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7 Books To Help Address and Discuss Tough Topics With Kids

2020 was — to borrow a phrase from a popular kid’s book — a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. And for parents, one of the year’s hardest jobs was trying to explain current events to young kids.

“We are living in challenging times,” says children’s book author Matt de la Peña — and kids are taking a lot of it in. “While you and I read the news, watch the news, listen to the news — our young children are watching and reading us, and so they’re not getting the whole picture,” he says.

De la Peña believes books can explore deep or difficult issues without hitting them head-on. “I don’t think the job of a picture book is to answer questions,” he says. “I think it’s just to explore interesting topics.”

Books should begin conversations, he explains: “Sometimes those are silly conversations, sometimes they’re educational conversations and sometimes, like now, they can be quite profound.”

In this MindShift interview with de la Peña, learn about seven books written for children aged 3-12 that help them understand and cope with anxiety, fear, loss and other complex feelings.

The seven books de la Peña recommends are the following:

  • for A Child Experiencing Anxiety: There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Laurel Molk (for ages 3 to 7)
  • for A Child Who Is Upset: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (for ages 3 to 5)
  • for A Child Searching For Their Place In The World: The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat (for ages 4 to 8)
  • for A Child Thinking About Death: A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Seo Kim (for ages 5 to 9)
  • for A Child Struggling To Be Kind: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis (for ages 5 to 8)
  • for A Child Feeling Stuck: When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy (for ages 9 to 12)

and finally —

  • acknowledging When Life Is Scary, de la Peña’s 2018 book, Love

Excerpted from “7 Books To Help Address and Discuss Tough Topics With Kids” on KQED’s MindShift. Read the full article or listen to the broadcast online for more details on each of the recommendations.

Source: MindShift | 7 Books To Help Address and Discuss Tough Topics With Kids, https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/57191/7-books-to-help-address-and-discuss-tough-topics-with-kids | © 2021 KQED INC

Do you need someone to talk to? To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Manager at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org CHC teletherapy services are available now.

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