Reading Well for Children

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Reading Well for Children 2020-02-13T13:22:39+00:00

The books in the Reading Well for children book list provides helpful reading to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The scheme is developed and endorsed by leading health partners and delivered in public libraries and schools.  The book list of 33 titles provides quality-assured information, advice and stories to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The books are all selected and endorsed by health experts, children and families.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

All the books are available for anyone to borrow from South Gloucestershire Libraries, they can also be reserved on the website  for no charge and collected from your nearest library. To reserve any of the titles from the below list, simply type the name of the book you would like to borrow into the search engine and press “search”. If you need any assistance in the library, the staff there will be happy to help in finding the books you need. To  find your nearest library, go to

Click on the options below to see the full list of titles available for each of the following topics:

What’s Going on Inside my Head?  by Molly Potter, illustrated by Sarah Jennings

ISBN: 9781472959232 Format: Hardback Publication date: February 2019

Age range: 4+ Extent: 32 pages Other format: ebook 9781472966254,

XML eBook 9781472959218

We all know that healthy minds are really important but how do we make sure we look after our mental health from a very young age? What’s Going On Inside My Head? is a book for children that explores practical ways we can keep our minds in good shape as well as our bodies. By

talking about positive self-image, emotional intelligence, relationships, and mindfulness, this book will help children develop healthy habits and good coping strategies from the start. Presented in a warm, child friendly but no-nonsense way, it will help establish solid foundations for every child’s current and future wellbeing.  

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Healthy for Life: Self-esteem and mental health by Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Dan Bramall

ISBN: 9781445149806 Format: Paperback Publication date: September 2017 Age range: 9+ Extent: 32 pages

Growing up isn’t always easy – your brain is changing and there’s many things to cope with from new emotions to stress. This book explores what is self-esteem and mental health and why it’s important, looking at topics such as mental illness, phobias, eating disorders and self-harm. It looks at techniques to deal with issues including stress reduction, mindfulness and assertiveness.

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How Not to Lose It: Mental Health Sorted by Anna Williamson, illustrated by Sophie Beer 


ISBN: 9781407193144 Format: Paperback Publication date: March 2019 Age range: 9+ Extent: 176 pages Other format: ebook 9781407194264

Family. Friends. Exams. Are you finding life a struggle? At times, it can feel like nothing but problems and pressure. But the good news is that even if you’re struggling to think straight, you can learn to be the boss of your brain. Creating healthy habits. Staying in the moment. Breaking negative thought patterns. Finding things to be happy about. Tricks like this are like taking your mood to the gym – helping you feel good and bounce back from obstacles. Attitudes, fears, stress levels: take charge of yours right now!

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How Are You Feeling Today? By Molly Potter, illustrated by Sarah Jennings 

ISBN: 9781472906090 Format: Hardback Publication date: July 2014

Age range: 0+ Extent: 32 pages Other format: ebook 9781472961860,

XML ebook 9781472961853

Children have strong feelings and they can’t always handle them very well. Perfect for sharing, How Are You Feeling Today? is packed with fun, imaginative ways to help children understand and cope with a whole range of different emotions. A great dip-in book where children can choose a feeling that relates to them and then turn to the page that

provides child-friendly strategies for dealing with that feeling. Helpful parent/carer notes at the back of the book provide more ideas for parents to use with their child and other strategies to try out together and practice the all-important skill of dealing with feelings.

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Mindful Me: Exploring Emotions by Paul Christelis, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli 

ISBN: PB – 9781445157276, HB – 9781445157269 Format: Paperback and

Hardback Publication date: January 2018 Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages

This mindfulness story book for children includes simple mindfulness activities, which have been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety and improve health and mental well-being. This book shows children how to cope with different emotions, from anger and jealous, to sadness and disappointment. The children are gently guided into mindfulness exercises that encourage an exploration of emotions.

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Feeling Angry! by Brian Moses, illustrated by Mike Gordon

ISBN: 9781526300140 Format: Paperback Publication date: April 2019

Age range: 5+  Extent: 32 pages

This picture book story explores feelings of anger in a light-hearted way using everyday situations that children might be familiar with. This book shows different reasons why young people might become angry, illustrates scenarios of them behaving angrily, and gives advice on how to calm anger in yourself and to be able to help other people. Ideal for home or classroom, this book contains notes for parents and teachers with suggestions of ways to help children deal with feeling angry.

