Naturally Mindful – Wellbeing with Nature

We invite you to seek wellbeing in nature by dipping into our new Naturally Mindful collection of 12 books that explore the benefits of spending time outdoors.

This collection will help you find your way as you start to explore the many, myriad ways of relaxing in nature. Whether you’re keen to try Shinrin-yoku, better known as forest bathing, or simply like to slip off your shoes and connect with the ocean, these non-fiction titles have been chosen to  help you thrive in the busy world we all live in, a collection of non-fiction books designed to reinvigorate your love of nature whilst improving your mental health and general fitness.

The collection will be touring our libraries, so next time you’re visiting your local library; have a look to see if they have arrived. Or, if you just can’t wait to read one of the books, you can reserve in a copy for a small charge, by clicking on the book cover below.

The hedgerow apothecary: recipes, remedies and rituals
by Christine Iverson

Learn to forage in the hedgerows like the herbalists of the past. Discover how to make delicious preserves, healing balms, soothing toddies and cures for colds with nature’s jewels such as rose hips, elderberries and mugwort. This sustainable and ethical art is also laced with fascinating folklore and steeped in history. With photographs to help you safely identify edible plants, advice on what is available each season and how best to prepare and preserve your finds, this is the essential guide to enjoying the bountiful delights of the hedgerows.

Skimming stones and other ways of being in the wild
by Rob Cowen

This is a book of simple skills that can help us to interact with nature, achieve a deeper connection with it and even step inside another dimension. Rob Cowen and Leo Critchley teach us how to make and fly a kite, make an elder whistle and build a den – and at the same time teach us about life.

Forest therapy: seasonal ways to embrace nature for a happier you
by Sarah Ivens

Who hasn’t felt better after a walk in the woods, a picnic alfresco or a swim in the sea? There is something soul-soothingly simple and refreshing about being in nature, about making the most of the great outdoors, being mindful of Mother Nature’s gifts and grabbing spring and summer – and those blue sky, brisk days of autumn and winter – with both hands. But sadly it is a skill we are losing. We are becoming creatures wrapped in walls and trapped by to-do lists, hibernating while the world sprouts, grows and changes. From a simple walk in the woods and countryside couples therapy to DIY natural beauty products and how to bring the outdoors to your home, ‘Forest Therapy’ will provide seasonal tips to help you reconnect with nature.

The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us – A Diary
by Emma Mitchell

Emma Mitchell’s richly illustrated and evocative diary records her nature finds over the course of a year and shows how being in the wild benefits our mental and physical wellbeing.

Emma Mitchell doesn’t want to beat around the hawthorn bush, she suffers with depression, and has done for twenty-five years. In 2009, the stresses of a city job became too much and she decided to move her family into a cottage in the Cambridgeshire Fens. She swapped days in the office for walks in the wood. There she began to get better. And better. Her encounters with nature proving to be as medicinal as any therapy or drug.

Filled with Emma’s beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a book for those who want to bring a little piece of the outdoors with them, whether you struggle with low mood or just love discovering more about the natural world.

A breath of fresh air
by Rebecca Frank

From cloud spotting to meditating in a meadow, running on the beach to dozing in a deckchair, spark joy in your life by being outdoors and living every moment in the here and now. Switch off from social media and tune in to the tranquillity of the natural world with over 50 seasonal activities to explore throughout the year.

Shinrin-yoku: the Japanese way of forest bathing 
by Yoshifumi Miyazaki

Shinrin Yoku or ‘forest bathing’ was developed in Japan in the 1980s and brings together ancient ways and wisdom with cutting edge environmental health science. There are now forest bathing stations and walkways scattered throughout Japan, although the good news is that we can all benefit from this simple practice. Simply put, forest bathing is the practice of walking slowly through the woods, in no hurry, for a morning, an afternoon or a day. It is a practice that involves all the senses and as you gently walk and breathe deeply, the essential oils of the trees are absorbed by your body and have an extraordinary effect on stress levels, positive feelings, energy levels and even promote the activity of NK (anticancer) cells and the balancing of blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Wild signs and star paths: 52 keys that will open your eyes, ears and mind to the world around you
by Tristan Gooley

Tristan Gooley, author of the bestselling ‘Walker’s Guide’ and ‘How To Read Water’, shows how it is possible to achieve a level of outdoors awareness that will enable you to sense direction from the stars and plants, forecast weather from woodland sounds and predict the next action of an animal from its body language – instantly.

