Books about Body-confidence, empathy & mental health

We do love a good book! Books are a great conversation leader when discussing certain topics with kids. Here is some new and fabulous books that tackle issues such as body confidence, empathy and mental health for kids.

Disclaimer: Usborne books sent us a collection of books to review. This post also contains affiliate links, should you choose to purchase a book via these links, I will earn a small comission.

My favourite way of “sharing” new books with my kids (they are now 9yrs and 11yrs), is to simply leave them out somewhere where I know they will see them.. and to see if they are drawn to the books and enjoy them!! This is what they/ we thought.

NOTE: I have ordered the books by “rough” age groups”.. for our younger readers first, through to older pre-teens and teens.

All About Feelings
This was a very interesting book for us, as we thought the kids may be a little old for it. I had mentioned to Usborne that we would gladly donate it to school once we had taken a peak.

Though aimed at younger children (I would say 3yrs – 6yrs?), BOTH my kids (yes 9 AND 11yrs) old, enjoyed browsing this books. I guess we underestimate people’s understanding of feelings and emotional intelligence. Though my kids have been exposed to a lot of “chat” from me about feelings, it think, the simplicity of this book is what is so attractive. With LOTS of drawings and scenarious that my kids can totally relate to.

Basically – a non threatening, simple book that helps you understand why people may feel a certain way, as well as RECOGNISE symptoms both inside yourself (e.g. a tummy ache if anxious) or in others (a red face if frustrated or angry).

A great book to start the journey of kids understanding the basics of emotional intelligence!

You can get the book Amazon US or Amazon UK

The Unworry Book
This is a great little book filled with activities, tips and tricks. Definitely reminds me of mindfulness journals – where you are allowed to spend time thinking and taking time out.

It has three areas of focus – helping you understand your worries, giving kids a place to worry and finally a distraction to the worry!

I love the combination of explaining why you feel a certain way, activities that are both “Zen” and active (e.g. doodling prompts or encouraging kids to get moving).

It is fun and interactive, with great illustrations. Easy to dive in and out of as you feel the need!

Get a copy on Amazon US/ Amazon UK

Big Ideas for Curios Minds
Ostentatiously this book is an “introduction to philosophy for kids”. And it most certainly is! Each chapter discusses a “concept” and a famous philospher behind it. But I would say it is MUCH MUCH MORE than this! It is a guide to understanding people and yourself.

Written in a language aimed at children (so not grown ups reading to you), it explains every day life scenarious with big ideas from big philosphers. For example – why is mum crouchy with you? Well maybe she isn’t crouchy with YOU, but a few minutes ago, before you came in she heard some bad news and is now worried.. and in letting it out on you. Why is the child at school mean? Maybe they are moving house and everyone at home is stressed an anxious and they are simply going through a hard time etc etc.

The kids and I read this book together – 2-3 chapters in the evening and discussed the contents. It was useful for ALL of us and not just the kids.

It is most definitely a book that helps you think about people around you, helps you understand why people behave in certain ways, as well as understand yourself a little better too. It is a book I have recommended to ALL my kids’ friends as it is so fantastic and down to earth.

Get a copy here – Amazon US/ Amazon UK

Create Your Own Happy

Based on extensive research of “what makes people happy” it comes up with about 40 different ideas of how to

  • Make yourself happy
  • Make others happy and
  • Make the world happy

The ideas range from simple (e.g. thank you – linked to a gorgeous thank you tree activity) to figuring out how to be “more brave”. The best thing abouy the book, is that not only does it provide you with these fabulous activities, but there is a review section helping you understand better how it went, as well as an explanation as to why these activities are so important and great for your well being.

Each activity chapter would make a great activity in the classroom as well – as it is well layed out, explained and researched – whilst the activities themselves remain open ended for children to really think about and work through a problem or thought. They would make great family activities too. Maybe try one once a month?

Get Copies here – Amazon US/ Amazon UK)

Looking after your Mental Health
This books feels like the “next (2 or 3?) level(s)” up of The Unworry Book. Going into much more depth – ha like a LOT More depth. I would use this book with pre-teens and teens. It is the sort of book that they will pretend “not to be interested in”, but secretly devour it all. From talking about body consciousness to relationships, to social media, alcohol and drugs.

Actually.. some of the topics (to a parent) are pretty grown up and maybe even a little scary!! But none the less OH SO IMPORTANT. Eating disorders, depression, peer pressure are all “real things” our kids will face in the future. Even if it isn’t “them”, it may be a good friend. This book is about spotting the signs and being able to help yourself and your friends.

Definitely a book to start looking at in the Summer holidays before they go off to secondary school and beyond.
Get a copy on Amazon US/ Amazon UK

Finally – as things do get very stressful around exam times, you may like this article with 10 Top GCSE Revision Tips. Good luck.

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