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Kate Thompson

Picture Book Author

Light in the darkness

There will be times, like now, when the world seems to be filled with nothing but bad news. As adults, this can make us feel anxious, or scared about what the future holds. However, we aren’t the only ones exposed to world events.

Hill and Lightbeam drawing

Children are watching and listening. Even if we are lucky enough not to be directly affected, and try to shield them from the news reports, children will overhear adult conversations, or gossip in the playground, or simply be aware that something is ‘not right’.

Whilst we want to protect children, it is vital that we don’t simply pretend that bad things aren’t happening. This will likely make them worry more. Instead, we need to take the time to have age-appropriate conversations with them. These conversations give us the chance to learn what they have heard, to correct any exaggerations or inaccuracies, to encourage them to talk about any concerns or worries, and to answer any questions they may have. By making yourself available, you can ensure that the information they receive is accurate and delivered in a reassuring and age-appropriate way. It also gives you the chance to stop any fears or worries escalating.

For young children, picture books can be really helpful in setting up these conversations, or simply providing reassuring and hopeful bedtime reading to quiet any anxiety they may be feeling.

There are numerous picture books that focus on hope, kindness and love, but a few of our favourites include:

Ruby’s Worry Cover
Ruby’s Worry

by Tom Percival

Come With Me Cover
Come With Me

by Holly M. McGhee, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

Pass It On Cover
Pass It On

by Sophy Henn

Most People Cover
Most People

by Michael Leannah, illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris

And if you just want a giggleful picture book, here are a few that always make us smile:

Poo In the Zoo Cover
Poo In the Zoo

by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Ada Grey

I Can Only Draw Worms Cover
I Can Only Draw Worms

by Will Mabbitt

You Can’t Take An Elephant On The Bus Cover
You Can’t Take An Elephant On The Bus

by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, illustrated by David Tazzyman

The Super Happy Magic Forest Cover
The Super Happy Magic Forest

by Matty Long

So, take a moment and share a few happy hopeful picture books. You may even find that you feel better too!