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Sometimes I Feel Sad written and illustrated by Tom Alexander

ISBN: 9781785924934 Format: Hardback Publication date: March 2018 Age range: 5+ Extent: 40 pages Other format: ebook 9781784508890

Feeling sad is, unfortunately, a part of everyone’s life, and there’s not always an easy fix. This touching book helps explain to children that they’re not alone in feeling this way and is especially useful for children who struggle to express their feelings.

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Ruby’s Worry written and illustrated by Tom Percival

ISBN: PB – 9781408892152 HB – 9781408892138 Format: Paperback and Hardback

Publication date: July 2018 Age range: 0+ Extent: 32 pages Other format: ebook  9781408892145

Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first, it’s not such a big worry, and that’s all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again?

When Ruby makes a friend – who has a worry too – and talks about what’s

bothering her, everything explodes with colour and the world goes back to normal. Ruby soon realises that everybody gets worries, and they are nothing to be ashamed of.

This is a perceptive and poignant story about anxiety and how a problem shared is a problem halved.

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Questions and Feelings About: Worries by Paul Christelis, illustrated by  Ximena Jeria

ISBN: 9781445163956 Format: Hardback Publication date: October 2018

Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages  

A gentle, down to earth book for addressing the things that can cause children to be anxious and worried. Mindfulness expert Paul Christelis expertly explores everyday situations in picture book form, helping children to recognise signs of worry and giving them reassurance and simple

suggestions on how to cope with any worries.

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Grobblechops by Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Jenny Lucander

ISBN: 9781910328415 Format: Hardback Publication date: February 2019 Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages

Amir doesn’t want to go to bed. He is scared of the dark and afraid there might be a monster under his bed; a monster called Grobblechops who has huge teeth and growls like a tiger.

Dad reassures Amir that if he growls louder, the monster will go away – but Amir can’t help catastrophising and worrying that Grobblechops’s mum and dad will join in the fight and eat him up. Luckily, Amir’s dad is a

bit of an expert when it comes to monsters, and can rationalise and defuse all his son’s anxiety to the point where Grobblechops becomes a friend rather than a threat.

Stunning, collage-style illustrations reflect the quelling of Amir’s fears as Grobblechops and his parents subtly mutate from frightening to friendly.

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Me and My Fear written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna 

ISBN: 9781911171539 Format: Hardback Publication date: September 2018 Age range: 5+ Extent: 40 pages

When a young girl has to travel to a new country and start at a new school, her Fear tells her to be alone and afraid. How can she hope to make friends if she doesn’t understand their language? A heart-warming and relevant new tale from the bestselling author and illustrator of The Journey, this book shows us the importance of sharing your Fear with others – after all, everyone carries a Fear with them, even if it’s small enough to fit into their pocket!

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All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann 

ISBN: 9781785921827 Format: Hardback Publication date: March 2017 Age range: 6+ Extent: 72 pages Other format: ebook 9781784504540

Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-today, and how to begin to deal with it. The combination of understanding

and gentle humour makes this the ideal introduction to anxiety disorder for those diagnosed with this condition, their family and friends and those generally interested in understanding anxiety.

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Worry Angels by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Jane Ray

ISBN: 9781781126950 Format: Paperback Publication date: September 2017 Age range: 8+ Extent: 80 pages

Amy May knows about webs of worries – so many people she meets are caught in them, from her own artist dad to newly arrived refugee Rima and her family. By being brave enough to open up her worry box, Amy May helps all those around her find a way forward. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers.

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Outsmarting Worry by Dawn Huebner, illustrated by Kara McHale 

ISBN: 9781785927829 Format: Paperback Publication date: October 2017 Age range: 9+ Extent: 112 pages Other format: ebook 9781784507022

Worry has a way of growing, shifting from not-a-big-deal to a VERY BIG DEAL in the blink of an eye. This big-deal Worry is tricky, luring children into behaviours that keep the anxiety cycle going. Children often find it hard to fight back against Worry, but not anymore. Outsmarting Worry teaches 9-13-year olds and the adults who care about them a specific set of skills that makes it easier to face – and overcome – worries and fears. Smart, practical, proven techniques are presented in language

immediately accessible to children with an emphasis on shifting from knowing to doing, from worried to happy and free.

