10 Children’s Picture Books for Anxious Times
When times are anxious, reading picture books with your children can create a calming atmosphere in the home and remind them of God’s presence and care. Here are 10 children’s picture books to read with your children during anxious times.
When times are anxious, reading picture books with your children can create a calming atmosphere in the home and remind them of God’s presence and care.
Here are 10 children’s books to read with your children during anxious times:
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/evgenyatamane
By Amy Houts, illustrated by David Creighton-Pester
Published by Beaming Books, Ages 3-5
With charming illustrations and lyrical rhyming text, this picture book takes children on a walk through the farm where they meet different animals, learn about their habitats, and are reminded of God's care for each of us.
“Like a roof protects a house/ Or a crawl space hides a mouse/ I am safe and worry-free/ God's protection covers me.”
Download the free Activity Pack.
By Natalee Creech, illustrated by Joseph Cowman
Published by WorthyKids, Ages 4-8
Based on Romans 8: 38-39, this lovely rhyming picture book tells children the powerful truth that wherever they go, whatever they do, no matter what they say, nothing can separate them from God's love. Children are comforted through the oft-repeated phrase:
“There is nothing so powerful, nothing so strong/ God's love is too high and too deep and too long!”
By Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Lorian Tu
Published by Beaming Books, Ages 4-8
For any child who has ever felt lonely or scared, this is a soothing picture book featuring charming illustrations alongside minimal text. This title explores the power of friendship and the notion that we are never alone.
“And when the storm passes, we’ll go outside and find a rainbow, arcing all the way across the sky. But most of all we’ll find that we were stronger because we stayed with each other.”
By Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago.
Published by Zonderkidz, Ages Preschool-3
In this lovely little board book written for young children Sally Lloyd-Jones paraphrases Psalm 23 as only she can. Her words are simple, but powerful, and help children to know the comfort and safety of the Good Shepherd:
“God is my Shepherd/ And I am his little lamb. / He feeds me. / He guides me. / He looks after me. / I have everything I need.”
By Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sally Garland
Published by Beaming Books, Ages 3-6
When Little Mole is feeling sad in his dark underground burrow, Mama takes him by the paw and together, they set out on a journey to find hope. This spring-themed book contains a discussion guide for caregivers, including tips for helping a child who is feeling sad.
"Now I know that there’s always hope, even in the darkest place."
Download the free Activity Pack.
By Lysa TerKeurst, illustrated by Natalia Moore
Published by Thomas Nelson, Ages 4-8
With a subtitle of Trusting God Through Fear and Change, this picture book tells the story of Little Seed and Little Fox who learn that even in the scariest situations or in the most uncertain times, God is always with them.
"The farmer was good, and the farmer was kind. And the farmer was always watching over them, even in the dark, messy places."
By Christie Thomas, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
Published by Harvest House, Ages 3-7
Quinn is a fearful little owl who lives with her father and is plagued by the ‘what ifs’ of his little world… "What if I get lost? What if you dive and I don't notice?" This is a lovely tale that helps children learn that no matter what, God is by their side.
"Quinn, God is like this rocky cave. God can protect you during the scariest times in life… and you can take shelter in him."
Download the Teacher Guide.
By Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Cee Biscoe
Published by Zonderkidz, Ages 2-4
In this padded-cover board book young children will discover a God of hope, love, and protection, just as the Psalmists did. Fifteen poems are featured, including Psalm 23: My Shepherd, Psalm 91: The Mommy Bird, and Psalm 121: The Maker:
“I lift my eyes up to the hills/ Will God help me today? / I know the Maker of the earth/ Is listening as I pray.”
By Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Marcela Calderon
Published by Beaming Books, Ages 4-7
A thoughtful, gently penned picture book that traces the feelings of a little girl who must move from her home. Along the way she will learn to hold on to hope, discover the meaning of faith, and understand that better days lie ahead.
“Faith is believing—even when things are hard, / on an unknown journey when you aren’t sure what will happen next—that you will be taken care of.”
By Traci Smith
Published by Beaming Books
Although this is not a children’s picture book, it is a wonderful resource for families that contains over 100 prayers. The section devoted to Prayers for Difficult Times includes When Someone Has Died; For Times When There Are No Words; After a Traumatic News Event and Family Argument or Discord. My personal favorite is this simple but powerful prayer for when we’re tired or anxious:
“Be still my heart, / be still. / Be still my mind, / be still. / Be still, my feet. Be still my hands. / Be still, / be still, / be still.”
I do hope that some, or all, of these resources will resonate with you and your family and will serve to usher in some comfort, hope, and peace. Finally, as you settle down to read together, allow your child to take the lead in…
- Choosing when to read—any time is a good time!
- Choosing what to read, even if it means returning to their favorite book several times a day. (Repetition is good!)
- Choosing when to turn the page—your child has excellent observation skills and is likely to notice far more in the illustrations than you.
Above all, enjoy your reading time together—it is time well-spent, and very precious.
Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. The author of multiple children's books, including the bestselling 'Twas the Evening of Christmas, The Wonder That is You, and the popular series Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time Psalms, her writing reflects a deep passion for helping children discover joy in the world. Glenys lives in Michigan with her husband, David.