A healthy January with Steve

Hello, my name’s Steve and for nearly a year now I’ve been making regular videos on the subject of health and wellbeing for Hampshire Library Service’s brilliant social media accounts. In this little blog post I’m going to share some of the things I’ve learned over that time, along with some of my favourite videos and the books that I used to make them. 

Spending the last few months learning about health and wellbeing has really changed my perspective on how interconnected our minds and bodies are. For instance, our state of mind directly effects how motivated we are to look after ourselves physically and, in turn, our physical health directly affects our state of mind. I’ve also learned that even tiny parts of our everyday routine, like cooking, can have an important impact on our wellbeing. Not only are they an opportunity to live more healthily but, if we experiment a little with them, they can also be exciting and absorbing activities. I’ve found that regularly trying new recipes has given me a sense of achievement.  

I really enjoyed making bruschetta out of stale bread and old garlic because, not only was it delicious, but it also gave me an opportunity to show that you can make something (reasonably) healthy out of things you just have lying around. Decreasing waste is always good and I think saving money by using up leftover is particularly helpful to people during these difficult times.  

In terms of overall wellbeing, I found Men’s Health by Jim Pollard a useful and accessible guide to all aspects of keeping myself healthy, and a surprising amount of its information was equally relevant for all genders. For instance, if you have trouble motivating yourself to exercise then try to ‘nudge’ yourself into doing it by adopting little habits, like making sure any equipment you need is laid out and easily accessible to you before you go to bed. Its guide to the importance on getting a good night sleep is another good example. 

Over the last few months I’ve read too many useful books on exercise to name. But one thing that all the best ones had in common was to stress how vital it is not to overdo things. Fitness is important, but hurting yourself is always detrimental to your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. It’s vital to stretch and warm up before you attempt any exercise, but flexibility is an often-overlooked part of our general health. Not only can it keep you limber, it can also build strength as well, particularly in activities like Yoga. Another fascinating aspect of health and wellbeing that we tend to overlook is our energetic health. This is something that is more focused on in the eastern medical tradition and is the subject of The Qigong Bible by Katherine Allen. Qigong is a form of ancient Chinese moving meditation which is focused on cultivating energy as well as increasing peace of mind and this book gives a very thorough and graspable introduction to it.  

So, what have I learned about health and wellbeing over the course of 2020? And what overall piece of advice can I give you about looking after yourself? Well, overall, I think you need to make sure that the upkeep of your mind and body is as varied and interesting as possible. Having a sense of routine can help our state of mind while we’re all stuck in doors by making us feel in control, but it can also become monotonous if we’re not careful, which can make us feel low. Staying physically and mentally healthy should be fun!  So, remember to spice things up: try a new recipe, a new form of exercise, different ways to relax. And, above all, keep reading. 

Digital Naturally Mindful

We invite you to seek wellbeing in nature by dipping into our new Naturally Mindful collection of 21 eTitles 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.

This collection of eTitles can be found on BorrowBox, the library’s eBook and eAudiobook provider, to download and enjoy at home on your smartphone or tablet.

Into the forest
by Dr Qing Li

Humans are increasingly becoming an indoor species. We spend 90 per cent of our life indoors. And, on average, we dedicate eight hours a day looking at screens. Our increasingly domestic lives are having huge consequences to our health. In Into the Forest, Immunologist and Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li, examines the unprecedented benefits of the world’s largest natural health resource: the great outdoors.Applying cutting-edge research and emerging science, Dr Li explores the inherent connection between nature and improved wellbeing. This practical guide will help you overcome some of life’s most problematic health issues, including how to: · reduce blood pressure; · lower stress;· improve energy levels;· and boost the immune system.`

A sweet Wild Note, what we hear when birds sing
by Richard Smyth

Birdsong is woven into culture, emotions, and landscape. It is the soundtrack to our world, shaping experiences of place and belonging. We have tried to capture this fleeting, ephemeral beauty, and the feelings it inspires, for millennia. In this rich and insightful account, Richard Smyth asks what it is about birdsong that we so love, exploring the myriad ways in which it has influenced literature, music, and art, our feelings about the natural world, and our very ideas of what it means to be human. Does the song-thrush mean to sing “a full-hearted evensong/Of joy illimited,” as he does in Hardy’s poem “The Darkling Thrush?” Examining his own conflicted love of birdsong, Smyth’s nuanced investigation shows that what we hear says as much about us, our dreams and desires, as it does about the birds and their songs. At a time when birdsong is growing quieter, with fewer voices, more thinly spread, this beautiful book is a celebration of the complex relationships between birds, people, and landscape; it is also a passionate call to arms and an invitation to act lest our trees and hedges fall silent.

