We're All Orchids Now: A Bibliography of Children's Picturebooks about Dealing with Anxiety

Dealing with anxiety has always been something that children have been faced with, but with the onset of Covid-19 and the conditions it brought, more children are feeling a greater amount of anxiety than usual.  Picture books can give children the opportunity to see anxiety in others and learn how to deal with it.  Parents, guardians, educators, librarians, and counselors can also use picture books to help start conversations about anxiety with children.  The purpose of this list is to feature picture books about dealing with anxiety for children aged 4-8.  

Our reviews consider the quality of each book as a picture book, as well as the extent to which each book demonstrates the RULER skills for social emotional learning.  The RULER acronym stands for:

  • Recognizing emotion in self and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labeling emotions accurately
  • Expressing emotions appropriately
  • Regulating emotions effectively

In order to make these reviews helpful to users, we have classified these books as being either appropriate for preschool-aged children or school-aged children.  Many of these books can be used with children of various ages.

The development of this list was supported by the Carnegie-Whitney Grant from the American Library Association.  Our work was framed by Brackett, Baily, Hoffman, & Simmons' (2019) RULER theory for social emotional learning.  This project was developed by Robin Moeller and Kim Becnel with assistance from Tiffiny Francis, Mary Hoyle, and Julie Noblitt.