Kids' Books About Finding Happiness

September 21, 2017





Over the years I've seen how kids are deeply touched by the books they read. This is why, as a therapist, I liked to read them books that contain important messages or skills and offered openings to talk about difficult or confusing topics, like feelings.



Because I specialized in the treatment of depression and anxiety, I was always and everywhere in search of books to help kids explore sadness, worry and fear. This post shares 4 of my favourite books about feeling sad and finding happiness, including (full disclosure) one co-written by me.























Some Helpful Tips for a Better World and a Happier Life

by Rebecca Doughty


About the book


This book isn’t a story so much as a series of ideas about happiness. I kept it in the waiting room of my private practice for many years. It went missing for a time, but quietly returned one day. I loved that. I often heard kids and parents reading the tips aloud as they waited, sharing and giggling as they did.


Why it’s on my shelf


I like it for its simple and memorable little practices, like begin each day making funny faces in the mirror. Also for encouraging kids to think about how they might do something, like give Mother Nature a hand.
























The Cloud

By Hannah Cumming


About the book


A black scribble hovers over a little girl’s head, following her everywhere she goes. The scribble and grey images convey her mood simply but completely. With the help of others her mood slowly shifts, the colours brighten and the scribble recedes and disappears. In walks another character…with another cloud.


Why it’s on my shelf


There is so much to notice and talk about through the images of this book. I often shared it with kids, asking questions like What is the scribble? Why might it be there? What might help? How are others helping? What would you do? Kids also loved creating their own scribbles while exploring questions like these.   
























Stuck with the Blooz

By Caron Levis and Illustrated by Jon Davis


About the book


What do you do when your mood becomes a drippy, oozy monster called the Blooz? Do you fight it, ignore it, feel sorry for it, make friends with it?  The main character tries many different things to deal with her Blooz. Through trial and error, she figures out that shaking the Blooz isn’t easy, but it is possible.


Why it's on my shelf


By giving the Blooz a face and a personality, this clever book offers a creative and accessible way to talk about feeling sad. The playful language and images make it easy to share, not heavy. And the Blooz monster provides great inspiration for art activities. For older kids the Blooz may give a concrete voice to their feelings of sadness and even depression; a great place to begin any healing journey.
























Happy Hunting

By Sandy Magee and Maria De Giovanni


About the book


Happy Hunting tells the tale of Liza, a little girl who wakes up one morning feeling BLAH.  Believing she has lost her happy, Liza puts on her best happy hunting clothes and heads outside to hunt for it. Through time in nature, adventure, laughter and play, Liza's search slowly reconnects her with her (inner) happiness. The expression “happy hunting” is meant to inspire kids to LOOK for their happiness whenever it seems lost.


Why we wrote it and it’s on my shelf


From my experiences as a therapist, and a desire to fill a hole that existed in kids’ books, Happy Hunting emerged. It was written to encourage kids to notice happiness in simple things here, there and everywhere and, especially, inside themselves. The Happy HeART Activity included at the end of the story and on our Free Stuff page helps kids identify the people, places, thoughts and things that contribute to their personal happiness, so they can hold these inside their heart and access them anytime.


We are on a mission to inspire happiness in kids.


Find free activities and lessons to support the book and other happy habits at redsandkids.




I intentionally didn’t include age ranges for any of these books because I’ve found that almost any good book can speak to almost any one, regardless of age. Maybe this is why I so often loved the books as much as the kids did. Besides, all of us have felt the dark Cloud of the Blooz at times and found that a Happy Hunt can reconnect us with a Better World and Happier Life.






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