Two Brand New Picture Books About Mental Health

Two Brand New Picture Books About Mental Health

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Did you ever wake up to a bad day? Your snooze alarm screams that you are late, and you can’t figure out what to wear. Your food is bland and everyone around you is grumpy. It’s raining, school is boring, and it feels like the world is just closing in on you. How do you beat the funk?

Or imagine waking up content in your bed every day, never wanting to leave. Safe and warm, you love your humble abode filled with good books and solitary activities. Although your friends have great parties and ice-skating adventures planned, you might catch the flu. Your hot chocolate might be too hot.

These anxiety-prevalent and down and out scenarios greet readers in two new picture books about mental health, Rosie’s Glasses and Hector’s Favorite Place. Both titles address mental health and how to overcome scary and sad obstacles through courage and by approaching the world in new ways.

Anxiety-prevalent and down and out scenarios greet readers in two new picture books about mental health, Rosie’s Glasses and Hector’s Favorite Place. Get the full review here. #childrenslit #bookblog #bookreviews Click To Tweet

Two Brand New Picture Books About Mental Health

Hector’s Favorite Place by Jo Rooks

Are you looking for picture books about mental health? Check out these 2 brand new 2018 picture books with animals. Book Review of Hector's Favorite Place by Jo Rooks. #booklists #picturebooks #childrenslit

A shy and introverted hedgehog with patient friends

Like many introverts, Hector the Hedgehog’s favorite place is home. In his cozy and safe house, Hector can read, snuggle in bed, play the piano, and paint. However, Hector also has a lot of kind and fun friends who want to play in the snow, ice skate, and attend winter bashes. Although all of these suggestions excite Hector, his mind starts buzzing with worries. What if the hot chocolate is too hot? What if he forgot how to skate and falls, and what if he catches the flu? OMG, WHAT IF?!

So much fun but so many imagined dangers

Hector’s troublesome dilemma worsens as he begins worrying about his worrying. Like most chronic anxiety sufferers, he cannot sleep at night. Admirably, instead of grabbing the medicine bottle or misusing NyQuil, Hector takes charge of his situation. In an act of sheer bravery, Hector decides he will attend a party because he doesn’t want to make his friends sad. He throws on his best bow tie, perks up, and shyly but courageously sneaks up to the dance floor. While the world is pretty intimidating, Hector imagines the life he wants. Suddenly, his foot is tapping to the music, and he is having a blast.

All worries aside, Hector decides that outside with his friends is just as nice as his home. Even when he falls on the ice, Hector realizes that he can get right back up. Being a rolly polly hedgehog helps.  At the end of the night, Hector decides that he wants to have more moments like this party instead of being antisocial and scared.

Who will find solace and suggestions in Hector’s moral?

Illustrated with adorable watercolors and colored pencils, Hector and his wintery home depict an array of joyful colors and a world awaiting adventures. There is repetition in Hector’s responses to each friend’s invitation as well as his initial excitement followed by anxiety, which is perfect for pre-school to 2nd graders. Heck, as an adult, even I can appreciate the consistent message and lesson here.

As one of many great picture books about mental health, Hector’s Favorite Place will speak to families in need of support for anxious and scared children who are seeking a confidence boost and injection of bravery. Unique to this title, Magination Press is an imprint of the American Psychological Association. The ending is filled with adult resources for how to tackle an anxious and shy child.  Truly one of my favorite mental health picture books this year, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

As one of many great picture books about mental health, Hector’s Favorite Place will speak to families in need of support for anxious and scared children who are seeking a confidence boost and injection of bravery. #bookblog Click To Tweet

Find your copy here:     Amazon         Barnes and Noble        Book Depository

Looking for other cute books staring hedgehogs?  Check out TUL’s review of Hedgehog.

Book Information

Read more about illustrator and graphic designer Jo Rooks here.

