100 books like Breathe Like a Bear

By Kira Willey, Anni Betts (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Breathe Like a Bear fans have personally recommended if you like Breathe Like a Bear. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness

Deborah Sosin Author Of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

From my list on mindfulness and silence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlotte and the Quiet Place is somewhat autobiographical, as I tend to crave quiet. For many years, I’ve been meditating twice a day for 25 minutes. I relax my mind and body, sometimes silently repeating a word or sound or just breathing rhythmically. I’m almost always more peaceful and energized after meditating. In addition to being a writer, I’m a therapist with a mindfulness specialty. I believe deeply that every child (and adult, too) can tap into their quiet place inside by noticing what’s happening in their mind and body, no matter what’s going on in their lives. We all need this skill—now more than ever!  

Deborah's book list on mindfulness and silence

Deborah Sosin Why did Deborah love this book?

I Am Peace is part of a wonderful series by this well-known team. The series explores topics such as compassion, empathy, resilience, and what it is to be a feeling human being. I Am Peace is about a child (gender not identified) who worries about the past and future and learns how to comfort and ground themselves by noticing the here and now, breathing evenly, and practicing kindness toward themselves and others. The simple, sparse text expresses these rather deep ideas in ways that all children can understand: “I can watch my worries gently pop and disappear. I let things go"; “I can hug a tree and thank it for its beauty and strength.” The back matter features a discussion of mindfulness and a guided meditation.

By Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked I Am Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde's gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds's expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author's note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace will…


Book cover of Jabari Jumps

Jeff Mack Author Of Scaredy Cats

From my list on children’s picture books about facing your fears.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you want to live your best life, you’ll need to face some fears. I’ve faced a lot of my fears: great white sharks, sky-diving, caves, spiders, meat sauces. I’m still scared, but what else can I do? Stay in bed my whole life? I love writing and illustrating for kids. It’s how I’ve spent the last twenty years. I’ve written and/or illustrated almost fifty books. The scariest part is figuring out how to start. Thinking of an ending is scary too. Then there’s all that stuff in the middle. Ugh! My first books about facing fears were Hippo and Rabbit. Now, Scaredy Cats. Fear gives me ideas!

Jeff's book list on children’s picture books about facing your fears

Jeff Mack Why did Jeff love this book?

I feel like I lived this story as a kid. I’ll bet a lot of kids do. A young boy overcomes his fear of the high dive. 

Step by step, Gaia Cornwall takes us through Jabari’s jump. Jabari starts by telling his dad he’s not scared at all. He clearly is. He delays, makes excuses. Dad never pushes. He wants this to be Jabari’s decision, Jabari’s victory. It’s so relatable, the perspective even changes to first person once Jabari is high above the pool. 

Everything rings true. It’s exactly what a scared kid would say and do. It’s exactly what I said and did when I was Jabari’s age trying to summon my own courage on the high dive. Except when I hit the water, my swim trunks fell off.

By Gaia Cornwall,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Jabari Jumps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

In a sweet tale of overcoming your fears, debut author-illustrator Gaia Cornwall captures a moment at the swimming pool between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can't help but root for. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He's finished his swimming lessons and passed his swimming test, and he's a great jumper, so he's not scared at all. "Looks easy," says Jabari, watching the other kids take their…


Book cover of Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-Of-School Dilemma

Jennifer E. Morris Author Of Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

From my list on worried or anxious children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book creator and a parent. Raising an anxious child can be challenging. Events that many children find fun and exciting can be overwhelming and scary for your child. Seemingly small changes in their daily routine can throw some youngsters into a swirl of emotions that is upsetting to them and to those who love them. When I was searching for picture books to help the young worrier in my life, I looked for books that acknowledged their distressing feelings while giving them some strategies with which to cope with their overwhelming emotions. That premise became the theme of my Maud the Koala book series. 

Jennifer's book list on worried or anxious children

Jennifer E. Morris Why did Jennifer love this book?

Lena isn’t worried about the first day of kindergarten - but her shoes are. In this clever story we see various parts of Lena’s wardrobe taking on various personalities, possibly mirroring parts of Lena’s own personality. Her outgoing blue dress is ready for a new adventure, her friendly headband wants everyone to work together, of course, her fearful footwear wants to stay home. But when Lena threatens to wear her slippers to school, will her shoes muster the courage to march forward? A creative and witty book about facing your fears.

By Keith Calabrese, Juana Medina (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lena's Shoes Are Nervous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of School’s First Day of School, debut author Keith Calabrese and Pura Belpré Award winner Juana Medina share a sweet, universal story about a clever little girl whose shoes are nervous about the first day of school.

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem…

Lena’s shoes are nervous.

Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?


Book cover of Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Deborah Sosin Author Of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

From my list on mindfulness and silence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlotte and the Quiet Place is somewhat autobiographical, as I tend to crave quiet. For many years, I’ve been meditating twice a day for 25 minutes. I relax my mind and body, sometimes silently repeating a word or sound or just breathing rhythmically. I’m almost always more peaceful and energized after meditating. In addition to being a writer, I’m a therapist with a mindfulness specialty. I believe deeply that every child (and adult, too) can tap into their quiet place inside by noticing what’s happening in their mind and body, no matter what’s going on in their lives. We all need this skill—now more than ever!  

