One of the many gifts that children give us is permission to use our imaginations, and that's especially vital during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. It's easy to envision a fairy tale that begins, "Once upon a time there was an illness so terrible that children had to stay home all the time." It would be a story about overcoming difficulties. We would need our imaginations in order to find our way through that story safely.
The books listed below are sure to spark the imagination. They're chock full of skills, wisdom, and perspectives that help bolster and soothe souls — those of children and their caregivers alike. We hope they will bring reassurance, hope, creative solutions, and even joy to you and your loved ones.
You can follow these links to a category of books or simply scroll down to your heart's content.
- Appreciating Nature
- Dealing with Emotions
- Developing Useful Practices
- Embracing Loss and Grief
- Gaining Perspective
- Staying Home
The Blue Hour
By Isabelle Simler
A rich indulgence in the beauties of blue outdoors, from blue jays to whales to forget-me-nots.
If I Was the Sunshine
By Julie Fogliano and Loren Long Poetic
Profoundly restorative reflections on nature, connections, and love.
By Scott Russell Sanders
A combination of the loveliness of a climax hardwood forest with a father's patient teaching about some of the most common tree species.
By Deborah Underwood
An warm, evocative reminder — essential during the pandemic — that we belong to the outdoors no matter where we are.
A Prayer for the Animals
By Daniel Kirk
A blessing that helps young children identify with and care for all creatures of the earth, air, and seas.
You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks
By Evan Turk
A poetic immersion in the sights, smells, and sounds of these cherished lands.
By Gail Silver
A story about how a boy learns to befriend his anger and, in doing so, transforms it.
The I'm Not Scared Book
By Todd Parr
A wise work about embracing your fears and reframing them.
By Mallika Chopra
A guide to emotional awareness that provides a stable basis for 8 - 12 year olds to face into a challenging world with ample creativity, flexibility, caring, and self-understanding.
My Friend Is Sad
By Mo Willems
A delightful tale about how true friendship means being present to those who are sad rather than trying to change them.
When You Are Brave
By Pat Zietlow Miller
Heartwarming encouragement that can make us all stand taller and face into transitional times with a vital, loving confidence.
When You're Scared
By Andree Poulin
A story of a boy and a bear that shows there's often something to be done to lessen danger and increase kindness.
Why Do We Cry?
By Fran Pintadera
Gentle and honest reassurance about the many reasons for tears.
ABC Mindful Me
By Christiane Engel
A multifaith boardbook full of poetry as well as practicality, covering one-word mindfulness practices like Awareness, Breathe, Compassion, and Dream.
By Christiane Engel
A creative alphabet book about hatha yoga asanas from Armadillo to Zzzz, the sleeping pose.
By Christopher Willard, Daniel Rechtschaffen
Simple breath practices invented by kids and endearingly illustrated.
By William Meyer
Welcoming watercolor illustrations and gentle instructions for breathing in spaciousness and light.
The Breathing Book
By Christopher Willard and Olivia Weisser
Playful, calming activities for breath practice that focus on the senses and feelings.
By Mallika Chopra
An anchor for tweens seeking a healthier, happier life through meditation and mindfulness practice.
By Charlotte Agell
A book about the power of patient friendship to lessen our sorrows.
By Chieri Uegaki
Story about how a girl's love of her grandfather's Zen garden becomes the touchstone of her creative response to grief.
A Stone for Sascha
By Aaron Becker
A centuries-long biography of a meteorite that brings cosmic perspective to a young girl's grief.
Things That Go Away
By Beatrice Alemagna
A funny, touching account of bubbles, tears, fears, and other things that transform.
When Sadness Is at Your Door
By Eva Eland
Encouragement and sound advice for young children experiencing sorrow.
To Every Thing There Is a Season
By Diane and Leo Dillon
A sensuous celebration of the kinship of all peoples through time and space in this age of global spirituality.
The Keepers of Color
By Jon Marro
A coloring book that takes you on a mythic journey into your own limitless potential.
Look and Be Grateful
By Tomie dePaola
A board book primer on gratefulness practice by a beloved award-winning author and illustrator.
The 99 Names of God
By Daniel Thomas Dyer
A beautiful book appropriate for people of all faiths with definitions, signs, quotes, and discussion questions about the qualities of the Divine.
The Perfectly Perfect Wish
By Lisa Mantchev
A young girl's discovery of how considering the needs of others allows a single wish to blossom into many.
The Thank-You Game
By Katie Bloom
A simple game with the power to transform feelings of lack into assurance that all is well.
Inside My Imagination
By Marta Arteaga
A children's book that recognizes the imagination as a place for practice.
A Quiet Place
By Douglas Wood
How a quiet place can serve as an escape from noise pollution and the technological toys of modern life.
The Silence Slips In
By Alison Hughes
An appealing depiction of the Silence as a gentle and protective creature who can be called when needed.
By Annika Dunklee
An appealing story for cooped-up children about an older boy's change of heart toward his tag-along little brother.
You Are Never Alone
By Elin Kelsey
A joyously loving book about the myriad of natural connections that support and sustain us.