Books about Difficult Feelings


Good Books for Tough Times 5-8 - DIFFICULT FEELINGS









No Matter What

Author Debi Gliori
Illustrator Debi Gliori
Reading age 6+
Interest level 3+

Review ‘I'm a grim and grumpy little Small and nobody loves me at all' says a little fox to his mother. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, Debi Gliori cleverly depicts the worries of a small child, which are laid to rest by the mother fox assuring him of her unconditional love.

With simple rhyming phrases and humorous illustrations, the story shows how, whatever happens, the mother will always love her child - ‘no matter what'.

Publisher Bloomsbury Children's Books
Published 2003
ISBN 9780747563310

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The Lion and the Unicorn

Author Shirley Hughes
Illustrator Shirley Hughes
Reading age 7+
Interest level 7-11

Review Evacuated during the Second World War, Lenny takes with him a badge given to him by his father, depicting a lion and a unicorn fighting.

Lenny is bullied by the children at his new school, but draws courage from his father's badge, and comes to terms with his fear and loneliness when he befriends Mick.

This remarkable story is masterfully written and accompanied by stunning illustrations.

Publisher Red Fox
Published 2000
ISBN 9780099256083

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The Feel Good Book

Author Todd Parr
Illustrator Todd Parr
Reading age 4-8
Interest level 3+

Review This jolly little book uses simple sentences and uncluttered pictures with fat outlines and bold, vibrant colours to give its cheerful message. Some of the items will make adults smile, such as ‘Brushing your hair with a lion feels good'. ‘Watching your grandma and grandpa dance feels good' is illustrated by a wonderfully wacky pair of grandparents.

A great book to send children to bed with a warm glow, and a good starting point for further discussion about what makes you and your child feel good.

Publisher Little, Brown
Published 2009
ISBN 9780316043458

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The Winter Dragon

Author Caroline Pitcher
Illustrator Sophy Williams
Reading age 6+
Interest level 4-8

Review When Rory makes a toy dragon one winter, he finds that his new friend can come alive. The dragon protects Rory, in the early winter darkness, with his gleaming skin and shining eyes.

When spring comes it is time for Rory to say goodbye to his friend, but his warm memories keep him safe for winters to come.

This is an enchanting story, showing how a small boy uses his toy, his imagination and his memory to cope with anxiety and fear of the dark.

Publisher Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Published 2005
ISBN 9780711221864

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Augustus and his Smile

Author Catherine Rayner
Illustrator Catherine Rayner
Reading age 3+
Interest level 2+

Review Augustus is a tiger who, though large and fearless, is sad because he has lost his smile. He goes on a journey to find it, but despite looking everywhere, he fails. Only when he finds a puddle and sees his smile staring back from his reflection, does he realise that he will always have his smile, whenever he is happy - and that happiness can come from very simple things.

The adventurous artwork won this book the 2006 Booktrust Early Years Award for Best New Illustrator. Although the story appears very simple, it could be the perfect prompt for getting children to start talking about feelings.

Publisher Little Tiger Press
Published 2006
ISBN 9781845062835

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Where the Wild Things are

Author Maurice Sendak
Illustrator Maurice Sendak
Reading age 6+
Interest level 3+

Review This classic of children's literature cleverly depicts how a naughty boy goes to bed without his supper, and in his anger goes on a fantastical journey to a place of wild monsters. As he tames the monsters, he realises that he wants to go back to ‘where someone loved him best of all'.

This book won the Caldecott Medal for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year in 1964, and has been delighting children and parents ever since.

Publisher Red Fox
Published 2000
ISBN 9780099408390

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Wanda's First Day

Author Mark Sperring
Illustrators The Pope Twins
Reading age 7+
Interest level 5-8

Review It's Wanda's first day at school and she is excited, yet nervous. On arriving, Wanda discovers she's the only witch in a class of fairies and worries whether she'll fit in. However, despite the fact that she is different, Wanda discovers that she enjoys her first day and looks forward to going again.

This is a clever take on the familiar story of first day nerves.

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations absolutely bursting with vibrant colour and detail, this book can't fail to delight little girls everywhere.

Publisher Chicken House
Published 2005
ISBN 9781904442523

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Frog is Sad

Author Max Velthuijs
Illustrator Max Velthuijs
Reading age 5+
Interest level 4-8

Review Frog wakes up one day feeling sad, for no obvious reason. His friends try to cheer him up, but with no success. The Rat's violin playing makes him cry, and suddenly he can start to laugh again.

A gentle, sensitive book about changing moods that will strike a chord with many young children and their parents.

Publisher Andersen Press
Published 2005
ISBN 9781842704271

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