Shinrin-Yoku
by Dr Qing Li

Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing is the practice of spending time in the forest for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, Shinrin-Yoku is a way to reconnect with nature, from walking mindfully in the woods, to a break in your local park, to walking barefoot on your lawn. Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li’s research has proven that spending time around trees (even filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils) can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy, boost immune system and even help you to lose weight.

The Natural Navigator
by Tristan Gooley

Starting with a simple question – ‘Which way am I looking?’ – Tristan Gooley blends natural science, myth, folklore and the history of travel to introduce you to the rare and ancient art of finding your way using nature’s own sign-posts, from the feel of a rock to the look of the moon.With Tristan’s help, you’ll learn why some trees grow the way they do and how they can help you find your way in the countryside. You’ll discover how it’s possible to find North simply by looking at a puddle and how natural signs can be used to navigate on the open ocean and in the heart of the city. Wonderfully detailed and full of fascinating stories, this is a glorious exploration of the rediscovered art of natural navigation.

The Seafarers
by Stephen Rutt

The British Isles are remarkable for their extraordinary seabird life: spectacular gatherings of charismatic Arctic terns, elegant fulmars and stoic eiders, to name just a few. Often found in the most remote and dramatic reaches of our shores, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by us but by the birds.In 2015, Stephen Rutt escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London for the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly of the Orkney Islands. In thrall to these windswept havens and the people and birds that inhabit them, he began a journey to the edges of Britain. From Shetland, to the Farnes of Northumberland, down to the Welsh islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, he explores the part seabirds have played in our history and what they continue to mean to Britain today.The Seafarers is the story of those travels: a love letter, written from the rocks and the edges, for the salt-stained, isolated and ever-changing lives of seabirds. This beguiling book reveals what it feels like to be immersed in a completely wild landscape, examining the allure of the remote in an over-crowded world

Wisdom from a humble jellyfish
by Rani Shah

We could all learn a thing or two about living in balance from our friends in the plant and animal kingdom. Take, for example, the jellyfish, one of the most energy-efficient animals in the world, moving through the ocean by contracting and relaxing, with frequent breaks in between. Or the avocado tree, which can credit its existence to a mutually beneficial relationship with the pre-historic sloth, followed by some hungry, hungry humans and the advent of agriculture. And then there is the oyster, producing a pearl as the result of an immune response when a grain of sand invades her system. What better example exists of how adversity can produce something beautiful?We need look no farther than nature—from the habits of the porcupine to the sunflower to the wombat to the dragonfly—for small and simple things we can do to slow down, recharge, and living more thoughtfully, lovingly, and harmoniously.Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish . . . is at once charming and scientific, packed with essential wisdom and practical tips worth borrowing from our plant and animal friends for life-changing self-care.

The Old Ways
by Robert Macfarlane

In The Old Ways Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes criss-crossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of songlines and their singers. Above all this is a book about people and place: about walking as a reconnoitre inwards, and the subtle ways in which we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move.Told in Macfarlane’s distinctive and celebrated voice, the book folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His tracks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird-islands of the Scottish northwest, and from the disputed territories of Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he walks stride for stride with a 5000-year-old man near Liverpool, follows the ‘deadliest path in Britain’, sails an open boat out into the Atlantic at night, and crosses paths with walkers of many kinds – wanderers, wayfarers, pilgrims, guides, shamans, poets, trespassers and devouts.

Landmarks
by Robert Macfarlane

Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

The Garden Jungle
by Dave Coulson

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Wherever you are right now, the chances are that there are worms, woodlice, centipedes, flies, silverfish, wasps, beetles, mice, shrews and much, much more, quietly living within just a few paces of you.Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating and sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the lawn and diving into the garden pond. He explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.The Garden Jungle is at times an immensely serious book, exploring the environmental harm inadvertently done by gardeners who buy intensively reared plants in disposable plastic pots, sprayed with pesticides and grown in peat cut from the ground. Goulson argues that gardens could become places where we can reconnect with nature and rediscover where food comes from. With just a few small changes, our gardens could become a vast network of tiny nature reserves, where humans and wildlife can thrive together in harmony rather than conflict. For anyone who has a garden, and cares about our planet, this book is essential reading.

Bring the outside in
by Val Bradley

Love plants, but short on outdoor space? Or feeling inspired by striking terrariums and succulent gardens? Keen to create a unique home brimming with greenery? Then this is the book for you. With stunning photography and expert step-by-step tips, Bring The Outside In reveals everything you need to know to help your plants thrive, from dramatic statement foliage and miniature citrus trees to table-top terrariums and hanging planters. With chapters on orchids, cacti, herb gardens and chilli plants, your home will be flourishing in no time.

