Books on: Feeling Sad

Books to comfort children going through periods of sadness. Some books explain that feeling sad occasionally is normal, and offer practical ways to make the child feel happier.

The Lonely Tree
Author: Nicholas Halliday
Illustrator: Nicholas Halliday
How this book may help: This book may be useful to help a child how death is an inevitable part of ageing, and life continues after the sadness of bereavement. It also may be a good starting point to talk about how to cope with loneliness or isolation.
It's spring in the New Forest, bluebells bloom and birds return from Africa. A new tree begins to... read more

Tags: loneliness, emotions, loss

Is It Because...?
Author: Tony Ross
Illustrator: Tony Ross
How this book may help: A good starting point to introduce the subject of bullying and why it happens. It may encourage children to explore the feelings of the bully as well as the victim.
This skilfully written book handles the subject of bullying in a refreshing and thought-provoking... read more

Tags: sadness, hitting, emotions, bullying

What Makes Me Happy?
Author: Catherine Anholt
Illustrator: Laurence Anholt
How this book may help: May help a child to identify emotions they are experiencing and encourage them to discuss any they feel uncomfortable with. Reassures children that it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions.
Each double page spread in this book focuses on a different emotion. The left hand pages show... read more

Tags: separation anxiety, relationships, phobias, monsters, growing up, friends, fears, fear of the dark, family, emotions, diversity, bullying, anxiety, anger, absence, shyness

Harry and Hopper
Author: Margaret Wild
Illustrator: Freya Blackwood
How this book may help: To comfort a child who has lost a loved one. It may be a good starting point for a discussion about bereavement and grief.
Harry and his dog Hopper have done everything together, ever since Hopper was a jumpy little puppy.... read more

Tags: loss, loneliness, imaginary friend, emotions, dog, death, bereavement, sadness

The Scar
Author: Charlotte Moundlic
Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
How this book may help: This supportive and compassionate book would be an ideal tool to explain grief and loss to young children. A child who has lost a parent or other loved one may identify with the emotions felt by the boy in the story.
A beautiful and moving story about a boy whose mother dies after a long illness. It tenderly... read more

Tags: mother, loss, grandparent, death, bereavement, sadness, serious illness

The Copper Tree
Author: Hilary Robinson
Illustrator: Mandy Stanley
How this book may help: This book approaches the difficult subject of grief with sensitivity and sound judgement. The perfect story for children who have lost a much-loved figure in their life.
The story begins with a class of young children being told that their teacher, Miss Evans, is ill.... read more

Tags: bereavement, cancer, death, emotions, illness, sadness, treatment, wheelchair

The Bear and the Wildcat
Author: Kazumi Yumoto
Illustrator: Komako Sakai
How this book may help: This book covers themes of grief, loneliness and loss in a clear and touching way.
When Bear finds his best friend Bird lying dead one morning he is devastated. He shuts himself away... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, depression, emotions, friends, loss, love, sadness

The Great Big Book of Feelings
Author: Mary Hoffman
Illustrator: Ros Asquith
How this book may help: A child struggling with negative emotions may find great comfort in this sympathetic, entertaining and reassuring book which explores many different feelings: happy, sad, excited, bored, interested, angry, upset, calm, silly, lonely, scared, safe, embarrassed, shy, confident, worried, jealous and satisfied.
The book is presented in bite-size chunks of information which should hold the attention of a child... read more

Tags: anger, anxiety, bullying, comfort, death, depression, emotions, fears, friends, hitting, jealousy, loneliness, loss, persistence, phobias, prejudice, sadness, shyness, violence

Frog is Sad
Author: Max Velthuijs
Illustrator: Max Velthuijs
How this book may help: This book, which simply reflects how negative emotions can sometimes be turned into positive ones, may be useful to explore emotions with very young children.
Frog wakes up one morning feeling sad, but he is not sure why. His animal friends are worried about... read more

