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Encourage your children's wellbeing this Libraries Week with some of our favourite uplifting books

Written by · Published Oct 8, 2018

The Yoga Ogre, No Matter What, Anna Hibiscus' Song

Libraries Week runs from 8 - 13 October 2018. As this year’s theme is wellbeing, we’ve put together a list of children’s books that we find especially uplifting and fulfilling.

See also:

You Are Awesome, by Matthrew Syed & Toby Triumph

“If you believe you can’t do something, the chances are you won’t try. But what if you really could get better at maths, or sport or exams? In fact, what if you could excel at anything you put your mind to?

You Are Awesome can help you do just that, inspiring and empowering young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential.”

The Same Inside: poems about empathy and friendship, by Liz Brownlee

“A sweet and thoughtful collection of poems about friendship, diversity, empathy and respect. These poems deal sensitively with tolerance for differences (including race, religion and gender identity), feelings, empathy, respect, courtesy, bullying, disability and responsibility. They are the perfect springboard to start conversations.”

Oh Baby, the Places You’ll Go!, by Tish Rabe & Dr Seuss

“In this classic Seussian tale, the good doctor prepares his readers against all the little mishaps and misadventures that can befall even the best of us - from bang-ups and hang-ups to lurches and slumps - encouraging them to take life in their stride.”

Augustus and his Smile, by Catherine Rayner

“Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. So he did a huge tigery stretch, and set off to find it.

“In this book, the author and illustrator Catherine Rayner celebrates the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it brings us when we open our eyes to it.”

Anna Hibiscus’ Song, by Atinuke & Lauren Tobia

“Anna Hibiscus is very happy! So happy, in fact, that she can’t quite decide what to do with herself. So she turns to her grandparents, her aunties, her cousins Chocolate, Angel and Benz, her uncle Tunde and her father, who each offer her a way to express her boundless joy.”

Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different, by Ben Brooks & Quinton Winter

“Björk, Dr Seuss, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Warhol, Ellen MacArthur, Greta Gerwig, Andrea Bocelli, Hua Mulan - these are men and women who all dared to be different.

“Boys will be boys and girls will be girls - or so the meaningless saying goes. Because what if you’re a girl and you like cage fighting? Or you’re a boy and you love ballet? And what if you’ve always dreamed of being a scientist but you can’t see anyone who looks or sounds like you, and who has left a legacy - in the form of microscopes and Bunsen burners - for you to follow?

“This is the book for children who want to know about the lives of those heroes who have led the way, changing the world for the better as they go.”

Ruby’s Worry, by Tom Percival

“Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. at first it’s not such a big worry, and that’s alright, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of her worry and feel like herself again?”

Fergal is Fuming!, by Robert Starling

“A dragon with a short temper is not a good combination, as Fergal’s family and friends soon find out. He burns the dinner (literally), reduces the football goal to ashes and absolutely cannot play a nice, quiet board game.

“It is only when he starts to notice other animals have clever tricks to calm down that Fergal begins to win back his friends, especially when he discovers dragons can cool off in a very handy way.”

Get Outdoors: a mindfulness guide to noticing nature, by Paul Christelis & Elisa Paganelli

“It’s Saturday morning and Jada and her brother Michael are watching TV. It’s a beautiful day and Dad wants to get them outside so he invents ‘The Garden Game’. Whoever notices the most interesting things is the winner.

“At first, they can’t see anything. Just grass and flowers. But by looking slowly, more closely, and using all of their senses, they soon begin to notice lots of fascinating things. Small things they would not have noticed before seem so much bigger and interesting. And finally, their sense of smell leads them to the prize!”

No Matter What, by Debi Gliori

“A little fox is in a big, bad mood and is worried that its mother won’t love it forever. In this lyrical picture book we see a clever and resourceful mother prove to her child that a parent’s love is limitless - no matter what!”