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At school

Dealing With Bullying by Jane Lacey, illustrated by Venitia Dean 

ISBN: 9781445157498 Format: Paperback Publication date: January 2019 Age range: 7+ Extent: 32 pages  

This book teaches readers how to deal with bullies and make sure they don’t give in to peer pressure to bully others. It features seven stories from children who have a range of bullying problems from a girl who is being left out by her friends to a boy bullied for the way he speaks. It features both verbal and physical bullying. The stories help readers understand and empathise with characters, while also offering

practical advice that readers can use in their everyday lives. The end of the book features a short playscript to act out and discuss.

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Accidental Trouble Magnet: (Planet Omar) by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik 

Accidental Trouble Magnet: (Planet Omar) by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik 

ISBN: 9781444951226 Format: Paperback Publication date: April 2019 Age range:

6+ Extent: 224 pages Other format: ebook 9781444951233 audiobook 9781444952018

Planet Omar is a book about being different, growing friendships and overcoming hurdles.

Omar has just moved into a new house with his family: sticky-fingered little brother Esa, snooty older sister Maryam and his scientist parents. Going to a new school turns out to be okay, apart from the fact that class bully Daniel tells Omar that because he’s a Muslim, he’s going to be kicked out of the country and will have to go and live in Pakistan. Understandably worried, Omar asks his cousin if that’s true, and both hope it isn’t, because there’s a distinct lack of good pizza there. Plus, there’s mean Mrs Rogers next door who complains loudly about Omar’s mum frying onions.

Yet when mean Mrs Rogers has an accident, Omar’s family is there to help. And when Omar and bully Daniel get stranded on a school trip in London, Omar realises that Danny isn’t so tough after all.

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The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People by Kate Power & Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth

ISBN: 9781785923302 Format: Hardback Publication date: September 2017 Age group: 7+ Extent: 96 pages Other format: ebook 9781784506476

Use this guide to weed out what dyslexia means for you and discover the tools you need to blossom! Dyslexia comes to life with visual imagery and colourful text in this new book on what dyslexia means, how it feels, what to do about it, and how to learn to embrace it. This beautifully designed book, complete with stunning visuals

and gentle humour, approaches the subject of dyslexia in a simple and encouraging way for all age groups. By showing what dyslexia is and asking the reader how it applies to them, this book offers a fun and engaging means of working out how dyslexia affects the individual specifically, with a multitude of learning tools and tips, and a gallery of inspirational dyslexics who have used their particular skills to do something amazing with their lives.

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Ella On the Outside by Cath Howe

ISBN: 9781788000338 Format: Paperback Publication date: May 2018 Age range: 8+ Extent: 240 pages Other format: ebook 9781788000345

Ella is facing some big changes. She’s just had to start at a new school, she’s moved away from her best friend Grace, her eczema is acting up, and on top of all that, she has a huge secret to keep about her family. So, when Lydia, the most popular girl in school, wants to start hanging out, things must be on the up… right?

The only problem is, Lydia really wants to know what Ella’s hiding and she’s also desperate for intel on the quiet girl in class, Molly. So just how far will Ella go to keep her new friendship?

Ella on the Outside is a hugely relatable tale that will strike a chord with anyone who has felt the pressure to please a new friend or has struggled to fit in. Ella makes mistakes, but she’s also hugely likeable, and author Cath Howe perfectly captures her anxieties and worries.

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#Goldilocks by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross 

ISBN: PB – 9781783448784 HB 9781783448784 Format: Paperback and Hardback Publication date: February 2019 Age range: 3+ Extent: 304 pages

Everyone loves Goldilocks’ hilarious online videos, but in her quest to get more likes, more laughs and more hits, she tries something a little more daring: stealing porridge #pipinghot, breaking chairs #fun, and using someone else’s bed #sleep. What will Daddy Bear do when he sees that online?