Deborah's book list on mindfulness and silence

Deborah Sosin Why did Deborah love this book?

In this colorful book about pigs learning to meditate, we see their stressful world and how it is sometimes hard to manage emotions such as anger and frustration: “So it’s good to have a peaceful place inside.” In simple, accessible language, the author shows how, through meditation, the pigs learn, among other things, to accept what “is,” instead of wishing it were otherwise. A sweet scene showing a dead goldfish that can’t be wished back to life gently makes this point. Themes of self-care, self-acceptance, and kindness add to the strong message. Back matter includes a meditation instruction, how to make a glitter jar, and notes about family meditation. A great introduction to how to do the formal practice of meditation. 

By Kerry Lee MacLean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Peaceful Piggy Meditation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The Coalition of Visionary Resources Children's Book of the Year Winner

What can you do when you're mad, sad, or anxious? Find a quiet spot, sit, and breathe. When you meditate every day, your mind stays happy, and even bad days are a little easier.

Sometimes life seems like it's all about hurrying―so many places to go! And sometimes it's hard when things don't go your way―it can make a piggy angry and sad. So how do young piggies find a peaceful place in a frustrating world? They meditate! They find a quiet spot, a special place with a few…


Book cover of I Like Myself!

LaTasha Reynolds Author Of Bryla's Amazing Imagination: Bryla Visits the Moon

From my list on empowering books for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children's book writer, I want my books to be infused with S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art, and science), imaginative adventure, and empowering words. These 3 elements are important for cultivating their minds. Great inventions and discoveries have come from people who were curious. I believe that it's our responsibility as parents to expose them to new interests and speak empowering words to their developing minds. Parents play a key role in how their children see themselves. I hope that my books encourage unity, spark the imagination, build strong parent-child relationships, initiate dialogue, and promote learning.

LaTasha's book list on empowering books for kids

LaTasha Reynolds Why did LaTasha love this book?

"I like my eyes, my ears, my nose. I like my fingers and my toes. I like me wild. I like me tame. I like me different and the same."

Saying "I like" something about myself is self-affirmation. This book is special to me because this is the first book I read to my daughter during my pregnancy. I remember receiving this book from a dear friend at my baby shower. I always knew that words are powerful, especially words from parents or guardians. Our words promote cognitive functioning. I used this book as the foundation to start incorporating positive reinforcement into my daughter through self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-love. Besides the message, I love the wild and colorful illustrations.

By Karen Beaumont, David Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Like Myself! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here's a little girl who knows what really matters.      At once silly and serious, Karen Beaumont's joyous rhyming text and David Catrow's wild illustrations unite in a book that is sassy, soulful . . . and straight from the heart. The sturdy board book is just right for little hands.


Book cover of Crocs Don't Do Yoga

Kathy Beliveau Author Of When I Feel: Easy Yoga for Big Feelings

From my list on social emotional learning and well being.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lover of yoga, nature, writing and all things that feed the soul. I have been practicing yoga most of my life and have been teaching yoga for almost 20 years. I have studied Yoga for Children, Yoga Safety, and I am a Certified Yoga Instructor. Over the years I have taught yoga to thousands of children and watched their delight, while building focus, balance, courage, and self-awareness. In addition, I write for children and adults. I am the author of several picture books including, The Yoga Game by the Sea and The Yoga Game in the Garden, chosen by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s – “Best Books for Kids and Teens.” 

Kathy's book list on social emotional learning and well being

Kathy Beliveau Why did Kathy love this book?

Connie the Croc from Constance Creek is a snappy croc with a short fuse who doesn’t know what to do with her temper . . . until some of the critters around Constance Creek suggest yoga and meditation. This hilarious book effectively demonstrates how little things can sometimes trigger huge outbursts and how simple yoga practices can just as quickly restore calm. This delightful book grabbed me by my funny bone and never let go! 

By Michelle Wilson, Catherine Surovova (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crocs Don't Do Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Crocs don't do yoga... or do they?
Connie is one snappy crocodile. Any small setback can send the croc into a frenzy, forcing all the creatures on Constant Creek to take cover.
Then an unlikely friend suggests yoga to help stay calm...but Connie will need some encouragement.
Will she be brave enough to give it a try?


Book cover of Ruby Finds a Worry

Lisa Katzenberger Author Of It Will Be OK: A Story of Empathy, Kindness, and Friendship

From my list on facing your fears.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a picture book writer who struggles with anxiety. Some things that seem like no big deal to most people can become a very big worry for me (like Giraffe worries about Spider in It Will Be OK). I found that identifying and naming our emotions—in this case fear—makes it easier to address our feelings and work through them. I want to share my experience of being fearful of things, both big and small, with children to let them know they are not alone and they can have power over scary emotions.

Lisa's book list on facing your fears

Lisa Katzenberger Why did Lisa love this book?

