Looking for the best children’s books about fear and anxiety? These picture books on worry for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as anxiety, mindfulness, phobias, and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing.
When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he’d like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father’s ability to reconnect a child with the world around him.
Get the lesson plan and activities for I Talk Like a River HERE
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So Few Of Me by Peter Reynolds
Leo’s list of things to do keeps growing, until one day he wishes, “If only there were two of me.” Just as the words are out of his mouth, poof! Another Leo appears! Two Leos become three, three become four, and four become more . . . but Leo can’t help but notice that he has even more to do than before. As he struggles to deal with his overcomplicated life, Leo realizes that there may be a simpler solution to his overscheduling woes. Peter H. Reynolds, the award-winning author-illustrator of The Dot and Ish, returns with an important message for readers of all ages: stop and take a little time to dream.
Get the lesson plan and activities for So Few of Me HERE
I Am Peace by Susan Verde
Mindfulness means being fully in the present moment. Children can learn how to manage their emotions, make good choices, and balance their busy lives by learning to be mindful, express emotions through speech, find empathy through imagination, and wonder at the beauty of the natural world.
From the bestselling team that created I Am Yoga, I Am Human, I Am Love, and I Am One comes a gentle expression of the tenets of mindfulness, encouraging children to breathe, taste, smell, and be present in the here and now.
Get the lesson plan and activities for I Am Peace HERE
Jack’s Worry by Mark Zuppardi
A touching and reassuring story about the jitters associated with first experiences — and the satisfaction that comes with conquering your fears.
Jack loves playing the trumpet, and for weeks he’s been looking forward to taking part in his first concert. But on the morning of the big day, Jack finds he has a Worry. And his Worry starts to grow. Even when Jack’s mother calls him for a special breakfast, even when he hides under the bed or runs around the yard, his Worry follows him. Suddenly, when it’s almost time to leave for the concert, Jack finds it’s all too much. For anyone who’s ever been afraid of failing at something new, this book offers just what’s needed to shrink a Worry down to size.
Get the lesson plan and activities for Jack’s Worry HERE
The Three Questions by Jon Muth
Young Nikolai is searching for the answers to his three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?But it is his own response to a stranger’s cry for help that leads him directly to the answers he is looking for. This profound and inspiring book is about compassion and being engaged in each moment.
Get the lesson plan and activities for The Three Questions HERE
What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada
This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.
What Do You Do With a Problem? is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It’s a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.
Get the lesson plan and activities for What Do You Do With a Problem? HERE
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.
Get the lesson plan and activities for The Dark HERE
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.
Get the lesson plan and activities for School’s First Day of School HERE
Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is inventing a machine that will fly all the way across the yard! But making it go from CRASH to WHOOSH will take grit, patience, and maybe even a little help from his sister.
Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.
Get the lesson plan and activities for Jabari Tries HERE
Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds
Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!
Get the lesson plan and activities for Creepy Pair of Underwear HERE
The Good Egg by Jory John
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed. But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten. As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect. So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…
Get the lesson plan and activities for The Good Egg HERE
Owen by Kevin Henkes
Owen’s fuzzy yellow blanket is his favorite possession. Everywhere Owen goes, his blanket goes with him. Upstairs, downstairs, in-between. Inside, outside, upside down. Everywhere! Owen’s parents are in despair—soon Owen will begin school, and he can’t take Fuzzy with him then. Whatever can be done? Another one of my favorite children’s books about anxiety by Kevin Henkes is Wemberly Worried.
Get the lesson plan and activities for Owen HERE
Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd.
One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle.
When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.
Get the lesson plan and activities for Nerdy Birdy HERE
I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
I’m Trying to Love Spiders will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year! And you’re sure to feel better knowing you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bit by a spider. Comforting, right? No? Either way, there’s heaps more information in here to help you forget your fears . . . or at least laugh a lot!
Get the lesson plan and activities for I’m Trying to Love Spiders HERE
Best Children’s Books About Anxiety
What are some of your favorite children’s books about anxiety? Are there any must read children’s books about anxiety and worry that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!
REMEMBER: You can try a free lesson and activity for one of these children’s books about anxiety: I Talk Like a River by signing up below:
[…] almost time to leave for the concert, Jack finds it’s all too much. For anyone who’s ever been afraid of failing at something new, this book offers just what’s needed to shrink a Worry down to […]
[…] of all ages: stop and take a little time to dream. A great book for talking about dealing with anxiety and […]