13 books to help your child feel more calm and mindful
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.
Author: Taro Gomi
Publisher: Chronicle Books
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.
Author: Diwa Tharan Sanders Illustrator: Nerina Canzi
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.
Author: Catherine Hyde
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
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.
Author: Kathy Beliveau Illustrator: Denise Holmes
Publisher: Simply Read Books
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.
Author: Chitra Soundar Illustrator: Poonam Mistry
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
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.
Author: A A Milne Illustrator: E H Shepherd
Publisher: Egmont Books
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.
Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross
Publisher: Andersen Press
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.
Author: Christiane Engel
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr
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.
Author: Beatrice Alemagna
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
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.
Author: Anna Llenas
An original and entertaining picture book using colour, collage-effect illustrations and a delightfully cute monster to help youngsters identify and understand different emotions.
Author: Dan Santat
Publisher: Andersen Press
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…
Author: Alexandra Tylee Illustrator: Kieran Rynhart
Publisher: Gecko Press
'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.
Author: Tony Mitton
Publisher: David Fickling Books
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.