Books for Tender Topics

by Katie Brazerol

Books have been helping children learn to relate for many years. As our world continues to grow more diverse, a great number of books have been created to help children process differences, cope with hardships, and express themselves. Below is a list of books that might be helpful to providers and parents. Please note: Not all suggested books in this list will be a good fit for all families. Books should be screened and shared according to their need and relevance. Your local librarian may be able to help you find additional resources for specific topics.

If you have a book or resource related to one of the following topics that has worked well for you, we’d love to hear about it!

Bullying:

Books-Llama LlamaNelly May Has Her Say
By Cynthia DeFelice
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat
By Anna Dewdney
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
By Maria Dismondy
One
By Kathryn Otoshi

Death:

Books-Goodbye FishSaying Goodbye to Lulu
By Corinne Demas
The Invisible String
By Patrice Karst
Good-bye, Fish
By Judith Koppens
Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying
By Joyce C. Mills

Deployment:

Books-Hero MomCountdown ‘Til Daddy Comes Home
By Kristin Ayyer
Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops
By Jill Biden
Hero Dad
Hero Mom
Both by Melinda Hardin

Diverse Family Structure:

And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Books-One FamilyDaddy, Papa, and Me,
Mommy, Mama, and Me
Both by Lesléa Newman
A Tale of Two Daddies
By Vanita Oelschlager
The Family Book
By Todd Parr
One Family
By George Shannon
Stella Brings the Family: A Tale of Two Dads on Mother’s Day
By Miriam B. Schiffer

Divorce/Separation:

Books-Living in 2 HomesI Am Living in 2 Homes
By Garcelle Beauvais
It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear
By Vicki Lansky
Two Homes
By Claire Masurel
My Family’s Changing
By Pat Thomas

Foster Care:

Books-Maybe Days Foster CareThe Star: A Story to Help Young Children Understand Foster Care
By Cynthia Miller Lovell
Families Change: A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights
Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care
Both by Julie Nelson
Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care
By Jennifer Wilgocki

Race:

Books-Red Crayon StoryI Am Mixed
By Garcelle Beauvais
Whoever You Are
By Mem Fox
Red: A Crayon’s Story
By Micheal Hall
A Rainbow of Friends
By P. K. Hallinan
Big Hair, Don’t Care
By Crystal Swain-Bates

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