Gardening in pyjamas
by Helen Yemm

The Daily Telegraph’s much-loved columnist Helen Yemm manages to strike a happy balance between giving you enough information to get you going and not so much that it scares you or puts you off entirely. She dispenses invaluable advice, minus the mumbo jumbo, with refreshing humour and a clear understanding that not everyone has the wherewithal, in terms of time and finances, to spend every possible moment in the garden. So if you find yourself padding about your plot in your nightclothes without really knowing what to do, Gardening in Your Pyjamaswill provide you with all the essential facts to nurture your growing passion.

Mindfulness in the garden
by Murray Zachiah

Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered with each gardening activity serves to water the seeds of mindfulness within us, and softening and preparing the ground for our ability to be present.Mindfulness in the Garden values weeds as important messengers seeking to bring into close communion our spiritual nature with that of the environment. It likens spiritual practice to cultivating a garden and inspires each person to accept themselves and start where they are, weeds and all. Through the practice of mindful gardening, we invite not only the thriving of the natural world but also the flowering and beauty of the pure land of our true self to emerge.Features black and white botanical illustrations throughout.

The Natural Health Service
by Isobel Hardman

In 2016, Isabel Hardman’s mind, in her own words, ‘stopped working’ as she fell prey to severe depression and anxiety. She took time off on long-term sick leave and despite several relapses has returned to work with a much improved ability to cope. She has since become one of the UK’s most prominent public voices on mental health.

She credits her better health to her passion for exercise, nature and the great outdoors – from horse-riding and botany to cold-water swimming and running. In The Natural Health Service, she draws on her own personal experience, interviews with mental illness sufferers and psychologists, and the latest research to examine what role wildlife and exercise can play in helping anyone cope with mental illness. Straight-talking, thoroughly-researched, and compassionate, this important and often funny book will fascinate anyone touched by a mental health condition, whether themselves or through the experiences of a loved-one.

Walks in the Wild
by Peter Wohlleben

Can you tell the difference between wolf and dog prints? Which trees are best to shelter under a storm? How do you tell a deciduous and coniferous tree apart? Bestselling author of The Hidden Life of trees, Peter Wohlleben, lets you in on the quintessentials of his forestry knowledge. He invites you on an atmospheric journey of discovery. Learn to find your way around the woods without a compass or GPS, which berries and mushrooms are good to eat, how to read animal tracks and what it’s like to spend a night alone in a forest.

The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben

Research is now suggesting trees are capable of much more than we have ever known. In The Hidden Life of Trees, forester Peter Wohlleben puts groundbreaking scientific discoveries into a language everyone can relate to. In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth. After a walk through the woods with Wohlleben, you’ll never look at trees the same way again.

Slow
by Jo Peters

Discover ways to slow down time with this invaluable guide to slow living. It will not only boost your physical and mental well-being but enrich your relationships and help you to reconnect with what’s really important.

With practical advice on self-care, breathing techniques, mindfulness, ethical living and eating, and how best to cultivate quiet moments every day, ‘Slow’ is your companion to a happier, calmer you.

Salt on your tongue
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, sea birds and mermaids.In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.

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.This new wellness trend captures the desire to surround ourselves with flora and fauna. While the idea of the wild outdoors is enticing, though, our busy lives and our location can cause us to become detached from nature. Nature Notes will show you how to connect with the natural world around you, whether you live in the city or the countryside.From getting to know the local wildlife, to foraging and creating naturally-sourced masterpieces, Nature Notes is brimming with practical information, intriguing quotes and inspirational ideas. Discover how to carve your own spoon; to be able to tell if the moon is waxing or waning; or try forest bathing (surrounding yourself with trees). Learn how to make yourself at home amongst the animals and plants on your doorstep, in harmony with your surroundings.

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

But we can make hidden things visible, and this book features 23 spells that will bring the magic of nature much closer to home.Mammals you never knew existed will enter your world. Birds hidden in treetops will shed their cloak of anonymity. With a single movement of your hand you can make reptiles appear before you. Butterflies you never saw before will bring joy to every sunny day. Creatures of the darkness will enter your consciousness. And as you take on new techniques and a little new equipment, you will discover new creatures and, with them, new areas of yourself that had gone dormant. Once put to use, they wake up and start working again. You become wilder in your mind and in your heart. Once you know the spells, the wild world begins to appear before you. For anyone who wants to get closer to the nature all around them and bring it back into focus, this is the perfect read.

A breath of fresh air
by Rebecca Frank

This book is about switching off from social media and finding contentment in the here and now – taking time out to enjoy small tasks, connect with other people and enjoy all the beauty of nature throughout the year.A Breath of Fresh Air is structured by seasons, with a focus on finding joy in the natural world. Whether it’s paddling a canoe, spotting swallows on a summer evening, daydreaming on a deckchair, foraging for wild garlic, watching a film at an outdoor cinema or recording the sounds you hear in the forest, there are over 50 creative and imaginative ways to encourage mindfulness and find calm.The book also encourages wellbeing through physical activity, making use of the beautiful places looked after by the National Trust – this ranges from a wander through a bluebell wood, to using nature’s gym to practise yoga or balance on logs, taking up running or playing in the snow. Beautifully illustrated throughout, and with lots of handy tips on where to visit or find ways to wellbeing, this is the perfect book for finding inner contentment in today’s frantic world.