Hector’s Favorite Place by Jo Rooks [Magination Press 2018]

I would like to thank NetGalley and Magination Press for providing me with a free advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Looking For More Great Picture Book Suggestions?  Check Out These Reviews:

Picture Books That You Cannot Live Without

A Yoga Book For Kids

Learning About Fitting In

Books About Anxiety


Rosie’s Glasses by Dave Whamond

Are you looking for picture books about mental health? Check out these 2 brand new 2018 picture books with animals. Book Review of Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond. #booklists #picturebooks #childrenslit

Rosie wakes up to Eeyore’s reality

Rosie wakes up to a dark little cloud over her head. In a colorless room filled with an alarm blaring the words ‘late,’ Rosie is clearly in for a bad day. Even her goldfish looks a little anxious. Pulling all of her clothes out of the drawers and eating a tasteless breakfast are just a few ominous signs that Rosie is feeling a bit down and depressed. Nothing is going right, and like Eeyore, she cannot kick the cloud. With hungry birds chirping, the world is closing in on our little protagonist—even the buildings tower over her. Babies cry, keys are lost, and a biker is about to take a nasty spill. In a world of no music and scowling adults, life just blows.

Rosie’s doom and gloom is fast spreading, and of course, it has to rain. Bored at school, Rosie’s day finally comes to a halt on her walk home where she spots a pair of rosy red glasses. And guess what?! Suddenly, the world bursts into vibrant colors but only through the glasses’ lenses. Rosie’s world twirls and swirls alive, and everything that was once gray is happy and lighthearted. Momma bird has returned with food, our baby is pacified, and the biker is grabbing ice cream. Friends play with Rosie at school, and classmates watch a puppet show instead of performing rote addition.

Finding the happiness within

Like the cliché, all good things must come to an end (or do they?) as Rosie’s glasses flop over a bridge into the water. The world goes gray. With the bark of a dog, suddenly Rosie realizes that she can see color and happiness without the magical spectacles. Maybe the glasses can help someone else?!

Who will enjoy this wordless picture book?

Rosie’s Glasses is a wordless picture book for children pre-school to second grade. Families can spend time exploring pages and discussing what they see and understand. Each page is almost like a Where’s Waldo scene, and I love the parallel worlds from monotone to rainbow. The moral of finding the light within with a little nudge is inspiring for kids suffering from mild depression, loneliness, dread, or anxiety. Books like Rosie’s Glasses are needed to help children understand how to cope with disappointment and bad days. When words cannot explain how we feel, pictures can.

Books like Rosie’s Glasses are needed to help children understand how to cope with disappointment and bad days. When words cannot explain how we feel, pictures can. #netgalley #bookreview #picturebook Click To Tweet

Find your copy here:   Amazon      Barnes and Noble       Book Depository

Book Information

Read more about award-winning author and illustrator, Dave Whamond, here.

Rosie’s Glasses by Dave Whamond [Kids Can Press 2018]

I would like to thank NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing me with a free advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Are you looking for picture books about mental health? Check out these 2 brand new 2018 picture books with animals. Book Review of Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond and Hector's Favorite Place by Jo Rooks. #booklists #picturebooks #childrenslit

Are you looking for picture books about mental health? Check out these 2 brand new 2018 picture books with animals. Book Review of Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond and Hector's Favorite Place by Jo Rooks. #booklists #picturebooks #childrenslit

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10 Comments

  1. Entertainingly Nerdy
    October 11, 2018 / 11:23 am

    Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll have to look into reading these to my son when he’s old enough!

    • Christine
      Author
      October 11, 2018 / 3:05 pm

      I really loved both of these–although I am a sucker for that hedgehog. I definitely had Hector’s social anxiety growing up, and I wish there were more books like this out there when I was a kid. I love that they are smaller publishers too.

  2. October 11, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    So important! I didn’t have to deal with any major mental health issues until I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety after I had my oldest son. I can’t even imagine being a child and feeling those complex things and not understanding what was happening. Great recommendations!

