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Anxiety: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about anxiety is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Don't Think About Purple Elephants to When I Feel Worried there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about anxiety? Let us know!

Don't Think About Purple Elephants book
#1
Don't Think About Purple Elephants
Written by Susan Whelan and illustrated by Gwynneth Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Sometimes Sophie worries - especially at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make it worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach...that just might involve an elephant or two! But wait, don’t think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry resonates with children and parents everywhere. Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is an excellent resource for social and emotional learning for parents and teachers.

Sleepytime Rhymes: Fox book
#2
Sleepytime Rhymes: Fox
Written and illustrated by Callie Christensen, Kelly Oriard
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Fox’s story provides a resource for both parent and child when coping with family transitions. By encouraging children to express their feelings, they are able to find comfort through the challenges of change.

Harriet's Monster Diary book
#3
Harriet's Monster Diary
Written by S.E. Abramson, Raun Melmed and illustrated by Arief
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Harriet, a lovable monster who is just sick at the thought of giving a report in front of her class! Her heart pounds, her chest gets tight, and her stomach twists in painful knots. She can't even bear to get started on it! What is she going to do? In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Harriet's Monster Diary: Awful Anxiety (But I Squish It, Big Time). Using the “furmometer” and ST4 techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Harriet's Monster Diary teaches kids how to monitor how they feel and respond to stressful situations. Harriet’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle her delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that stressed kids will want to calm down to read! Harriet's Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee book
#4
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She's sure she's not good enough—but her family won't accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee book
#5
The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela and illustrated by Aleksie Bitskoff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn't be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?"

  1. Pilar's Worries - Pilar loves to dance. She pliés while brushing her teeth. She leaps when hurrying to ballet class. But when tryouts for her favorite ballet are held, Pilar is anxious. Auditioning makes her whole body feel scared. But by using some of the coping techniques she’s learned and focusing on her love for ballet, she is able to persevere. This gentle story is a great tool for children dealing with anxiety.

  2. Spotlight on Coding Club! - Perfect for fans of The Babysitters Club and anyone interested in computer science, this series is published in partnership with the organization Girls Who Code! It's almost time for the talent show at school, and Erin couldn't be more excited. It's her time to take center stage! Plus, she and her friends from coding club are putting together an awesome coding program for the show. But Erin has a big secret: she has anxiety. And when things start piling up at home and school, she starts having trouble handling everything. Her friends from coding club have always been there for her, but will they be as understanding when the going gets tough? Sometimes in coding--like in friendship--things don't go exactly as planned, but the outcome can be even better than you'd imagined.

  3. Why Worry? - Told through soft, gorgeous color illustrations, Why Worry is a gentle story of two friends swept into the unpredictable wilderness and how, despite feeling anxiety and worries, they find peace and calmness together. Once upon a time there were two good friends, Cricket and Grasshopper. Cricket always worried. Grasshopper never did. Cricket and Grasshopper go on a high-flying, wild adventure and encounter a large crow, a hungry fish, powerful winds, and more. But while Grasshopper is having the time of her life, Cricket can't help but worry if they'll be safe, where they're going, and how they'll return home. Though the two have differing perspectives, Grasshopper and Cricket find support in each other through acceptance and patience. Originally published in 1979, Why Worry? is a soothing tale that teaches understanding and empathy of people who experience anxiety, and how to support and alleviate those worries.

  4. When I Feel Worried - Everybody worries. Children worry too—in new or confusing situations or when someone is angry with them. This new addition to the acclaimed The Way I Feel Series uses reassuring words and illustrations to address a child’s anxieties and shows ways to feel better. Cornelia Spelman and Kathy Parkinson team up once again to provide a comforting and empowering book that’s helpful to all.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!