Down to the river and up to the trees: discover the magic of forest therapy and many more natural wonders
by Sue Belfrage

In a stressful, chaotic world, many of us are turning to nature for a sense of serenity and happiness. While the idea of the wild outdoors is enticing, though, our busy lives and our location can cause us to become detached from nature. ‘Down to the River and Up to the Trees’ will show you how to connect with the natural world around you, whether you live in the city or the countryside. There is space too for you to record your thoughts and findings, whatever shape they take.

Rewild yourself: 23 spellbinding ways to make nature more visible
by Simon Barnes

“We’re not just losing the wild world. We’re forgetting it. We’re no longer noticing it.  We’ve lost the habit of looking and seeing and listening and hearing. We’re beginning to think it’s not really our business.  We’re beginning to as if it it’s not there any more.” Whether you live in city or suburbs or deep countryside, this book will bring you closer to the nature that exists all around you.

Blue mind: how water makes you happier, more connected and better at what you do
by Wallace J. Nichols

Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In ‘Blue Mind’, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionises how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water.

Salt on your tongue: women and the sea
by Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte Runcie has always felt pulled to the sea, lured by its soothing, calming qualities but also enlivened and inspired by its salty wildness. When she loses her beloved grandmother, and becomes pregnant with her first child, she feels its pull even more intensely. In ‘Salt On Your Tongue’ Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beach trawlers, swimmers, seabirds, and mermaids.

Mountains of the mind: a history of a fascination
by Robert Macfarlane

Since they were once avoided at all costs, how have mountains, in the space of three centuries, come to exert such a strange and sometimes fatal hold on the imagination, moving millions every year to risk their lives? The author of this engaging book seeks to answer these questions.

Digital Readers – March 2020

Due to technical difficulties we’ve had to change the book our online reading group will be reading/listening to in March.
Sal by Mich Kitson will instead be April’s book; as per the vote that took place in February.
Because of this, the book that we will read/listen to in March is…

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

From 1 March, until the end of the month, this book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app without having to wait or having to reserve it. It will be available to simply download right away – as both an eBook and an eAudiobook.

The group is open to anyone above the age of 16, with a Facebook account and a Hampshire Library card. If you would like to join the group; just head over to our Facebook page.

Hang on; how does an online reading group work?

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. Ther will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2020

2-8 March marks the week of eating disorders awareness 2020; a time when we fight the stereotypes and stigma around eating disorders.
It’s not just middle class, young, white woman and girls who can develop an eating disorder – it’s something that can affect anyone and everyone no matter age, gender, ethnicity, background or sexuality.
The stereotypes people sometimes hold about who can and who can’t develop an eating disorder can mean some people don’t seek help, or are afraid to talk to friends and family about it in fear that they will be laughed at, teased or not believed.

If you, or someone you know, are struggling with food or weight, check out the helplines at the bottom of this blog.

We’ve put together a list of books which can be useful reading for anyone who’s affected by an eating disorder, or would like to understand it more.

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Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Studentline: 0808 801 0811
Youthline: 0808 801 0711

No wait, No fuss – March’s collection

Do you love eBooks or eAudiobooks, but find you have to wait for a copy to become available? Well, you will love this collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks then!
Each month a collection of titles, some in both formats, become available to download. There’s an almost unlimited number of copies of each title, meaning there’s no wait, no fuss or reserving; just download and enjoy right away.

This month we have 6 eBooks and 13 eAudiobook titles available to download without any wait; have a look at the titles available, and find them on the BorrowBox app.
We’ll start with the children’s ones, so keep scrolling if you would like to see the adult titles.
These titles will be available from 1 March.

eBooks and eAudiobooks for children

The Wizards of Once
by Cressida Cowell

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.
Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests. Until the Warriors came …

Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic, and will do anything to get it. Wish is a Warrior girl, but she owns a banned Magical Object, and she will do anything to conceal it.
In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they’re going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort. Where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring …

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by David Tennant
Suitable for ages: 8+

Margot & Me
by Juno Dawson

Fliss’s mum needs peace and quiet to recuperate from a long illness, so they both move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss’s stern and bullying grandmother. Life on the farm is tough and life at school is even tougher, so when Fliss unearths Margot’s wartime diary, she sees an opportunity to get her own back.