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

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.

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.

Movember

November 2019

Movember is a campaign aimed at tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention in men. It helps to raise awareness of the importance of getting health checks and to get men talking about their mental health to reduce the stigma.

Movember’s aim ‘BY 2030, WE AIM TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MEN DYING PREMATURELY BY 25%.”

Why not join in with the Movember movement and grow a moustache to raise awareness this November? It’s a fun way to raise money and awareness for this amazing charity. Find out more on their website: uk.movember.com.

If you are worried about someone or need some advice yourself, take a look at these helpful websites:

Can reading improve your mental health?

Statistics shown by The Reading Agency say:

  • Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression, and about 1.3 million people in the UK say they rarely read because of depression. (27)
  • Proven power of reading. An online poll of over 4000 people from a representative sample in the UK revealed that regular readers for pleasure reported fewer feelings of stress & depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology intensive activities. (28)
  • Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self esteem & a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns. (29)
  • Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction. (30)

(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 5-6]↩28 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩29 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩30 [Billington, J,
(2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 7]↩

Libraries have a wealth of material on many topics and can be a great way to get started in talking about men’s health. You can even read books from home using the BorrowBox app. This is free to use using your library card number and PIN. Find out more about Borrowbox here: Hampshire Libraries BorrowBox

Libraries also host different groups such as knit and natter, reading groups and many others. Most you can drop in to, just ask at your local library to find out what is on offer.

Books On Prescription: The Reading Well books on prescription is a national scheme by The Reading Agency. This has recommended books from a range of self-help books which have proven value in helping people who suffer from common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anger and panic attacks. Find the list here: Books on Prescription List

Hampshire Library Movember Booklist

The essential guide to prostate cancer / David Loshak

This text provides straightforward information on prostate cancer: from what the prostate is and how to recognise the symptoms of the condition, to what happens during screening and diagnosis, and the treatments available. All the medical issues are covered with sections that deal with the emotional effects of the disease.

This book could help : the men’s head space manual / Rotimi Akinsete.

Your body needs maintaining to keep it healthy. So does your mind. Sounds simple, but tired and outdated ideas that tell men how they ought to be, mean the message gets lost. And the results speak for themselves: suicide is the biggest killer of men under fifty. ‘This Book Could Help’ is filled with straightforward expert advice and simple techniques to help you shake off what other people say you ought to be, prioritize yourself, meet challenges and develop new strengths, in areas such as dealing with stress, motivation, work and life goals.

The essential guide to testicular cancer

This title has been written with the average reader in mind, all the information compiled is easy to understand and directed to a public that may be diagnosed with or fear the diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Suicide prevention techniques : how a suicide crisis centre saves lives / Joy Hibbins.

Focusing on the methods used at a ground-breaking Suicide Crisis Centre which has a zero suicide achievement, this guide offers strategies to help people in suicidal crisis. Founded after the author’s own suicidal experience, it challenges the established ways of working in mental health and sets out a new way to provide crisis care.

Reasons to stay alive / Matt Haig.

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.

Sexual Health Week

16 – 22 September 2019

Brook believes that every young person should have equal access to quality relationships and sex education, sexual health services and wellbeing support.

Brook Young People, 2019, http://www.brook.org.uk

Talking about sex and sexual health can be difficult, and it can be even tougher to get the teenagers to listen without the stomping out shouting “Uh, you’re so embarrassing!”
We have some informative and helpful books that you can leave with your teenager for them to read or browse after, or before, having ‘The Talk’ with them. The books can give teenagers the extra support and help they might need to feel confident in themselves and their body. As well as a better understanding of what’s happening to their bodies, to their hormones and know that they are not alone.
Have a look at the list below for just some of the great titles we have available to borrow, or if you would prefer to browse all titles, head down to the bottom of this blog.

1. The breast book : a puberty guide with a difference – it’s the when, why and how of breasts by Emma Pickett

When breasts first start to grow, no one talks about it. There aren’t any greetings cards that say, ‘Woo Hoo! Your breasts are developing!’ but you get a birthday card when you are ten and that’s just about planet Earth going around the Sun ten times. Why don’t we say, ‘Woo Hoo!’? Because we live in a society where we often get uncomfortable and look at the floor when it comes to talking about breasts. They seem to be important in lots of ways but then there are these confusing rules that say when we’re allowed to notice them and talk about them, and when we’re not. This book tells you all about breasts and helps you to feel confident about their arrival.