As an expert worrier, I really related to this book about a spunky girl named Ruby who one day discovers a worry. What I love about this book is that the worry is illustrated, so we can see its intimidating facial expression and watch it grow in size. The worry follows Ruby to all her favorite places—the school bus, the swing set, the movies—and it prevents her from doing what she loves. But it’s not until she spots another worry sitting with a boy that she is able to face her fear about the worry and do the best thing ever – talk about it. I love how this story shows children that talking about our feelings gives us power and strength to work through them.

By Tom Percival,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ruby Finds a Worry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The beloved picture book about what to do when a worry won't leave you at alone -- perfect for reassuring young readers in times of stress.

Meet Ruby -- a happy, curious, imaginative young girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry. It's not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . and a little bigger . . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about.

But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only…


Book cover of The Whatifs

Jennifer E. Morris Author Of Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

From my list on worried or anxious children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book creator and a parent. Raising an anxious child can be challenging. Events that many children find fun and exciting can be overwhelming and scary for your child. Seemingly small changes in their daily routine can throw some youngsters into a swirl of emotions that is upsetting to them and to those who love them. When I was searching for picture books to help the young worrier in my life, I looked for books that acknowledged their distressing feelings while giving them some strategies with which to cope with their overwhelming emotions. That premise became the theme of my Maud the Koala book series. 

Jennifer's book list on worried or anxious children

Jennifer E. Morris Why did Jennifer love this book?

Cora has a bad case of the whatifs, whimiscal bug-like creatures that follow her everywhere. They fill her head with worries like “what if the dog runs away?” or “what if I forget my homework?” The whatifs become almost unbearable as Cora prepares for her big piano recital. What if no one comes? What if she makes a mistake? But through the help of her friend, Cora learns there are also happy whatifs. A good introduction to replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. 

By Emily Kilgore, Zoe Persico (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Whatifs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Persico's atmospheric illustrations aptly reflect Cora's shifting emotions, and Kilgore successfully balances the whimsical with a tale grounded in reality." -Publishers Weekly

"Cora and her Whatifs have a charming appeal beyond their focus on tackling anxious thoughts, making an enjoyable read-aloud for wide audiences. . . . A thoroughly welcome addition to growing collections of socio-emotional development materials." -Kirkus Reviews

Cora is struggling with her Whatif questions ahead of a big piano recital in this timely picture book about overcoming anxiety.

What if my dog runs away?
What if I forget my homework?
What if the sun stops shining?
What…


Book cover of The Way I Feel

Mary Angus Author Of Max's Fuzzy Feelers

From my list on illustrations for your highly sensitive little one.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator who has been captivated by the whimsy of children’s books since I was a child myself. The wonder and enchantment with the world of narrative illustrative has never worn off and I still love getting lost in a beautiful picture book. I hope my illustrations are able to inspire others the way they have inspired me. 

Mary's book list on illustrations for your highly sensitive little one

Mary Angus Why did Mary love this book?

I am absolutely enamored with the illustrations by Janan Cain in this book. They give me the same whimsical feeling I would get as a child reading A Bad Case of the Stripes. There is a softness in the colors and visual elements that really lends itself to the content of the book. Each emotion is touched on without judgment, just presenting its qualities. It is almost like a dictionary of feelings, which can be helpful for parents starting discussions around emotions. I could also see this book being so helpful for neuro-divergent children in acting out and identifying their feelings and the way other feelings present in others. 

By Janan Cain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Way I Feel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Feelings are neither good nor bad, they simply are. Kids need words to name their feelings, just as they need words to name all things in their world. The Way I Feel uses strong, colorful, and expressive images which go along with simple verses to help children connect the word and the emotion. Your child will learn useful words, and you will have many chances to open conversations about what's going on in her/his life. Recommended by parents, teachers and mental health professionals, The Way I Feel is a valuable addition to anyone's library. This book is ideal for children…


Book cover of The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings

Mary Angus Author Of Max's Fuzzy Feelers

From my list on illustrations for your highly sensitive little one.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator who has been captivated by the whimsy of children’s books since I was a child myself. The wonder and enchantment with the world of narrative illustrative has never worn off and I still love getting lost in a beautiful picture book. I hope my illustrations are able to inspire others the way they have inspired me. 

Mary's book list on illustrations for your highly sensitive little one

Mary Angus Why did Mary love this book?

If you are looking for a book to inspire the inner creative in your child (and maybe even in you), this is the one. The color monster is a fabulous resource for helping kids identify emotions and it is presented in this incredible pop-up book format. You and your child can really disappear into the story through these 3-D visuals and it might even allow for a deeper exploration into emotions from this imaginative space. 

By Anna Llenas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Color Monster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"This sensitive book . . . encourages young ones to open up and discuss how they feel, even when their thoughts are confusing." —Parents

We teach toddlers to identify colors, numbers, shapes, and letters—but what about their feelings? By illustrating such common emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calm, this sensitive book gently encourages young children to open up with parents, teachers, and daycare providers. And kids will LOVE the bright illustrations and amazing 3-D pop-ups on every page!


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