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems

“Wilbur is different. He likes to wear clothes. The other naked mole rats are scandalized! Up in arms (not a sleeve in sight), they go to Grand-pah, the oldest, wisest and most naked naked mole rat, in the hope that he will restore Wilbur to sense - and nakedness. But Grand-pah’s response surprises everyone!”

We Are All Wonders, by R. J. Palacio

“With over 5 million copies sold, Wonder is a true modern classic, a life-changing read, and has inspired kindness and acceptance in countless readers. Now younger readers can discover the Wonder message with this gorgeous picture book, starring Auggie and his dog Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio.

“With spare, powerful text and richly-imagined illustrations, We’re All Wonders shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world - a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.”

The Great Big Book of Feelings, by Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith

“This title opens with the question, ‘How are you feeling today?’, and leads on to a spread by spread presentation of a wide range of feelings. Lots of different children in lots of different situations, brief text captions, and plenty of humour make sure the book is fun, as well as dealing with a serious and important subject - human feelings.”

50 Ways to Feel Happy, by Vanessa King, Val Payne, Peter Harper & Celeste Aires

“What can you do to help yourself (and others) feel happier? This book is packed full of activities and ideas to try with family, friends and on your own. So, whether you feel happy right now and want to stay that way or you need some ideas to help you feel happier, this book is for you.

“A cheerful, fun, inspiring, and varied collection of projects for creative, happy and thinking individuals, this book includes a mixture of step-by-step projects and shorter activity ideas that encompass happiness-inspiring crafts, mindfulness, relaxation, and positivity techniques and fun ways to get active and boost happiness outdoors.”

A Book of Feelings: starring Sam, Kate and Fuzzy Bean, by Amanda McCardie & Salvatore Rubbino

“This story stars a brother and sister, Sam and Kate, and their dog, Fuzzy Bean. Sam and Kate know what makes them happy: cuddling Mum, reading a story with Dad, swimming, running and dancing, lots of things.

“But they don’t feel happy all the time (nor does Fuzzy Bean), and in the course of the book we see them feeling grumpy, embarrassed, shy, nervous, frightened, sad and jealous.

“Both words and pictures portray the children in many different situations at home and at school, and show how they change over time, how emotions can escalate, and how people can help each other.”

ABC Mindful Me, by Christiane Engel

“See each letter of the alphabet paired with a word that teaches young children important mindfulness topics, like compassion, breathing, empathy, gratitude, and kindness.”

Mental Well-being and Mindfulness, by Ryan Wheatcroft & Kate Woolley

“You can’t see mental wellbeing but you can feel it. Your mental wellbeing is all about how you think and feel. Some people call it ‘mental health’ or ‘emotional wellbeing’.

“Having good mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time. We all experience feelings of anger, sadness, fear and frustration. These feelings are perfectly normal. Mental wellbeing comes from finding positive ways to manage these feelings as you grow and develop.

“This simply written title explores what mental health is, why it is important and ways to deal with some mental health problems such as stress and anxiety.”

Just Breathe: meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more, by Mallika Chopra

Just Breathe - a book of meditation and mindfulness for kids - is a fun and accessible, fully illustrated go-to meditation guide written by none other than Mallika Chopra, wellness expert.”

The Yoga Ogre, by Peter Bently & Simon Rickerty

“Ogden the Ogre was worried one night.

“‘My jim-jams have grown far too short and too tight! How has my tum got so terribly wide? I only eat 12 meals a day!’ Ogden sighed.

“The people said, ‘Jim-jams too tight and too short? Overweight ogres should take up a sport!’

“So Ogden does take up a sport - and he does it with gusto!”

Yoga for Kids: simple first steps in yoga and mindfulness, by Susannah Hoffman

“Yoga is a great way to teach children about relaxation, meditation, and peace - while having fun at the same time. Children are guided through each pose, to make sure they achieve maximum fun and mindfulness in their yoga practice. Parents are given notes on each pose, to let them know what benefits it brings and how to stay safe.”

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.