2. Understanding sexuality : what it means to be lesbian, gay or bisexual by Honor Head

This title looks at the issues around sexuality – what it means, being lesbian, gay or bisexual, coming out, homophobia and accepting yourself and being happy in your own skin. It includes talking and debating points and is perfect for someone starting to question their sexuality or for PSHE lessons.

3. What is gender? How does it define us? And other big questions by Juno Dawson

What’s the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to be defined by your gender? Are there only two genders? This informative book helps kids to explore these questions and more, explaining that there are differences of opinion and that answers are not always straightforward.

4. The boys’ guide to growing up by Phil Wilkinson and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for boys as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from physical changes like body hair and testicle growth to emotional ones like mood swings and self-esteem, the author anticipates any worries that boys may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

5. Doing it! : let’s talk about sex by Hannah Witton

Sexting, virginity, consent, the big O…let’s face it, doing it can be tricksy. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who has sex all figured out. So I’ve written a book full of honest, hilarious (and sometimes awkward) anecdotes, confessions and revelations. And because none of us have all the answers, I’ve invited some friends and fellow YouTubers to talk about their sexuality, too. We talk about doing it safely. Doing it joyfully. Doing it when you’re ready. Not doing it. Basically, doing it the way you want, when you want.

6. Dr Christian’s guide to growing up online (hashtag: awkward) by Dr Christian Jessen

‘Dr Christian’s Guide to Growing Up Online (Hashtag: Awkward)’ takes a social-media style tour through such wide-ranging topics as health, puberty, anxiety, gender, sexuality, stress, grief and any difficult questions in between. In this brand-new book, readers aged 10 and up will come across every question they’ve ever imagined asking, and probably a few they haven’t. Perfect for starting a dialogue about a difficult subject or for getting a quick answer from a reliable source.

7. The girl guide by Marawa Ibrahim and illustrated by Sinem Erkas

Five times world-record breaking hula-hoop star Marawa Ibrahim was told that she was too chubby during her teenage years to succeed as a performer. Today she is one of the most solicited circus performers worldwide, working with artists from Pharrell Williams, to Beyonce and Kenzo. Contained within these pages are 50 lessons, anecdotes and stories about the changes Marawa experienced in her own body during puberty.

8. Puberty and growing up by Anna Claybourne

Puberty is often a confusing time with many changes both physical and emotional to deal with. This book deals with all aspects of puberty in a straightforward and sensitive way so young children and teenagers are armed with all the facts. It includes the changes that happen to boys and girls, periods, moods and stress and introduces sex and sexuality. The text is accompanied by fun, graphic illustrations suitable for any age.

9. Help your kids with growing up : a no-nonsense guide to puberty and adolescence by Robert Winston

Covering everything from the menstrual cycle to sexting and even cyber-bullying, this visual guide to puberty and adolescence is a must-read for all parents and tweens embarking on those scary teenage years. It covers contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image.

10. The girls’ guide to growing up by Anita Naik and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for girls as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from periods and breast development to body hair and personal hygiene, the author anticipates any worries that girls may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

These are just some of the books available to borrow from Hampshire Libraries, visit our website to browse all titles available.

Men’s Health Week 2019

Men’s Health Week is an annual campaign and takes place from 10-16 June and is run by the Men’s Health Forum. Aimed at raising awareness of men’s health, it’s also a time to focus a bit extra on breaking the stigma around men, feelings and emotions.

This year, the focus is on numbers, and especially the  seven numbers all men should be aware of.

– 37 – waist size of 37 inches or above puts you at increased of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 
– 150 – men should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. 
5 – we should aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. 
14 – maximum 14 units of alcohol a week. 
10 – cigarette smokers die 10 years younger on average than non-smokers. 
120/80 – normal blood pressure. 
75 – 75% of suicides (3 out of 4) are by men. 

Source: Men’s Health Forum

This week is about the health and wellbeing of all those out there that identify themselves as men. Have a look through the list of books aimed at men to support a healthy lifestyle, body and mind

Yoga for men
by Dean Pohlman

This book could help: the men’s head space manual
Rotimi Akinsete

Notes on a nervous planet
Matt Haig

The complete book of men’s health
John Mapps and Casey Horton

The 7 Principles of Stress
Ori Hofmekler
The 7 Principles of Stress

Reasons to stay alive
Matt Haig

These are just some of the many books available to borrow, visit your local library or browse our online catalogue for more books on men’s health.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Body image issues can affect all of us, disregarding gender or age.
This year, the focus of the Mental Health Awareness Week (13 May – 19 May) is on just this – body image.

We’ve put together a booklist of books, for all ages, to help get the conversation started about body image and to see that we are all beautiful – no matter our size or weight!

