Books
When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass and Judith Proffer
This picture book helps young children process the Covid-19 global pandemic. It outlines some of the things children may have done or liked about staying home, as well as normalizes the feelings of loss around missing family, friends, and school. It helps children understand that staying home helped keep other people safe.
Coronavirus: A Book for Children about Covid-19 by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts
This book tries to answer some of the common questions children have about COVID-19 in a child-friendly format.
School is Different This Year and That’s OK! By Susan Leininger and Julie Blair
This book showcases the different ways that school may look this year in a way that can help normalize and validate children’s feelings.
These books help explain COVID-19, as well as the routines and expectations around new COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines for schools and wearing masks. They also help children understand why these new guidelines are important to keep people safe.
I hope these books are helpful to you and your students! Let me know which one is your favorite!
Interested in more strategies to support anxiety, check out this blog post!