Tags: depression, emotions, friends, sadness

Author: Carol Thompson
Illustrator: Carol Thompson
How this book may help: Acknowledges that everyday situations may give rise to negative emotions in young children. The story offers some practical suggestions that young children can use to ease anxiety and frustration, such as deep breathing.
Dolly the young pig sometimes like to play alone and sometimes play with her best friend Jack... read more

Tags: sharing, sadness, friends, emotions, co-operation, behaviour, anxiety, anger, stubbornness, tantrums

Happy Hector
Author: Polly Dunbar
Illustrator: Polly Dunbar
How this book may help: Helping children deal with sibling rivalry and sharing parental affections.
Hector is one of Tilly's toy friends, and loves being close to her. When Tilly's other toys decide... read more

Tags: co-operation, family, friends, sadness, sharing, sibling

It's Not Fair (Your Feelings)
Author: Brian Moses
Illustrator: Mike Gordon
How this book may help: Explores the concept of unfairness in a child-friendly way and encourages children to come to terms with this emotion. Also touches upon the subject of anger and violence as the child in the story feels like 'hitting out' when she considers things to be unfair.
A little girl tells the reader about some of the things that happen to her which she considers to... read more

Tags: relationships, jealousy, hitting, gratitude, friends, emotions, behaviour, anger, sadness

I'm Worried (Your Feelings)
Author: Brian Moses
Illustrator: Mike Gordon
How this book may help: Helping children come to terms with the feelings of anxiety and exploring ways to alleviate their suffering. The book also touches upon the subjects of road safety and hospitals.
The little girl in this book describes how she feels when she is worried ("Like a dog that can't... read more

Tags: emotions, anxiety, fears, hospital, operation

Dad David, Baba Chris and Me
Author: Ed Merchant
Illustrator: Rachel Fuller
How this book may help: May help and support children who are being parented by gay men. Encourages an appreciation of, and acceptance of, same-sex parents, and shows that families come in all shapes and sizes. Promotes a positive view of gay relationships.
Seven-year-old Ben has a pretty ordinary life in all respects but one: he has three dads. 'Baba... read more

Tags: multicultural, friends, father, emotions, diversity, being different, anxiety, anger, adoption, prejudice

Author: Gillian Lobel
Illustrator: Karin Littlewood
How this book may help: To understand the loss of a loved one and that although life will carry on, they will not be forgotten.
Moonshadow is a young swan about to set off no his first migration. He is nervous and his... read more

Tags: bereavement, comfort, death, emotions, family, grandparent, love, relationships, sadness

Grandma and Grandpa's Garden
Author: Neil Griffiths
Illustrator: Gabriella Buckingham
How this book may help: A well-written and touching book about the death of a grandparent. This would be a good choice for a child who has lost a loved one.
Grandma and Grandpa loved their beautiful garden and spent many happy hours together tending it.... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, emotions, family, grandparent, illness, loneliness, loss, love, sadness

Princess and the Castle
Author: Caroline Binch
How this book may help: Step-Father Overcoming Fears
Genevieve, her mother and brother live in a little harbour-side house. Following her father's... read more

Tags: anxiety, bereavement, death, family, fears, loss

Say Hello
Author: Jack Foreman
Illustrator: Michael Foreman
How this book may help: For all children who are lonely, shy and feel isolated
A lonely dog asks some children if he can join in their games and fun. A lonely little boy... read more

Tags: confidence, friends, sharing, shyness

Author: Alexis Deacon
How this book may help: A story for anyone who has ever felt lonely, lost and unloved
Beegu's spaceship is stranded on earth and she is lost and alone. She meets lots of strange... read more

Tags: anxiety, being different, diversity, friends, loneliness, sadness, separation anxiety

Heart and the Bottle
Author: Oliver Jeffers
How this book may help: Long term grief and finding your emotions
When a little girl's grandfather dies, she is so overcome with grief that she takes out her heart... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, emotions, loss

The Cloud
Author: Hannah Cumming
One of the children in art class never draws and is always surrounded by a big black cloud. She is... read more