A hilarious cautionary tale for a new generation of internet-users from the prize-winning partnership of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, the third of its kind following Chicken Clicking and Troll Stinks.

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In the news

Something Bad Happened: A kid’s guide to coping with events in the news by Dawn Huebner, illustrated by Kara Mchale

ISBN: 9781787750746 Format: Paperback Publication date: September 2019 Age range: 6+ Extent: 80 pages

Full of advice for children who may be worried about events in the news, this guide from best-selling author Dawn Huebner offers advice for having tough conversations with 6-12 year olds about world events such as natural disasters, terrorism and war. It addresses common questions and provides tools to calm fears.

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When someone dies

Mum’s Jumper written and illustrated by Jayde Perkin

ISBN: 9781911496137 Format: Hardback Publication date: August 2019 Age range: 4+ Extent: 32 pages

If Mum has gone, how do you carry on? Missing her feels like a dark cloud that follows you around, or like swimming to a shore that never comes any nearer. But memories are like a jumper that you can cuddle and wear. And Mum s jumper might be a way to keep her close.

A simple, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting book for anyone coping with loss.

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake

ISBN: 9781406317848 Format: Paperback Publication date: March 2011 Age range: 5+ Extent: 40 pages

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book chronicles Michael’s grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19. A moving combination of sincerity and simplicity, it acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable or reasonable and perfects the art of making complicated feelings plain.  

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If All the World Were by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Alison Colpoys

ISBN: 9781786036513 Format: Paperback Publication date: January 2019 Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages Other format: ebook 9781786033925

A moving, lyrical picture book about a young girl’s love for her granddad and how she copes when he dies, written by poet and playwright Joseph Coelho.

This beautifully illustrated, powerful and ultimately uplifting text is the ideal way to introduce children to the concept of death and dying, particularly children who have lost a grandparent.

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Clownfish by Alan Durant

ISBN: 9781406374629 Format: Paperback Publication date: November 2018 Age range: 10+ Extent: 224 pages Other format: ebook 9781406381900

Dak’s dad has been dead for seven days when suddenly he reappears. He’s the same in almost every way, with one startling exception: Dad has turned into a clownfish, and now lives in a tank at their local aquarium. Dak is delighted by the news – he has Dad back, even if he isn’t quite as he was before. Deciding to keep Dad’s transformation a secret, Dak visits him at the aquarium as often as he can and ends up spending so much time there that they offer him a job. This is how he comes to

meet Violet, the owner’s prickly but kind-hearted niece; when the aquarium is threatened with closure, the pair must work together to save it. For Dak, the stakes couldn’t be higher… after all, if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to the fish?  

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Getting through a tough time

The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself by Ali Redford, illustrated by Kara Simpson

ISBN: 9781849056830 Format: Hardback Publication date: November 2015 Age range: 4+ Extent: 32 pages Other format: ebook 9781784502003

Boy built a wall to keep himself safe. Behind it he felt strong and more protected. Then Someone Kind came along. She bounced a ball, sang and painted on the other side of the wall, and Boy began to wonder if life on the other side might be better after all. Written for children aged 4 to 9, this gentle full-colour picture book uses a simple metaphor to explain how children who have had painful or traumatic

experiences can build barriers between themselves and other people. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication.

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Tough times at home

Up and Down Mum developed by Child’s Play and Wellcome Trust, illustrated by Summer Macon

ISBN: 9781786283399 Format: Paperback Publication date: October 2019 Age range: 3+ Extent: 36 pages

Living with Mum is a bit like a roller coaster ride. At times, she is excited and full of energy, but at others, she is tired and withdrawn. But she’s always my mum, and we’re sharing the ride. For children who grow up in the care of a parent with mental health problems, life can be filled with anxiety and uncertainty. With the aid of a clear and simple information spread, this story helps us to understand the causes of

mental illness and how we can learn to live with someone who has it. Developed in close consultation with families with parental mental health conditions and created in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust.

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The Colour Thief: A families’ story of depression by Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters, illustrated by Karin Littlewood

ISBN: 9780750280532 Format: Paperback Publication date: April 2015 Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages  

The Colour Thief is a simple, heart-warming tale which helps to open up the conversations around depression and to support young children whose families have been affected.