    • Christine
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you! And so sorry for the late reply. I’ve been enjoying some of the New England fall with family–soooooo nice! Loving the 50 degree weather instead of the 90s. Hope you had a great weekend!

      I grew up and struggled to start school every year after the summer. I also had a lot of undiagnosed anxiety (very mild, though) although I did see a therapist when I was in second grade. The entire situation made me feel worse–like something was wrong with me. I didn’t feel understood, and no one back then knew how to make it better. It was treated like more of an embarrassment. That make me feel more anxious and really unsure about what the heck was wrong with me. Books like this would have definitely helped me. I always felt like it was just me, and clearly it’s not. I’d love having chill and cute books to better explain heavier issues.

      Thank you, again.

  3. October 12, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    So… I typed all this up, but never hit send… Clearly I need more sleep…

    I’m so glad books like this are being written now! As someone who has endured depression and anxiety my entire life, I know how important these stories are. My only hope is that books like this actually inspire conversation and understanding, rather than simplifying it to the point that kids who can’t get over their anxiety or depression after a day of hanging out with friends don’t read this and continue to think there is something wrong with them. Or I guess, maybe that will encourage them to get help? I’m just rambling now.

    Side note, since I didn’t see it on your blog anywhere (let me know if I missed it!), since Rosie is a picturebook, made me think of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. Which is a GORGEOUS picturebook about immigration. All of his stuff is amazing, really, but if you haven’t read The Arrival, I encourage you to do so immediately!

    • Christine
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      I have not heard of that picture book. I will have to check it out! Thanks for the suggestion.

      I do agree that it would be bad to oversimplify depression and anxiety. What I like about Hector’s Favorite Place is that the back of the book has pages of suggestions for parents to help their children overcome scary situations. Overall the book is trying to help show that other people have worries too and although these worries are real to us, sometimes we have to try to push past them. Sometimes our worries are unjustified, and we can move past them on our own. I don’t think these stories are meant to be a be all, end all–but instead of focusing on doctors and medication, stories like this just offer one way to see yourself in a picture book. It’s just one part of the solution. As a child who hated going out, I can definitely connect. Maybe Hector would have given me courage. Maybe he would make me feel like I am not the only one. Because it’s a medical related, professional publication, I also trust that they approve. But you are also completely right: it’s a fine line, and for some kids, this book might just make it worse. It might not be enough or make their fears seem silly.

      I hope you got some sleep!

  4. October 16, 2018 / 2:54 am

    Great recommendations, I think it is important to tackle mental health from a young age and help children understand that its OK to be scared or anxious. The suggestions in these books sound perfect for the young audience, and what better way to tackle a difficult subject than through beautifully illustrated picture books where children can connect with the characters and story. Thank you for sharing!

    • Christine
      Author
      October 20, 2018 / 3:49 pm

      Thank you! I am a sucker for cute watercolored and color penciled animals. I definitely needed more stories like this growing up. Today, I think kids face even more anxiety and mental health issues. We need more books like this to support them. I also appreciate when professional organizations related to the topic endorse/publish related materials. I trust them and value their input.

      • Hayley Gibson
        October 20, 2018 / 4:22 pm

        Me too, the illustrations really add to the message! Yeah I could have done with more books like this too, when I was 8/9 I stopped going to school because of bullies and struggled to eat breakfast as my tummy was so anxious. At the time no one knew what it was but maybe a book like this could have helped me and my parents/teachers process what was happening. I’m all for mental health awareness.

        • Christine
          Author
          October 21, 2018 / 3:07 pm

          I was the same way except my anxiety was going back to school every year. After the summer ended, I had gotten too used to being home and on my own schedule. American summer vacation is too long, quite honestly, and we would probably benefit more from longer breaks and year round schooling. I would get SO much anxiety that I pretty much threw up the entire first week of school. Breakfast was miserable and would reduce me to tears and embarrassment. It was truly awful. I had so much anxiety, which looking back could have been abated with the right resources and help. I’m with you! I hope kids have it a little easier today with mental health awareness.

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