But Fliss soon discovers Margot’s life during the evacuation was full of adventure, mystery . . . and even passion. What’s more, she learns a terrible secret that could tear her whole family apart . . .

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Eilidh Beaton
Suitable for ages: 13+

eBooks and eAudiobooks for adults

Stay With Me 
by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
by M.C. Beaton

Revenge is a dish best served warm…
High-flying public relations supremo Agatha Raisin has decided to take early retirement. She’s off to make a new life in a picture-perfect Cotswold village. To make friends, she enters the local quiche-making competition – and to make quite sure of first prize she secretly pays a visit to a London deli.
Alas, the competition judge succumbs after tasting her perfect quiche, and Agatha is revealed as a cheat and potential poisoner. Definitely not the best start. So Agatha must turn amateur sleuth – she’s absolutely got to track down the real killer!

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Penelope Keith

A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by William Roberts

The Madonna of Bolton
by Matt Cain

Charlie Matthews’s love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life, until Auntie Jan gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called ‘Lucky Star’ …

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Simon Vause

by Lee Child

Never forgive, never forget.
Jack Reacher lives for the moment. Without a home. Without commitment. But he has a burning desire to right wrongs – and rewrite his own agonising past.

Never apologise. Never explain.
When Reacher witnesses a brutal kidnap attempt, he takes the law into his own hands. But a cop dies. Has Reacher lost his sense of right and wrong?

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Jeff Harding

The Fox
by Frederick Forsyth

Most weapons do what you tell them. Most weapons you can control.
But what if the most dangerous weapon in the world isn’t a smart missile or a stealth submarine or even an AI computer program? What if it’s a 17-year-old boy with a blisteringly brilliant mind, who can run rings around the most sophisticated security services across the globe, who can manipulate that weaponry and turn it against the superpowers themselves? How valuable would he be? And what wouldn’t you do to get hold of him?

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by David Rintoul

The Holiday
by T.M. Logan

Seven days. Three families. One killer.
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence.

But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends.

One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Laura Kirman

Nine Perfect Strangers
by Liane Moriarty

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? Nine perfect strangers are about to find out …

The ten-day retreat at boutique health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises healing and transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the blissful meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages. They are all on a path to a better way of living. Or at least a better waistline …

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these tired bodies and minds. But to what lengths will she go to achieve her goal?

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Caroline Lee

The Burning Chambers
by Kate Mosse

Carcassonne 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.
But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to get out of La Cité alive.
Toulouse: As the religious divide deepens in the Midi, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as sectarian tensions ignite across the city, the battle-lines are drawn in blood and the conspiracy darkens further.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Hattie Morahan

Wilde Like Me
by Louise Pentland

Robin Wilde is an awesome single mum. She’s great at her job. Her best friend Lacey and bonkers Auntie Kath love her and little Lyla Blue to the moon and back. From the outside, everything looks just fine.
But behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things sometimes feel . . . grey. And lonely. After 4 years (and 2 months and 24 days!) of single-mum-dom, it’s time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life!

A little courage, creativity and help from the wonderful women around her go a long way. And Robin is about to embark on quite an adventure . . .

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
by Holly Ringland

Flowers, fire and fairy tales are the elements that will forever shape nine-year-old Alice Hart’s life, in The Lost Flower’s of Alice Hart, the remarkable debut by Holly Ringland.
Alice Hart lives in isolation by the sea, where her mother’s enchanting flowers and their hidden messages shelter her from the dark moods of her father. When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.

As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal and a man who’s not all he seems, combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Louise Crawford

Download the BorrowBox app and log in with your Hampshire Library card to enjoy these titles, and thousands of others!

Quick Reads 2020

Quick Reads are aimed at the one-in-six adults in the UK with reading difficulties and was founded in 2006 to provide shorter, more accessible, entertaining fiction for less confident adult readers.