Tags: emotions, friends, persistence, sadness, shyness

Gentle Willow
Author: Joyce C Mills
Illustrator: Cary Pillo
How this book may help: This is a book for children with a terminal illness and it also offers support to families, siblings and friends of these children.
Amanda Squirrel and her friend live in the forest and are especially fond of the willow tree. But... read more

Tags: loss, illness, death, bereavement, terminal illness

Let My Colors Out
Author: Courtney Filigenzi
Illustrator: Shennan Persani
How this book may help: This book is published by the American Cancer Society to help young children of cancer patients
When his mother is diagnosed with cancer, a little boy uses colours to express his emotions. He... read more

Tags: anxiety, cancer, emotions, sadness, serious illness

Samantha Jane's Missing Smile
Author: Julie Kaplow
Illustrator: Donna Pincus
How this book may help: For children who have lost a parent
Samantha-Jane's dad has died and she is very sad and seems to have lost her smile. She worries... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, sadness

Dennis Duckling
Author: Paul Sambrooks
Illustrator: Tommaso Loverte Tani
How this book may help: Fostering/Adoption
Dennis Duckling and his little sister can no longer be looked after by their own parents and need... read more

Tags: adoption, anxiety, family, fears, foster, friends, sadness, separation anxiety

Dennis and the Big Decisions
Author: Paul Sambrooks
Illustrator: Tommaso Loverte Tani
How this book may help: Foster Care
Continues the story of Dennis Duckling and his foster care placement. The book looks at the range... read more

Tags: adoption, anxiety, depression, emotions, family, foster, separation, separation anxiety

Ladder To The Moon
Author: Maya Soetoro-Ng
Illustrator: Yuyi Morales
How this book may help: For children who feel saddened by the loss of a grand-parent and for strengthening family links
Suhailo wishes she could have known her grandma and one night her wish comes true. A golden ladder... read more

Tags: absence, bereavement, death, family, grandparent, loss, sadness

Author: Birgitta Sif
Illustrator: Birgitta Sif
How this book may help: Every child feels different and alone sometimes and all carers learn to fear the wail “I don’t have any friends”. When loneliness strikes this book is the only friend a child will need.
Birgitta Sif creates a fascinating, shadowy dream-world populated by comical, bug-eyed characters.... read more

Tags: loneliness, friends, being different, shyness

On The Wings Of A Butterfly
Author: Belinda Messer
Illustrator: Jessica Smith
How this book may help: A colourful and heart-warming approach to tackling the loss of a loved one, with practical suggestions for coping with loss.
On The Wings of a Butterfly discusses feelings that a child may encounter when a loved one passes... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, emotions, loss, sadness, terminal illness

Smile (A Sunny McCloud Book)
Author: Leigh Hodgkinson
Publisher's summary: "Sunny has lost something terribly important... her smile! She searches everywhere: under the sofa,..." read more

Tags: emotions

All Kinds of Feelings: a Lift-the-Flap Book
Author: Emma Brownjohn
Illustrator: Emma Brownjohn
Publisher's summary: "Everyone has different feelings all of the time. One minute you may feel happy - and the next..." read more

Tags: anger, anxiety, behaviour, emotions, fear of the dark, fears, phobias, sadness

Michael Rosen's Sad Book
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher's summary: "A heartbreakingly honest account of a father’s grief for his son from the illustrious pairing of..." read more

Tags: mental illness, love, loss, father, family, emotions, depression, comfort, relationships, sadness

The Saddest King
Author: Chris Wormell
Illustrator: Chris Wormell
How this book may help: This is a book about feelings that lets children know it's alright to be sad sometimes

Tags: emotions, sadness

Let's Talk: Have you got a Secret?
Author: Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
Illustrator: Marta Fabrega
How this book may help: The situations explained in this book help children to distinguish between good and bad secrets and encourage communication between the child reader and an adult.
Publisher's summary: "Every child has secrets, and many secrets are fun to keep, for example a surprise birthday gift for..." read more

Tags: anxiety, bullying, emotions, fears, sadness, violence

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