Books & resources for children

The following is a list of recommended books and resources for children. The Location(s) available column shows where these books are available, eg, from your local Christchurch City Library (CCL) and/or from the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC).

Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting a CCL or MHERC. If a book is not available, a librarian may be able to suggest another book or place a hold on a book. To borrow or place a hold on a book, you must be a member of the library. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including those living in rural areas, and will include a post-paid bag for returning books. Once read, books need to be returned to the library.

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CoverTitle & AuthorDescriptionYearLocation(s) available
Wishes and Worries

By Sarina Dickson
Subject: Anxiety, part-one

This book is designed to be read aloud in the classroom, and then used in conjunction with the exercises aligned to address mild to moderate anxiety in children. Part two is Maia and the Worry Bug.

Maia and the Worry Bug

By Julie Burgess-Manning
Subject: Anxiety, part-two

This resource is designed to help families with mild to moderate anxiety manage their worries. After reading the story with your children, you will find exercises based on narrative and cognitive behavioural therapy principles to help you start talking about worry in your family.

Quaky Cat

By Diana Noonan & Gavin Bishop
Subject: Earthquake issues

In the aftermath of the earthquake, Noonan decided to do her part to help quake victims the only way she could - by writing a story for children about what happened that morning from the perspective of a bright orange cat called Tiger. Tiger wakes just before the earthquake strikes and bolts out of the house, looking for safety as the town rolls, shakes and rumbles all around him. Lost and lonely, he searches for his owner Emma in the chaos after the quake. A sweet and moving story, Quaky Cat acknowledges the scary and sad experiences children went through during and after the earthquake but also ends with a hopeful and reassuring message for those children and their families left homeless by the quake.

Worry Magic

By Dawn McNiff
Subject: Worrying

Dawn McNiff tells a wonderful story of a girl learning she doesn’t have to shoulder the world’s problems on her own and that sometimes asking for help is all you can do. This is a great book for middle grade readers and young teens, especially those who tend to be worriers themselves.

Worries are Like Clouds

By Shona Innes
Subject: A story depicting worries as clouds

Worries are like clouds that float on in and take the shine out of the day.” Designed for younger children to give options for when the worry clouds get overwhelming. Includes useful information at the back for parents

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears

By Emily Gravett
Subject: A little mouse with fears

Young children will identify with the little mouse who uses the pages of this book to document his fears - from loud noises and the dark, to being sucked down the plughole. Packed with details and novelty elements including flaps, die-cuts and even a hilarious fold-out map, this is an extraordinary picture book.

A Terrible Thing Happened

By Margaret Holmes
Subject: Experiencing trauma

Sherman saw a terrible thing. At first everything is Ok but then he starts to worry, to act out and feel nervous for no reason. A useful book for young children who have experienced trauma and may need to see a therapist. An afterword for parents give suggestions on how to use the book

Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

By Susan Farber Straus
Subject: Experiencing trauma and abuse

A sensitive and reassuring book for children who have experienced trauma, the subtext is around sexual abuse but it could be used for other types of trauma. Introduces the idea of going to a therapist and using story and drawing to work through the issues.

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