These Quick Reads condense popular titles into shorter versions, with just a few chapters, large text and wider gaps between rows of text, making reading more accessible for adults who might otherwise struggle with a full sized book.

In 2018 author Jojo Moyes stepped in and saved the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads scheme by donated enough funding to allow it to run for a further three years. She has also promised to help them find further funding from other sources in the future.

The 2020 collection is now here, and below you can find a full list of titles – with a link to our online catalogue from which you can reserve books for a small charge.

A fresh start
by Fanny Blake

From wronged wives to nosy neighbours, from distant dads to new-found family, from secrets to lies, fresh starts to false endings – and everything in between – this is a collection of brilliant short stories from the best writers around.

Notting Hill Carnival: a West Side story
by Candice Carty-Williams

Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters.

When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him.

She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth.

Darkness rising
by A.A. Dhand

Detective Inspector Harry Virdee has a lot on his plate. His team is facing government cuts, tensions are building between Bradford’s two rival drugs gangs and his wife Saima is due to give birth any day now.

So when bodies start turning up in the old industrial district, the pressure is on to get the case wrapped up as quickly as possible, or risk a full-scale gang war.

But the man behind the murders is ruthless. And things are getting personal. Harry must think fast and bend the rules if he wants to keep his city, and his family, safe…

This is going to hurt
by Adam Kay

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.
You work 97 hours a week.
You make life and death decisions.
You are often covered in blood (or worse) from head to toe.
And the hospital parking meter earns more money than you do.

Adam Kay’s diary was written in secret after long days, sleepless nights and missed weekends. It is funny, moving and sometimes shocking.

This is everything you wanted to know -and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

The Donor
by Clare Mackintosh

When Lizzie’s daughter Meg is given a life-saving heart transplant, Lizzie feels hugely grateful to the nameless donor.

Then she receives a letter from the donor’s mother, Karen, asking to meet, and it seems like the least she can do.

But as soon as Karen is welcomed into their lives, Lizzie feels something isn’t right. And, before long, she can’t help but worry that by inviting Karen in, she might have put Meg in danger.

The little dreams of Lara Cliffe 
by Milly Johnson

Lara Cliffe and her three friends are off on a mini-break for her hen party.

However, on the overnight ferry, Lara finds out that Danny, her ex – the one who jilted her three weeks before their wedding – is playing in the onboard band, and he spots her in the crowd.

Will she meet him the next night to talk?

These are just the 6 latest additions to the collection, if you would like to browse the full collection you can find it online here!

Why not browse the collection in person next time you visit your local library?

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World Book Day 2020

This is the 23rd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 5 March 2020, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

15 million children (under the age of 18) will be given a £1 voucher to purchase one of the 2020 World Book Day books at participating book sellers. And we are delighted to announce that a set of all 12 books from the 2020 list will be available to loan in libraries across Hampshire from the 5 March 2020.

Here are the World Book Day Books that you will be able to borrow:

Harry Potter and the translated books

To celebrate Harry Potter Book Night 2020 you will now be able to borrow and read the Harry Potter series in seven languages!
That’s right; you can know read these magical stories in French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Chinese – both traditional and simplified kanji.

These collections will live in selected libraries, but you will be able to reserve them, for a small charge, to collect at your local library.
Below is a list of where you will be able to find each language:

Chinese, traditional and simplified:
Basingstoke Discovery Centre
Farnborough Library
Gosport Discovery Centre

Fleet Library
Lymington Library
Petersfield Library
Winchester Discovery Centre

Basingstoke Discovery Centre
Gosport Discovery Centre
Waterlooville Library
Winchester Discovery Centre

Fareham Library
Fleet Library
Gosport Discovery Centre

Aldershot Library
Basingstoke Discovery Centre
Chandler’s Ford Library
Eastleigh Library

Andover Library
Fareham Library
Gosport Discovery Centre

Farnborough Library
Lymington Library
Waterlooville Library
Winchester Discovery Centre

You will be able to find these books with the other non-English books in the above libraries.

What language have you read the Harry Potter books in? Tell us in the comments below!

