May is Mental Health Month. Parents and caregivers help support children’s mental health year-round. Our expert authors provide helpful stories on a variety of topics that can bring insight and understanding. Here are eight Magination Press titles related to children’s mental health including books about anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and therapy.

Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death by Bonnie Zucker, PsyD

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to explain it to a young child, particularly if you are grieving the loss yourself. 

Sensitively written and gently illustrated, Something Very Sad Happened explains death in developmentally appropriate terms for two- and three-year-old children. It reassures the child that it is okay to feel sad, and that love never dies. A Note to Parents and Caregivers provides more information about how to talk about death, answer your child’s questions, and maintain your connection throughout the grieving process.

“Essential, powerful, and psychologically researched resource to equip adults to model healthy grieving and help children at this age with loss.” Booklist

A Terrible Thing Happened: A Story for Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma by Margaret M. Holmes

Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but soon something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous for no reason. Sometimes his stomach hurt. He had bad dreams. And he started to feel angry and do mean things, which got him in trouble. Then he met Ms. Maple, who helped him talk about the terrible thing that he had tried to forget. Now Sherman is feeling much better.

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. An afterword by Sasha J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatized children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events.

Hear A Terrible Thing Happened read aloud.

What to Do When Fear Interferes: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Phobias by Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD, and Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD

Lots of kids are a little afraid of some things, like heights or spiders. But some kids are so afraid that it stops them from having fun. Does this sound like your child?

What to Do When Fear Interferes guides children and their parents through overcoming phobias using strategies and techniques based on cognitive-behavioral principles.

This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering children to overcome their fears — so they can blast off to new adventures!

The straight forward approach in this book helps children identify their triggers, false beliefs and how to face the fear those beliefs cause.” —Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center

You Are Your Strong by Danielle Dufayet, PhD

Soothing and empowering, You Are Your Strong reassures kids that they can handle big emotions and highlights the benefit of developing inner strength and confidence in oneself. With diverse characters and scenes featuring a range of different family relationships — from parents, to grandparents, to an older sister in the military — this book shows kids that they will have help along the way to being strong and in control.

A Note to Parents and Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, provides advice for building skills to navigate and cope with big emotions.

“This sweet, empowering book is perfect for starting a conversation about coping with strong emotions. We love the gentle way it helps children notice the skills adults use to address their emotional needs, and how it inspires kids to develop their own strategies to cope with everyday aggravations and disappointments.” —Doing Good Together

Hear You Are Your Strong read aloud.

A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers by Holly Brochmann and Leah Bowen

Feel Better Book Little Worries coverWorries can feel like a BIG problem to a LITTLE kid! A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers assures kids that having some worries is normal — everyone has them, even adults!

The rhyming narration helps kids to identify a worry and where it might come from, as well as provides them with helpful tools to reduce and cope with worries.

A Note to Parents and Caregivers provides more information on how you can help your little worrier to stay calm.

As adults, we know that so many of us experience anxiety and intrusive worries, and we may not have the tools to deal with them. Our kids have worries too, and at a young age, lacking perspective, their worries can seem like the worst things in the world to them. Wouldn’t it be a better world if our children could learn how to reduce their stress and cope with anxiety, and maybe even start a generation of less stressed adults? This book could be the first step.” Portland Book Review

Hear A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers read aloud.

My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, and Katherine A. Martinez, PsyD

My Anxious Mind, Teens Anxiety Guide coverCan your teen spare 30 minutes to feel less anxious?

My Anxious Mind outlines a simple and proven plan to help teens understand and deal with anxiety and panic. It is chock full of simple-to-use tools and strategies that easily fit into any teen’s busy routine.

The strategies discussed in My Anxious Mind are firmly grounded in the latest research on treating anxiety. At the same time, the book is highly accessible, engaging, and easy to follow. I highly recommend My Anxious Mind to any teen who struggles with high levels of anxiety. Their parents should read it, too!” —Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto; Author of The Anti-Anxiety Workbook

Depression: A Teen’s Guide to Survive and Thrive by Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD

Depression: A Teen’s Guide to Survive and Thrive explains what depression is, how it can derail your teen, and effective ways for them to take care of themselves if they are depressed. Full of useful information, helpful self-reflection quizzes, and easy-to-do exercises, and based firmly on cognitive-behavioral principles, this book will provide your teen with a concrete plan that could make a huge difference in their health and well-being — a difference that lasts.

In their balanced approach, Toner and Freeland offer information in a supportive, noncondescending way and treat depression like the serious issue it is, all while maintaining an ultimately positive outlook.” Booklist

Someone To Talk To: Getting Good at Feeling Better by Paola Conte, PhD, Cheryl Sterling, PhD, and Larissa Labay, PsyD

Therapy can be intimidating for anyone, and even more so for children. Someone To Talk To is a straightforward and interactive guide to help children through the therapy process. It is an invaluable therapy accompaniment that covers what to expect, how to prepare, and tips for wrapping up. The pages are full of helpful activities to use before, after, and in conjunction with therapy, as well as useful everyday tools and coping strategies.

Also included are separate introductions for parents and caregivers and for children, with more information about therapy, and how and why to use this book and its activities.

Someone To Talk To is a nonthreatening, inviting, interactive self-guiding manual to assist kids in getting the most from their cognitive behavioral therapy experience.” Midwest Book Review

To browse all of Magination Press’s titles, visit our webpage.

For help finding a therapist for yourself or your child, use APA’s Therapist Locator.