Picture Books for Children’s Worries and Anxieties

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Each child copes with worries in their own way. Sometimes kids feel ready and even appear overly confident but find out that feeling scared is just part of trying something new. Jabari Jumps is a relatable and straightforward story. Jabari practiced and passed his swim test but stalls when it’s time to climb to the top of the diving board. When Jabari finds the courage, the author shows how proud he feels and even excited to try more difficult tasks.


Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna. From the author of The Journey, Sanna continues the beautiful story of immigration, as a young girl settles into a new country and school. This book shows a type of courage and anxiety that not every child will experience, but each can relate to in some way. If you haven’t read The Journey to your children, I encourage you to do so. It is a beautiful and moving book about a refugee family and the sacrifices they make for safety and security.


What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada, Illustrated by Mae Besom. From the creators of What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Chance? this book is helpful for all ages. I recently read it to a group of 6th graders who were creating academic goals for the school year. The author shows how opportunities lie in every part of our lives, even the difficult ones.


How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear? by Jayneen Sanders, Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear? is one that can help the child who is always thinking of the next thing on the agenda. Little Bear is a thoughtful and helpful read for parents and children and comes with discussion questions for each age group.


Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival. Ruby is, in fact, a happy child, as most kids with regular worries are. Yet when she meets her first worry, she realizes it’s hard to make it go away all on her own. Something about this book reminds me of the way that Headspace presents worries and anxieties. I’ve been using the kid’s modules in the Headspace app in my classroom. Meditation is making a huge difference in my students’ ability to focus.


The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. This book provides the vital message that you don’t need to be great at everything or anything to try out a new activity. We just need to have fun trying new things!


The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken. The illustrations and colors in The Book of Mistakes make it a beautiful gift for both a child or an adult. If I’m being honest, I like this book more than my kids do. The author shows how an artist can turn splotches and ink splatters into beautiful works of art. The author and illustrator also recently presented an exercise in Kazoo magazine for young girls in an article, Finding Beauty in Blunders.


After The Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat. Ever wonder why Humpty Dumpty was sitting on the wall in the first place? He’s a bird watcher, of course! This adorable book shows what happens after Humpty’s fall and highlights the courage and resilience that is within all of our children.


It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr. It seems Todd Parr is the Chicken Soup for the Soul messenger for children. He has a way of explaining the most relevant and complicated topics in the simplest manner that has all children nodding and agreeing. Also be sure to check out the I’M NOT SCARED Book.