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7 Children’s Books That Encourage Connection & Growth Through Challenge

A good story can help us find our strength in challenge. There’s nothing like the feeling that “Someone else gets it!” Books have a way of helping us feel supported in our journey. They nurture in us connection, awareness of self and others, and are grand tools in begining a conversation or planting a seed. Whether used a in a therapy session or a resource at home, these books are old favorites and newbies that I cannot wait to share. I hope you enjoy!


1. The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

It’s important because: This book supports children in overcoming the fear of loneliness and separation. A healing tool for children on their grief journey who might be missing a someone that was close to them. Or perhaps a kid who’s feeling that pull on the heart string as they wave bye to a parent during drop off and transitions. “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

Experiences of Focus: separation anxiety, grief, loss.


2. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook

It’s important because: Worries and what if’s can take over and stop us from doing the things we want to do or the activities we love. This book gives kids a chance to gain control over what they can do something about, and let go of the things they have no control over.
Experiences of Focus: anxiety, worry, fear, apprehension.

Check out the accompanying workbook.










3. Why Does Izzy Cover Hear Ears? Dealing with Sensory Overload by Jennifer Veenendall

It’s important because: Sensory overload is something that many kids cope with on a daily basis. This experience is often difficult for kids to explain and goes misunderstood. When kids feel misunderstood, they can feel unsupported and frustrated. Finding a way to connect about sensory-modulation difficulties is empowering for all.

Experiences of focus: sensory overload, sensory modulation, self-regulation.











4. Emily’s Tiger by Miriam Latimer

It’s important because: When we have big emotions, like anger and frustration, they can sometimes be difficult to control. When we don’t know what to do, we can let impulse take over. In this book, Emily turns into quite the little tiger when her big emotions take the reigns. How

can she regain some calm?

Experiences of focus: anger, frustration, impulse control, aggression.












5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

It’s important because: The act of giving is an important process and experience for kids of all ages. This famously important and old-time favorite tells a story of a boy and a tree that loved eachother very much. The story provides important lessons on reciprocation, friendship, self-care, kindness and giving of the self.

Experiences of focus: friendship, giving, self-care.











6. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Lugwig

It’s important because: This books speaks to how so many kids feel in a world that is hustling, bustling and loud. Brian, a quiet boy who feels invisible among his peers meets someone who helps him feel less alone. A story that celebrates differences while highlighting the importance of inclusion and kindness.

Experiences of focus: shyness, compassion, friendship, difference in life experiences.











7. The Barefoot Book of Children by Tessa Strikland, Kate Depalma & David Dean

It’s important because: This book is inclusive and diverse, highlighting the beauty of cultures all around the world. It encourages children to learn about themselves, other people who might have differences in life perspectives and begin to discover their own place in this big world.

Expereinces of focus: Cultural competence, difference, inclusion, diversity.

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I am Dr. Victoria, therapist, speaker and trainer to professionals and organizations all over the world. In my 17+ year career I’ve supported people of all ages and backgrounds, dubbed the “parent whisperer” for consistently generating relationship success between partners, and parents with kids. I have been in the depths of what most of them are going through, not as a parent myself, but as a child.


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