Books to help your child feel more calm and mindful

On A Magical Do-Nothing Day

Why should adults get all the self-help books? There are also lovely reads and activities for youngsters who need some extra support to feel relaxed, mindful, grateful, inspired and happy.

These books are great if your child has particular worries or just wants to explore their identity and place in the world.

The ones below cover a wide range of ages.

  • A Song of Gladness

    Author: Sir Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Emily Gravett
    Publisher: Two Hoots
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 6+

    Inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s own thoughts about the Covid-19 pandemic and his real-life conversations with the blackbird in his garden, A Song of Gladness is a tribute to the resilience of nature and a reminder to take pleasure in the small things.

  • Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See

    Author: Sam McBratney Illustrator: Linda Ólafsdóttir
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    This beautiful story about a girl afraid of a big goose, who learns to let go of her fears, feels like an instant classic. A lovely, calm book to read to little ones, full of the simple magic of early childhood and the warm comfort of family.

  • Together

    Author: Emma Dodd
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 1-3

    A heartwarming and beautifully illustrated board book that celebrates love and togetherness – an ideal "end of the day" shared real that will melt the heart of any grown-up who treasures the time they spend with their little ones.

  • Maisie’s Scrapbook

    Author: Samuel Narh Illustrator: Jo Loring-Fisher
    Publisher: Lantana Publishing
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Celebrating the shared emotional experiences of different cultures, Maisie’s Scrapbook is a gentle, beautiful storybook which feels familiar and exotic at the same time: a timeless and calming treasure to share with toddlers and nursery children.

  • Yoga Babies

    Author: Fearne Cotton Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    For those that are new to yoga, TV celebrity Fearne Cotton’s charming picture book about the benefits of easy stretching for little ones might be just the inspiration needed for the start of a new family yoga practice, or just a cute story about everyday life.

  • Little Boat

    Author: Taro Gomi
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 0-3

    Little Boat is navigating the big sea all by himself. Will he make it through the storm? A gentle and reassuring adventure that would make a nice first bedtime story.

  • Say Goodbye... Say Hello

    Author: Cori Doerrfeld
    Publisher: Scallywag Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Even the most difficult times, like saying goodbye to a pet when it dies, or a friend when they move house, can lead to saying hello to a heart full of emotion and letting go. Cori Doerrfeld's beautiful picture book is perfect to talking to children about feelings of sadness or in times of change.

  • Kaya’s Heart Song

    Author: Diwa Tharan Sanders Illustrator: Nerina Canzi
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 3-5

    Kaya's mother says that to hear your heart song, you must quieten your mind. This picture book aims to promote mindfulness and there’s an explanation of the word at the back of the book, but it can also be read as a fantasy story.

  • The Star Tree

    Author: Catherine Hyde
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 3-6
    Reading age: 5+

    It is midnight at midsummer, and little Mia is awake. When the Great White Owl comes to the window and sings to her, it is the start of many magical journeys. A beautifully atmospheric book and a perfect bedtime read.

  • The Yoga Game: By the sea

    Author: Kathy Beliveau Illustrator: Denise Holmes
    Publisher: Simply Read Books
    Interest age: 3-7

    This is a lovely and imaginative way to get children stretching into gentle yoga poses. It takes parts of a seaside scene - boats, ocean, fish - as inspiration and uses a 'What am I?' guessing game to keep things fun.

  • You’re Snug with Me

    Author: Chitra Soundar Illustrator: Poonam Mistry
    Publisher: Lantana Publishing
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    Mama Polar Bear tells her cubs about what lies outside their den, and reassures them not to worry or be frightened: ‘hush now, you’re snug with me.’ Lyrical, thought-provoking and stylishly illustrated,with a subtle environmental message.

  • Winnie-the-Pooh

    Author: A A Milne Illustrator: E H Shepard
    Publisher: Methuen
    Interest age: 4+
    Reading age: 7+

    No child's library could be complete without A A Milne's stories about Pooh, Christopher Robin and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

  • Mayfly Day

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4+
    Reading age: 6+

    Mayfly’s first day on earth is also her last. And she is determined to enjoy every minute. From early dawn light to the rising of the moon, Mayfly delights in everything around her.

  • ABC Mindful Me

    Author: Christiane Engel
    Publisher: Walter Foster Jr
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 6+

    This inspiring ABC board book introduces mindfulness to young children as it guides readers through the rhyming alphabet. A perfect antidote to the sometimes hectic, noisy and overwhelming environment of modern life – with suggested activities to try.

  • On A Magical Do-Nothing Day

    Author: Beatrice Alemagna
    Publisher: Thames & Hudson
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 6+

    A boy isn't too happy about being told to go and play outside, but soon discovers the wonders of nature in this beautiful, arty book.

  • Are We There Yet?

    Author: Dan Santat
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 5-10
    Reading age: 6+

    A little boy is on the way to his Grandma's birthday party in the car with mum and dad, but after the first hour, the journey gets more and more boring. But as the little boy feels the hours ahead weigh heavy on the horizon, his imagination (or is it?) takes the car further and further into the past until there's a very real possibility that he and his mum a…

  • If I was a Banana

    Author: Alexandra Tylee Illustrator: Kieran Rynhart
    Publisher: Gecko Press
    Interest age: 5+
    Reading age: 5+

    'If I was…' begins this gentle picture-book poem, in which a boy takes off on a flight of fancy. This lovely exercise in imagination would be a brilliant classroom project for young writers, and an ideal bedtime read at home.

  • Potter’s Boy

    Author: Tony Mitton
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9-12

    This wonderful story of a boy who yearns to be a warrior has an underlying theme of mindfulness and being in the moment. It may be a worthwhile read for tweens and upper primary children, who will enjoy Ryo’s adventure but also be suffering school burnout.