Reading Well for children

Reading Well for children will support the mental health and wellbeing of children, providing children and their families and carers with information, advice and support for coping with feelings and worries, 
daily life and getting through a tough time.

The Reading Agency

All the books on this list have been chosen by children and families, as well as a panel including colleagues from public libraries, NHS England, Mind, the Royal College of GPs, and the School Library Association.
The books includes a wide range of reading levels, while also being aimed at children age 4-11. These titles will be good to read together with the child so to answer any questions that might come up; but can also be read by the child on their own.

This year’s focus is on these six areas:

Healthy minds
The world around you
Dealing with tough times
Living well with a diagnosed condition

Below you will find the full list of the Reading Agency’s booklist, of which, all but two can be found in Hampshire Libraries. Click or tap the book cover for a link to the Hampshire Library catalogue; from which you can reserve the book for a small charge.

Healthy Minds

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What’s Going on Inside my Head?
by Molly Potter and illustrated by Sarah Jennings
Age range: 4+

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, childfriendly but no-nonsense way, it will help establish solid foundations for every child’s current and future wellbeing.

Healthy for Life: Self-esteem and mental health
by Anna Claybourne and illustrated by Dan Bramall
Age range: 9+

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.

How Not to Lose It: Mental Health Sorted
by Anna Williamson and illustrated by Sophie Beer
Age range: 9+

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 and illustrated by Sarah Jennings
Age range: 0+

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.

Exploring emotions
by Paul Christelis and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Age range: 5+

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 and illustrated by Mike Gordon
Age range: 5+

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.

Sometimes I Feel Sad
written and illustrated by Tom Alexander
Age range: 5+

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
by Tom Percival
Age range: 3+

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 and illustrated by Ximena Jeria
Age range: 5+

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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by Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Jenny Lucander
Age range: 5+

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.

Me and My Fear
written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna
Age range: 5+

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!

All Birds Have Anxiety
by Kathy Hoopmann
Age range: 6+

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.

Worry Angels
by Sita Brahmachari and illustrated by Jane Ray
Age range: 8+

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.

Outsmarting Worry
by Dawn Huebner, illustrated by Kara McHale
Age range: 9+

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.

The World Around You

At school

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Dealing With Bullying
by Jane Lacey and illustrated by Venitia Dean
Age range: 7+

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 and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik
Age range: 6+

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 and Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth
Age group: 7+

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.

Ella on the Outside
by Cath Howe
Age range: 8+

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.


#Goldilocks: a hashtag cautionary tale
by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross
Age range: 3+

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.

In the news

Something Bad Happened: A kid’s guide to coping with events in the news
by Dawn Huebner, illustrated by Kara Mchale
Age range: 6+

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.

Dealing with tough times

When someone dies

Mum’s Jumper written and illustrated
by Jayde Perkin
Age range: 4+

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 jumpermight be a way to keep her close.
A simple, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting book for anyone coping with loss.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book
by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Quentin Blake
Age range: 5+

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.

If all the world were…
by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Alison Colpoys
Age range: 5+

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.

by Alan Durant
Age range: 10+

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?

Getting through a tough time

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The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself
by Ali Redford and illustrated by Kara Simpson
Age range: 4+

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.

Tough times at home

Up and Down Mum
by Child’s Play and Wellcome Trust and illustrated by Summer Macon
Age range: 3+

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 and illustrated by Karin Littlewood
Age range: 5+

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 11 cause and effects of depression and reassure them that depression passes, and their parents are not lost to them.

Living well with a diagnosed condition

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Can I Tell You About ADHD?
by Susan Yarney and illustrated by Chris Martin
Age range: 7+

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
Age range: 9+

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.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

by Louise Spilsbury
Age range: 5+

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.

M is for Autism
by The Students of Limpsfield Grange School, Martin and Vicky Martin
Age range: 9+

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.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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Double Felix
by Sally Harris and illustrated by Maria Serrano
Age range: 7+

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?

Having a disability

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Questions and Feelings About: Having a disability
by Louise Spilsbury and illustrated by Ximena Jeria
Age range: 5+

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.

You can find these books, and more, in our When a Book Might Help collection.