The best children's books to discuss loneliness and depression

Geneviève Godbout Author Of What's Up, Maloo?
By Geneviève Godbout

The Books I Picked & Why

Hug Me

By Simona Ciraolo

Hug Me

Why this book?

Hug Me depicts the story of Felipe, a young cactus, who just wants to be hugged. The problem is that his family just isn't the touchy-feely kind. It leads Felipe to go on his own path to find a friend. But hugging a cactus can be a tricky thing... This simple yet touching story will make you see the prickliest person as someone who also needs to be loved and hugged. I promise you, this cute little cactus will melt your heart!


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Where Happiness Begins

By Eva Eland

Where Happiness Begins

Why this book?

Where Happiness Begins is a clever picture book that depicts happiness as a character that can take any shape and form. Sometimes it is hard to find. And sometimes it is right there with us. The illustrations are bright and beautiful. To me, we should read it frequently as a gentle reminder that happiness always begins within ourselves.


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The Bear and the Moon

By Matthew Burgess, Catia Chien

The Bear and the Moon

Why this book?

The Bear and the Moon is a very profound and poetic book that explores feelings of loss and guilt. The text stays vague enough to open discussions with children on what it feels like to lose a friend. And though it may seem like a dark subject, the illustrations make it luminous and soothing to read. You will love this little bear!


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The Shadow Elephant

By Nadine Robert, Valerio Vidali

The Shadow Elephant

Why this book?

In addition to being an absolute beauty, this book tackles the subject of empathy and self-acceptance with delicacy. It tells the story of an elephant who feels down and can't be cheered up by his colorful savannah friends. It reminds us that sometimes, it’s okay to be sad without having to get better right away. Friends can show their support by simply being there, without judgment or action.


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Who Will Comfort Toffle?: A Tale of Moomin Valley

By Tove Jansson, Sophie Hannah

Who Will Comfort Toffle?: A Tale of Moomin Valley

Why this book?

This book is a timeless classic that everyone should have. It follows Toffle, a little wallflower who's fearful of the world and too shy to speak to anyone. He goes through his journey, sad and alone, as he watches the joyful lives of others from afar. Until the day he finds a letter... Who Will Comfort Toffle? reminds the reader that isolation is never the solution and that even the most unfit of us can find a special someone.


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