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
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
Looking for other cute books staring hedgehogs? Check out TUL’s review of Hedgehog.
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:
Rosie’s Glasses by Dave Whamond
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
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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