We follow a young boy who loves spending time with his dad, doing fun things together. When his father becomes sad and distant, he doesn’t

understand and believes he has done something to make his dad so, despite being told otherwise. Narrated from the child’s perspective, this is the perfect book to read with children who are trying to understand the cause and effects of depression and reassure them that depression passes, and their parents are not lost to them.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Can I Tell You About ADHD? by Susan Yarney, illustrated by Chris Martin

ISBN: 9781849053594 Format: Hardback Publication date: January 2013 Age range: 7+ Extent: 64 pages Other format: ebook 9780857007087

Meet Ben – a young boy with ADHD. Ben invites readers to learn about ADHD from his perspective. He helps children understand what it means to have ADHD and describes what it is and how it feels. Ben explains how he was diagnosed and what he has learnt about ways to relieve his ADHD symptoms, and how friends and adults can help at home and school. This illustrated book is full of useful information and will be an ideal introduction for young people, aged 7 upwards, as well as parents, friends, teachers and professionals working with children with ADHD. It is also an excellent starting point for family and classroom discussions.

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Check Mates by Stewart Foster 

ISBN: 9781471172236 Format: Paperback Publication date: June 2019 Extent: 352 pages Age range: 9+ Other format: ebook 9781471172243

Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one seems to understand just how hard he finds it. When Mum suggests Felix spends time with his grandfather, Felix can’t think of anything worse. Granddad hasn’t been the same since Grandma died. Plus, he’s always trying to teach Felix boring chess. But sometimes the best lessons come in the most unexpected of places, and Granddad soon shows Felix that there’s everything to play for.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Questions and Feelings About: Autism by Louise Spilsbury, illustrated by Ximena Jeria

ISBN: 9781445156590 Format: Hardback Publication date: January 2018

Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages

This book explores the many aspects of Autism in a child-friendly way. It offers practical help, tips and advice as well as exploring everyday situations, supported by, exquisite and approachable illustrations to give a comforting story book feel, particularly suited to 5-7-year olds, but with scope to appeal to both younger and older children. A perfect aid to help children open up and explore how they feel and give steps they can take

to help them cope.

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M is for Autism by The Students of Limpsfield Grange School, Martin and Vicky Martin

ISBN: 9781849056847 Format: Paperback Publication date: July 2015 Age range: 9+ Extent: 96 pages Other format: ebook 9781784501983

“M. That’s what I’d like you to call me please. I’ll tell you why later.” Welcome to M’s world. It’s tipsy-turvy, sweet and sour, and the beast of anxiety lurks outside classrooms ready to pounce. M just wants to be like other teenagers her age who always know what to say and what to do. So why does it feel like she lives on a different plane of existence to everyone else? Written by the students of Limpsfield Grange, a school for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder with communication and interaction difficulties, M is for Autism draws on real life experiences to create a heartfelt and humorous novel that captures the highs and lows of being different in a world of normal.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Double Felix by Sally Harris, illustrated by Maria Serrano

ISBN: 9781999903305 Format: Paperback Publication date: March 2018 Age range: 7+ Extent: 192 pages

He skips every second step when he takes the stairs, taps door handles twice and positions objects in pairs. The problem has become so bad that Felix is on the verge of being expelled from school because the principal has had enough of trying to run the school around his very specific rules. Then Charlie Pye arrives and turns his world upside down. She is grown up with very few rules. She eats cereal for lunch, calls a boat home, and has a very loose interpretation of school uniform. The question is, can Felix ever learn to be wrong when he is so obsessed with being right?

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Having a disability

Questions and Feelings About: Having a disability by Louise Spilsbury, illustrated by Ximena Jeria

ISBN: 9781445156613 Format: Hardback Publication date: December 2018 Age range: 5+ Extent: 32 pages  

How do you help a young child deal with disability or explain what that means? This hands-on picture book is designed to help children with their questions and feelings about tricky topics that can be hard to talk about. The exquisite and approachable illustrations to give a comforting story book feel. A perfect aid to help children open up and explore how they feel and steps they can take to help them cope.

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