For adults and parents;


Body positive power
by Megan Jayne Crabbe

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We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but the truth is that our bodies are not the problem. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at 14 found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. Then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated.

non-fiction

Weight expectations: one man’s recovery from anorexia
by Dave Chawner
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Looking at the day-to-day struggle of living with an eating disorder, Dave Chawner shares how he became anorexic, and how he has started to recover. This engaging and sharply funny book will give hope to anyone in a similar situation, and give insight life with mental illness to those fortunate enough not to have it.


Am I ugly?
by Michelle Elman

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In today’s world of supplements, celebrity diets and social media, it’s very easy to be hard on ourselves about the way we look. With all this pressure to strive for ‘perfection’ aesthetically, it is easy to forget how damaging this can be psychologically. ‘Am I Ugly?’ is Michelle Elman’s compelling and deeply personal memoir that describes her childhood experiences of life-threatening health problems, long stays in hospital and fifteen complex surgeries that left her scarred, both mentally and physically. The narrative follows Michelle’s journey from illness to health, and from childhood to adulthood as she deals with her body-confidence issues to embrace both her scars and her body – and help others to do the same.

non-fiction

Man up: surviving modern masculinity
by Jack Urwin

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Jack Urwin’s father died just before he turned 10. Being male, he never really learned to talk about this with any kind of sincerity. His grief stayed with him through his teens, slowly becoming depression. Now 24 and a journalist whose recent Vice article ‘A Stiff Upper Lip is Killing British Men’ became a viral sensation, he explores what it means to be a man now. He traces crises of masculinity from our grandfathers’ inability to deal with the horrors of war, to the mob mentality of football terraces or Fight Club, and the disturbing rise of mental health problems among men today.

non-fiction

Curvology: the origins and power of female body shape
by David Bainbridge

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Cambridge Professor of Veterinary Anatomy David Bainbridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to women’s bodies, to explain why the human female is the only female animal to have curves and how these curves rule our lives, by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image.

non-fiction

Happy fat: taking up space in a world that wants to shrink you
by Sofie Hagen
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In Happy Fat, comedian Sofie Hagen shares how she removed fatphobic influences from her daily life and found self-acceptance in a world where judgement and discrimination are rife.From shame and sex to airplane seats, love and getting stuck in public toilets, Sofie provides practical tips for readers – drawing wisdom from other Fat Liberation champions along the way.Part memoir, part social commentary, Happy Fat is a funny, angry and impassioned look at how taking up space in a culture that is desperate to reduce you can be radical, emboldening and life-changing.

non-fiction

Overcoming anorexia nervosa: a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Patricia Graham
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This title provides a complete self-help recovery programme for the dangerous and wide-spread eating disorder anorexia nervosa.

non-fiction

The woman in the mirror: how to stop confusing what you look like with who you are
by Cynthia M. Bulik
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The Woman in the Mirror goes beyond typical self-esteem books to dig deep into the origins of women’s problems with body image. Psychologist Cynthia Bulik guides readers in the challenging task of disentangling self-esteem from body esteem and taking charge of the insidious negative self-talk that started as early as when you first realized you didn’t really look like a fairy princess. By reprogramming how we feel about ourselves and our bodies, we can practice healthy eating and sensible exercise, and focus on the many things we have to offer our family, community, and job. Bulik provides us the tools to reclaim our self-confidence and to respect and love who we are.

non-fiction

The A to Z of eating disorders
by  Emma Woolf
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This practical, myth-busting book demystifies the issues and terminology around eating disorders. In A-Z format, it gives a comprehensive explanation of the different physical and mental aspects of these complex conditions – ending with Z for size zero.


Body image problems & body dysmorphic disorder : the definitive treatment and recovery approach 
by Lauren Callaghan, Annemarie O’Connor & Chloe Catchpole
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From the heart and soul of mental health sufferer Chloe Catchpole, and the expert minds of the talented, clinical psychologists, Lauren Callaghan and Dr Annemarie O’Connor, this book is divided into two helpful, cohesive parts. Detailed from the separate perspectives of a sufferer and the psychologists is an insight into mental health recovery that sufferers can really relate to.

non-fiction

The gentle eating book
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
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Most parents worry about their child’s eating. Common concerns include picky eating in toddlerhood, sweet cravings and vegetable avoidance in the early school years and dieting and worries about weight in the tween and teenage years. This book helps parents to understand their child’s eating habits at each age. Starting from birth, it covers how to start your child off with the most positive approach to eating, whether they are breast or bottle-fed. Parents of older babies will find information about introducing solids, feeding at daycare and when to wean off of breast or formula milk. For parents with toddlers and older children, Sarah includes advice on picky eating and food refusal, overeating, snacking and navigating eating at school, while parents of tweens and teens will find information on dieting, peer pressure, promoting a positive body image and preparing children for future independence.


