In my clinical practice, I often recommend to my child clients and their parents different books that can support and reinforce the therapeutic work we do together. The books can be helpful resources for toddlers, pre-school, and school-aged children (ages 2 to 12).
Of course, it is important to keep in mind that these books do not replace seeking professional help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other health professional, especially for more severe and complex problems. Rather, these recommended books can be a good place to start and can compliment the services you are receiving.
Books for Anxious Children:
Books for Children with OCD:
|What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck||Dawn Huebner, Ph.D.||Ages 6 to 12||This excellent book by Dr. Huebner is specific for children who suffer from OCD. This book explains what is OCD and teaches cognitive-behavioural techniques in a child-friendly way that can easily be put into practice. You and your child learn about OCD's tricks (i.e., what Dr. Huebner calls "Sound the Alarm", "The Maybe Game", and "The Disappearing Just-Right Feeling") and importantly, the tools to conquer them.|
|Up and Down the Worry Hill: A Children's Book about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and its Treatment||Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D.||Ages 5 to 9||This highly recommended book by Dr. Pinto Wagner, an internationally renowned expert in the treatment of childhood OCD, uses the powerful and helpful metaphor of the Worry Hill to describe OCD and its treatment through the eyes of a child.|
Books for Children with Anger Problems:
|The tiger in my chest||Elaheh Bos;|
Anger Management Strategies by Stephanie Margolese, Ph.D.
4 to 8
|Using the image of a tiger to represent anger, this beautifully illustrated children's book describes what happens when a child gets angry and how confusing and lonely this big emotion can feel. The book includes 5 anger management strategies to help children learn to cope with anger and resolve their feelings. Kids will will easily understand the idea of learning to tame their inner anger tiger.|
|I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Mad||Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D, Zack Pelta-Heller, and Anna Greenwald||Ages|
6 to 12
|This recommended workbook includes 40 activities to help children talk about their feelings, recognize anger triggers, improve their problem solving skills, and learn to communicate better. The workbook also explores other issues (e.g., lack of sleep) that can contribute to anger problems.|
|Helping Your Angry Child||Darlene G. Nemeth, Ph.D., Kelly P. Ray, Ph.D., Maydel M. Schexnayder, MS||Parents||This recommended interactive, self-help workbook is written to help parents come up with solutions to dealing with their children's anger and rage. Parents will learn to teach their children anger-management skills, how to relate to others when strong emotions arise, as well as how to listen, understand, recognize, and cope with their child's anger.|
|What to Do When Your Temper Flares||Dawn Huebner, Ph.D.||Ages|
6 to 12
|Based on cognitive-behavioural principles, this recommended book teaches your child all about how to control anger, including four "anger-dousing methods" (such as 'think cool thoughts', and 'release anger safely'). Dr. Huebner teaches your child how to identify triggers of anger, how to solve problems, and much more.|
|Soda Pop Head||Julia Cook;|
Illustrated by Allison Valentine
6 to 12
|This terrific book teaches children how to recognize and manage anger. The book is about a boy named Lester who "blows his cap" often and learns with the help of his dad a number of strategies that help him control his temper. A fun read!|
|The Explosive Child||Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.||Parents||In this recommended book, Dr. Greene offers parents a sensitive, practical approach and useful strategies to decreasing antagonism, reducing your child's explosions, engaging in collaborative problem-solving, and helping your child be more flexible and handle frustration more adaptively.|
Books for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
|Book Title||Author||Age Range||Description|
|Billy Can't Slow Down!: Story & Tools for managing ADHD||Elaheh Bos and Stephanie Margolese, Ph.D.||Ages 6 to 10||In this new therapeutic resource, parents and children alike will relate to Billy and see his journey as he struggles in school, with friends, and at home, is tested by a psychologist, learns all about having ADHD, and then works with his psychologist, teachers, and parents to apply different helpful strategies at school and at home to better manage his problem.
As a co-author of this book, I am extremely proud of this resource and I strongly believe it has the potential to help many children suffering from ADHD and their families.
|Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention||Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D. & Ellen B. Dixon, Ph.D.||Ages 6 to 10||This highly recommended book is great for teaching children about ADHD and offers practical tips and checklists to help them organize their tasks and daily routines and solve everyday problems.|
|Cory Stories: A Kid's Book About Living With ADHD||Jeanne Kraus|
With a Note to Parents by Jane Annunziata, Ph.D.
|Ages 6 to 11||This fun comic-style book offers a very relatable story about a boy named Cory and the challenges he faces with his ADHD as well as the different ways he overcomes these issues and is able to pay attention, calm down, make friends, and feel good about himself.|
|The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD ||John F. Taylor, Ph.D.||Ages 8 to 12||This strongly recommended book by Dr. Taylor is fun, engaging, and informative for children with ADHD and their parents. The book explains ADHD and different treatments including medication and also provides kids with many helpful suggestions on how to manage their ADHD, such as improve their organization, deal with strong feelings, choose healthy foods, make and keep friends, succeed at school, and more.|
Books for Children About Divorce:
|Dinosaurs Divorce ||Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown||Ages|
4 to 8
|This highly recommended book for young children uses cartoon dinosaur pictures to help kids understand why parents divorce, the different feelings this evokes, what happens after the divorce, visiting one parent, living in two homes, how to tell friends, and much more. It is a valuable tool for promoting discussion with parents.|
|My Mom and Dad Don't Live Together Anymore ||Judith Rubin, Ph.D.||Ages|
6 to 10
|This strongly recommended journal and drawing book is very helpful for children to help process their feelings, thoughts, and experiences related to their parents' divorce. This workbook can be used as a tool to promote discussion of various topics related to life before and after a separation and divorce.|
|Two Homes||Claire Masurel;|
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
2 to 5
|This lovely story reassures young children whose parents are divorced that whether they are with their mother or with their father, they are loved at all times.|
Books for Children about Body Image:
|Shapesville||Andy Mills & Becky Osborn; Illustrated by Erica Neitz||Ages 3-8||This highly recommended book introduces young readers to five unique friends of different shapes, sizes, and colours, and talents. The book teaches children to be proud of their body and that "It's not the size of your shape or the shape of your size, but what's in your heart that deserves first prize." The book includes discussion questions for parents to have with their children.|
|Your Body Is Awesome||Sigrun Danielsdottir;|
Illustrated by Bjork Bjarkadottir
|Ages 4-10||This highly recommended book teaches children and the adults who care for them how to respect their bodies. The book describes what bodies allow us to do, how bodies let us know what they need to stay healthy, and how to care for our bodies. By teaching children how each body is unique and different, the book encourages children to love their bodies from an early age and to grow up with a healthy and positive body image.|