Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

colourful umbrella protecting child from the rain

Looking after our little ones' mental health is what we all should strive towards each day, whether that's by going for a long walk together, taking deep breaths, or encouraging them to do something they enjoy, like reading a great book. Children's Mental Health Week (5th to 11th February 2024) is the perfect time to reflect on how we are feeling and support people around us, including our children. This year's theme is My Voice Matters and is all about 'empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves'.

Building the confidence in children to voice their thoughts, take space and know that their thoughts and feelings matter is what we as parents all strive towards. Children's books are a fantastic way to help children feel seen, develop empathy and learn about so many different experiences of the world. Plus, books help to spark conversations about mental health in general. 

We use many at home, from poignant picture books through to practical activity books. These books all have helped us to explore feelings with our little ones, as well as to give them the tools to express how they feel confidently and without fear or embarrassment. In the below selection, you'll find a variety of books, from picture books, to early readers and even longer fiction for older readers. 

Explore mental health with the touching, relatable and eye-opening reads below...

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week
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How I Feel: 40 Wellbeing Activities for Kids

Help young children to understand and talk about their feelings with this beautifully illustrated book of activities.

Sometimes it can be hard for children to know exactly how they feel. Talking about feelings makes them easier to understand and helps them choose how to react to them.

Written by children’s therapist and emotional wellbeing author, Becky Goddard-Hill, the fun, simple activities are designed to give you and your child the tools to cope with a whole range of different emotions.

Go on a happiness hunt, play animal charades, feed your worry monster and do the cushion walk!

With tips for grown-ups to spark conversations and give advice, it is the perfect book to share with little ones.

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Ruby’s Worry: A Big Bright Feelings Book

A reassuring and sensitive book – the perfect springboard for talking to children about sharing their hidden worries. From the Big Bright Feelings series by Tom Percival Be open, be honest, be you! Big Bright Feelings for little people. 'If your child has a worry - and all children do have worries - this is the ideal book to encourage them to talk about it' Parents In Touch 

Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first it's not such a big worry, and that's all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again? A perceptive and poignant story that is a must-have for all children's bookshelves. From Tom Percival's bestselling Big Bright Feelings series, this is the perfect book for discussing childhood worries and anxieties, no matter how big or small they may be.

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This Girl Can Be a Bit Shy

Meet Ruby. Some days she is brave, bouncy and chat-chat-chatty. Other days, she is not – and that’s OK! She knows what she wants, and she does things her own way. 

With expressive, retro illustrations from exciting illustration talent Hazel Quintanilla, this funny, heartwarming book celebrates the power of listening to your emotions and speaking up. Little ones will LOVE Ruby – the ultimate feisty role model to show young girls how to harness their voice and inner strength. With an underlying message about setting boundaries and consent, this book is a must-have for girls and boys alike.

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Strong Like Me: A story celebrating strength from social commentator Kelechi Okafor

A heartwarming picture-book story about finding your own ways to be strong, from writer and social commentator Kelechi Okafor.

Kamara loves being super strong - it makes her feel fizzy and zappy! But her classmates and their negative words lead her to question herself and the confidence she has in her physical ability.

With sport's day and the Big Race looming, does Kamara have what it takes to reach the finish line?

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The Little Fear

A brilliant picture book debut on facing your fears, overcoming anxiety and being just a little bit brave – perfect for little worriers.

When Sam lets in a little fear one night, he’s sure it won’t be any bother. But before he knows it, the fear has grown and grown and grown. Until even the sunniest of sunny days doesn’t feel very sunny any more. There’s only one thing for it. Sam must try and be a little bit brave ….

Beautifully and simply told, this reassuring and empowering story on confronting your fears is a hugely exciting debut from author and illustrator Luke Scriven.

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When Sadness Comes to Call

Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2020 and the V&A Book Cover Award 2020! This beautiful debut by author-illustrator talent Eva Eland takes a poignant but uplifting look at dealing with sadness.


When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it’s welcome. 

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Tilda Tries Again: A Big Bright Feelings Book

Tilda's world is just as she likes it until, one day, it turns completely upside down! From the bestselling Big Bright Feelings series by Tom Percival Be open, be honest, be you! Big Bright Feelings for little people. Tilda's world is just as she likes it . . . until one day, it turns completely UPSIDE DOWN. All of a sudden, everything is topsy-turvy, and nothing feels right. Things that were once easy now seem incredibly challenging. Can Tilda discover a new way to approach her problems and believe in herself? Bold, bright and empowering, this is an inspiring story about coping with difficult situations. It's the ideal book for helping children to build resilience and embrace a ‘can do’ approach to life. 

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The Best You

Let’s stop asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and start asking who children want to be.

From a firefighter's bravery and a teacher's fairness to the creativity of an artist, this book explores the different values which can make us the best versions of ourselves. Uplifting text and joyful artwork shows readers the importance of kind, strong, passionate and determined.

This inspirational, thought-provoking book from parenting coach Nima Patel celebrates the qualities children need to thrive.

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The Piano at the Station

Constantly in trouble at school with little encouragement at home, Lacey’s future looks bleak until she discovers a love of music in this compelling tale by bestseller Helen Rutter.

Lacey's smart tongue and quick temper are constantly getting her confined to isolation at school. But there’s a lot more to her that most people never see, and when Lacey gets sent to lunch-time music lessons to keep her out of trouble, she discovers a love and talent for the piano that opens up a whole new world for her.

Just as she’s really beginning to make progress, her music teacher has to leave, which throws Lacey back into turmoil. Will she go back to her self-destructive ways or will music offer her a way to save her from herself?

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Test Trouble

Try as he might, Arun simply cannot wriggle his way out of taking the maths test at school. Instead, he must learn to face his fears in this encouraging and relatable school story from Serena Patel.

Maths test? Nightmare! Arun is determined to get out of a Maths test at school. But how? A school-wide protest against all tests? Pretending to be sick? He’s ready to try anything, but maybe he’s not the only one who feels this way, and maybe in the end it’s better to face your fears?

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Solitaire

The debut novel from Alice Oseman, author of the 2021 YA Book Prize winning Loveless. Solitaire features the characters that inspired the beloved series Heartstopper – now a major Netflix series.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

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Picture Books (Fiction)

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

Picture Books (Non-Fiction)

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

Reference, Non-fiction & Activity Books

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

Young Fiction

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

Older Fiction

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

YA fiction

Toppsta
2024-02-06
Recommended children's books for Mental Health Awareness Week

30th January 2024

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