For the younger readers;


Help your kids with growing up : a no-nonsense guide to puberty and adolescence
by Robert Winston
Cover

Covering everything from the menstrual cycle to sexting and even cyber-bullying, this visual guide to puberty and adolescence is a must-read for all parents and tweens embarking on those scary teenage years. It covers contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image.

non-fiction

 

Growing up for boys
by Alex Frith

Cover

This text prepares boys for what to expect from puberty and offers advice on what they can do to cope with the physical, psychological, and emotional changes and stay happy and confident as they go through their early teens.
Try the eBook

non-fiction

Growing up for girls
by Felicity Brooks
Cover

This book prepares girls for what to expect from puberty and offers advice on what they can do to cope with the emotional, psychological and physical changes and stay happy and confident as they go through their early teens.
Try the eBook

non-fiction

Banish your body image thief : a cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on building positive body image for young people
by Kate Collins-Donnelly
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The body image thief is a sneaky character – if you’re not careful, he’ll steal away all your positive feelings about your body from your ‘Body Image Vault’, leaving only the negative ones behind. How can you banish him? Fortify your vault with positive self-beliefs so he can’t break in! This imaginative workbook contains activities and strategies to help you build up positive thoughts, feelings and beliefs about your body. This title includes blank sections to be filled in by the reader.

non-fiction

Big bones
by Laura Dockrill
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The latest teen novel from the sparkling Laura Dockrill, introducing Bluebelle, and her moving, hilarious take on food, body image and how we look after ourselves and others A heart-warming teen story from the unique voice of Laura Dockrill, about Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones – a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she’s perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself. Moving, memorable and hilarious.

fiction

If you’re worrying about body image and need someone to talk to, these charities can be a good start:

Beat
Helpline for adults: 0808 801 0677
Helpline for youths: 0808 801 0711
Helpline for stiudents: 0808 801 0811

 

Overeaters Anonumous

 

Seed
Helpline 01482 718130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hygiene and Keeping Clean

Some children enjoy playing in the bath and love the taste of toothpaste, but lots of other children don’t. Here are some stories that might help young children to understand why being clean can help keep them healthy and safe.


book cover

Yikes, Stinkysaurus! – Pamela Butchart and Sam Lloyd

Stinkysaurus is the smelliest dinosaur in the whole world and the other dinosaurs decide it is time for him to have a bath.  Can they turn Stinkysaurus into a clean dinosaur?
Age: 3+


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I Keep Clean – Liz Lennon

Using simple words and colourful photographs, this book helps young children find out how to keep clean.
Age: 3+


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Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf – Steve Smallman and Bruno Merz

When the three little pigs won’t give the wolf a tissue, their houses are blown down by his sneezes!  To make matters worse, they then catch his cold.
Age: 4+


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Jumblebum – Chae Strathie and Ben Cort

Johnny’s mum thinks his room is a mess, but he doesn’t care… until all his clutter attracts the terrible Jumblebum Beast.
Age: 4+


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Big Smelly Bear – Britta Teckentrup

Dealing with the sensitive subject of personal hygiene and body odour, this is well handled and has been depersonalised by using bears. A fun approach but still gets the message across.
Age: 3+


 

Illness

Feeling poorly is horrid.  It makes you feel rotten and sometimes spoils the plans you make.  If a grown-up is unwell, that can be even more scary.  Sharing a book about other people feeling poorly might help to explain illness to children and make them a little less worried.


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Through My Window – Tony Bradman and Eileen Browne

Jo is ill and has to stay in; dad looks after her while mum goes to work. Passers-by entertain her through the window until mum returns with the promised present.
Age: 4+


Spotty Lottie and Me – Richard Byrne

Joey has chicken pox and is bored, but Mum says he is infectious, so he can only play with a spotty friend.  Will he find anyone to play with who isn’t scared of catching his spots?
Age: 3+


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I’m really ever so not well – Lauren Child

Lola has a cold, so Charlie has to find ways of amusing her. Explores how Lola feels, and compares it with feeling well.
Age: 3+


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Get Well Soon – Charlotte Hudson and Mary McQuillan

Wobbily Fang’s mummy has to go to hospital and she doesn’t look like mummy anymore.  Wobbily brings her things from home to try and make her eyes sparkle like they used to.
Age: 3+


book cover

Sam’s Spots – Caryn Jenner and Jonathan Langley

Poor Sam has chickenpox and, to make matters worse, it means he has to cancel his birthday party.  Can a spotty birthday be any fun?
Age: 5+


book cover

Doctor, Doctor – Mick Manning and Brita Granström

In this fun, interactive, factual book the reader takes on the role of doctor.  Can you make a correct diagnosis of the common illnesses that are illustrated?
Age: 5+


book cover

Chickenpox – Jillian Powell and Mark Chambers

Tilly has chickenpox and is feeling itchy. Mum tells her not to scratch, but she finds it hard until they make sock puppets together.
Age: 4+


book cover

Boris Gets Spots – Carrie Weston and Tim Warnes

On the day that Miss Cluck’s class has a visit from Mr Gander the farmer, disaster strikes! First Boris, then all the little animals, are soon covered in bright red, itchy spots.
Age: 4+


book cover

Hippospotamus – Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Hippopotamus had a spotamus on her bottomus! Her friends have lots of ideas what might have caused it but, in the end, it turns out to be something rather unexpected.
Age: 3+


 

Illness

Feeling poorly is horrid.  It makes you feel rotten and sometimes spoils the plans you make.  If a grown-up is unwell, that can be even more scary.  Sharing a book about other people feeling poorly might help to explain illness to children and make them a little less worried.


