Discover the power of empathy and emotional intelligence with this powerful selection of recently published diverse children's books. They celebrate and teach children about feelings, neurodiversity, and a variety coping mechanisms.
They also remind readers that we are all different and that's what makes the world a beautiful place.
For your convenience, we've included publisher's descriptions along with each book.
In an emotional ode to the color blue--and the blues--from writer Nancy Johnson James and illustrator Constance Moore, the creators of Brown: The Many Shades of Love and Black: The Many Wonders of My World, The Many Ways I Feel features a colorful collage of watercolor and textile eye-catching art.
Full of feeling and wonder, a child describes all the beautiful shades of blue they feel--from a pale winter sky to a bright ocean wave, from deep twilight to the musical blues--and discovers that one has the power to change one's many blues into a song or a poem, blue into gold.
A reassuring rhyming picture book about sensory overload and what you can do when everything is too much
When feelings go on overload,
I pause and breathe
and all is . . . slowed.
Sometimes everything is too much! Too loud, too bright, and all too overwhelming. Writing from her own experience with sensory processing disorder, award-winning teacher-librarian Jolene Gutiérrez's compassionate picture book explores the struggles of a sensorily sensitive child and how they settle themselves. Joined by Angel Chang's beautiful color illustrations, young readers will learn that it's OK if some days are too much.
An extensive author's note to caregivers and educators explores sensory systems, sensory processing issues, and specific information about how to support kids with overstimulated nervous systems as they learn to soothe themselves.
Every day is different. Some days everything goes right--you're in the groove and feeling like yourself.
But some days, it's a lot harder to find happy because everything is just blah. Sometimes everything that should be fun just feels . . . flat. A young boy is having one of those dreary days, and nothing seems to help. But after trying his grandmother's way to shake the blues also fails, he discovers that happiness is easiest to find when you're not looking.
This picture book gently reminds readers that it's normal to have happy and sad days and normalizes speaking about emotions and seeking help. Heartfelt and hopeful, the story models emotional intelligence and self-awareness for readers of all ages.
A young girl notices, and celebrates, her way of looking at and experiencing the world.
"I think. I think a lot. I think I think a lot. More than most other kids." A young girl notices and wonders about the ways she and her classmates approach doing good work, caring about people's feelings, and showing they're grateful. She comes to accept herself just as she is and celebrates the differences between herself and her classmates. "I care a lot. Not more than other kids, just in my own way."
Inspired by the author's experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I Think I Think a Lot can be a starting point for discussions about overthinking or obsessive thought and about the many ways individuals see and experience the world. The neurodivergent main character allows readers to see themselves and others in the story and emphasizes self-acceptance in the face of comparison.
New York Times Best Seller - From parents and actors Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill comes a picture book filled with beautiful, inspiring affirmations reminding kiddos of their infinite wonder. Perfect for children of any age!
I am worthy. I am loved. I am enough.
Every child, no matter their age, needs to know how loved they are and, more importantly, should love themselves. In this gorgeously illustrated book of affirmations, young readers are told how cherished, deserving, and gifted they are.
In their tender picture book, actors Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill tell children about the magic of self-love and standing firm, regardless of outside voices and doubt. Children will feel their confidence grow as they repeat the encouraging words on the page, take in the warm illustrations, and learn to believe in themselves!
An instant #1 New York Times bestselling picture book and national bestseller!! A Day With No Words invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language.
The American Library Association Booklist starred review boasts, "The story is written from the boy's first-person perspective, however--a clever choice in that it gives readers a direct look into his mind and reinforces the book's crucial statement that nonverbal people have as many words and as much intelligence as anyone else. Cosgrove's art, throughout, does an amazing job of transporting readers into his perspective, employing various color tones, metaphoric imagery, and 'camera' angles to reflect the deep expressiveness contained in every page [...] through this book, neurotypicals' eyes will be opened, and everyone in Autistic Families will feel seen--and heard."
A Day With No Words is a colorful and engaging picture book for young readers shares what life can look like for families who use nonverbal communication, utilizing tools to embrace their unique method of "speaking."
The story highlights the bond between mother and child and follows them on a day where they use a tablet to communicate with others.
Written by an autistic mother of two autistic sons and the creator behind the popular @Fidgets.and.Fries social media platform and illustrated by Kate Cosgrove (IG @k8cosgrove), A Day With No Words successfully normalizes communication methods outside of verbal speech and provides representation of neurodiversity and autism in a way that affirms and celebrates.
RESOURCES FROM NAMI
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and the second week of May is Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week.
According to NAMI, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14, the 3rd leading cause of death among those aged 15-24 and the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
NAMI also shared that 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition — but research suggests that 90% may have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.
For more information on suicide prevention, visit Nami(dot)org. If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text 988. The National Suicide Crisis Hotline is available 24/7.
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