Worry is something we all struggle with at times. Even our students. Worry, anxiety, and fear are not uncommon among children. And picture books are a way to explain these big concepts to children, but it’s also a reminder that it is ok to feel these emotions, but also they aren’t alone.
Picture books also help students with coping mechanisms for worries or anxiety. All of us, including children, need to learn how to manage our worries. Here is a list of some of my favorite picture books about worry that I think your students might just love, too!
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Worry Books for Kids
The Whatifs by: Emily Kilgore
The Whatifs is a story that I think we can all relate to just a bit. Those what-ifs that we hear in the back of our heads. This book does a great job of giving kids a visual representation of worries. Cora is experiencing what-ifs and constantly thinking about everything that can go wrong. And the what-ifs are grumpy little creatures that are weighing her down. This is a great book to help kids with anxiety change negative what-ifs into positive ones.
What If, Pig by: Linzie Hunter
What If, Pig is an empathetic book that normalizes anxiety. Pig is such a fun guy, but he’s a big worrier and a tad anxious. But, Pig finds support among his friends. I love how this story shows that feeling worried or anxious isn’t a bad thing. And, it shows the importance of creating a safe space where friends can openly talk about their struggles. I also shared this story in my Favorites of 2021.
Wemberly Worried by: Kevin Henkes
Wemberly Worried is the story of a young mouse named Wemberly who worried about everything, the big things, the little things. Whether it was day or night, and no matter how much her parents tried to comfort her, she constantly worried.
When Wemberly had to start school, that added to what she worried about. This is a very relatable book for students, especially as Wemberly worries about heading off to school. But, Wemberly finds a friend who shares a lot of the same concerns that she does, and she starts to feel a bit better!
Another excellent book for discussing anxiety with your students. I also have an interactive read-aloud to go along with the story with talking points and response activities for your students!
Pilar’s Worries by: Victoria M. Sanchez
Pilar’s Worries is the story of a young girl who loves ballet, but she is feeling a little anxious about trying out for a part. This is a reassuring book for young readers who also might be experiencing anxiety. And, Pilar demonstrates ways that she copes with these negative feelings.
It’s also an excellent representation of triumph, as Pilar shows that yes, what if she messes up, but what if she doesn’t. A great talking point for coping mechanisms as well.
Wilma Jean- The Worry Machine by: Julia Cook
Wilma Jean- The Worry Machine is the story of a young girl who worries about everything. She gets scared and spends a lot of her time overthinking. It shows how her mother helps her with her struggles by reaching out for help.
It’s a wonderful reminder that it’s ok to ask for help. But, also that there are resources out there. This is an excellent book for opening the discussion on anxiety, worries, and most importantly, asking for help when you need it.
Ruby Finds a Worry by: Tom Percival
Ruby Finds a Worry is my absolute favorite book on the topic of worry! Ruby is a young girl who develops a tiny worry that slowly gets bigger and bigger over time. It becomes so huge that it begins to crowd her happiness. She meets a friend at the park one day who is struggling with the same thing, they talk about their feelings, and it helps them feel a little better.
This story reminds us that everyone has worries, and pretending that they aren’t there only makes it worse—an overall great book for helping kids address and process worries. I think a lot of students relate to Ruby but sometimes don’t know exactly how to handle or process the big emotions they might be feeling. And, I love how this book makes the concept of worry a little more abstract but still allows children to relate to Ruby.
Do you have a favorite book for talking to your students about worry?
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