Books on or about COVID-19

Alone Together
by Julia Seal

It isn’t a normal sort of a day. The Sun is up, the birds are out, but everybody’s indoors. Having to stay home can be confusing and lonely for children. This heart-warming story by author-illustrator Julia Seal highlights the importance of friendship and community during these challenging times. The beautiful illustrations and message of hope will help children to see the power of togetherness, and understand that even though we might feel like we’re alone, we’re alone together.
Age: 3+

Susie the childminder and the Pandemic
by Donna Smith

Join Susie and the children as they learn about the importance of community, building resilience and staying safe during a pandemic. 

See how they cope with the pandemic and the challenge to stay in touch with their friends and of course Susie the childminder. After the book, have a go at the Susie the Childminder and the Pandemic worksheet.
Age: 4+

Coronavirus: a book for children about Covid-19
by Kate Wilson, Nia Roberts and Elizabeth Jenner

Fully updated for the paperback edition, this work provides clear explanations about COVID-19 and its effects – both from a health perspective and the impact it has on a family’s day-to-day life. With input from expert consultant Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as advice from teachers and child psychologists, this is a practical and informative resource to help explain the changes we are currently all experiencing.
Age: 5+


Through My Window
by Tony Bradman and Eileen Browne

Jo is ill and has to stay in; dad looks after her while mum goes to work. Passers-by entertain her through the window until mum returns with the promised present.
Age: 4+


Image result for 9781783441174"

Spotty Lottie and Me
by Richard Byrne

Joey has chicken pox and is bored, but Mum says he is infectious, so he can only play with a spotty friend.  Will he find anyone to play with who isn’t scared of catching his spots?
Age: 3+


Self-esteem and mental health
by Anna Claybourne

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 and looks 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.
Age: 9+


I’m really ever so not well
by Lauren Child

Lola has a cold, so Charlie has to find ways of amusing her. Explores how Lola feels, and compares it with feeling well.
Age: 3+


Image result for Get well soon! / Charlotte Hudson ; illustrated by Mary McQuillan."

Get Well Soon
by Charlotte Hudson and Mary McQuillan

Wobbily Fang’s mummy has to go to hospital and she doesn’t look like mummy anymore.  Wobbily brings her things from home to try and make her eyes sparkle like they used to.
Age: 3+


Sam’s Spots
by Caryn Jenner and Jonathan Langley

Poor Sam has chickenpox and, to make matters worse, it means he has to cancel his birthday party.  Can a spotty birthday be any fun?
Age: 5+


What is mental health? Where does it come from? and other big questions
by Lucy Maddox

Exploring and explaining the range of mental health, from wellbeing through to mental health problems, in a non-stigmatising, accessible and accurate way. This book is about the whole range of mental health, from feeling good and being able to do what we like, to needing extra help with thoughts or feelings or behaviours that have got out of hand. Having a mental health problem is part of the range of human experiences that any of us could have, and the book includes pieces from a range of contributors who share their experiences realting to mental health. Mental health problems can be frightening to experience, but there is help available and this book includes useful skills that can boost mental healthiness.
Age: 9+


Doctor, Doctor
by Mick Manning and Brita Granström

In this fun, interactive, factual book the reader takes on the role of doctor.  Can you make a correct diagnosis of the common illnesses that are illustrated?
Age: 5+


Chickenpox
by Jillian Powell and Mark Chambers

Tilly has chickenpox and is feeling itchy. Mum tells her not to scratch, but she finds it hard until they make sock puppets together.
Age: 4+


Image result for Boris gets spots book cover"

Boris Gets Spots
by Carrie Weston and Tim Warnes

On the day that Miss Cluck’s class has a visit from Mr Gander the farmer, disaster strikes! First Boris, then all the little animals, are soon covered in bright red, itchy spots.
Age: 4+


Hippospotamus
by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Hippopotamus had a spotamus on her bottomus! Her friends have lots of ideas what might have caused it but, in the end, it turns out to be something rather unexpected.
Age: 3+


Useful organisations

NHS:
Find your nearest GP, pharmacist, dentist, A&E and urgent care, as well as information and support.