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Kids: Books and Reading: Picture Books: Tough Topics


Books to help children through times of transition and/or relate to others, with direct links to the library's catalog to see if they're available (and, if they're not, to request them). 


Nonfiction (scroll down for picture books)         

My Mom's Having a Baby! J 612.6 Bu --for curious children who want to understand how the baby's developing, month by month. Includes how a baby is made (assuming through sex).

Baby on the Way 612.6 Se --a reassuring, practical book with nice suggestions for things expecting siblings can do. Does not include how a baby is made.

Getting Ready for New Baby J 612.6 Zi --a reassuring book about everything that's going to happen, step by step. Includes how a baby is made (assuming through sex).  Assumes hospital birth and male-female parents.

What Makes a Baby J 612.6 Si --This one's notable for for not making any assumptions about how a baby is conceived or the gender of the bodies involved in the conception. It explains that some bodies make sperm, and some bodies make eggs, and an egg and a sperm cell are what make a baby. There is no discussion of sex, just science.


Picture Books

There's Going to Be a Baby J PIC B

Nine Months J PIC P --pairs illustrations of a baby growing in the womb with a family preparing for its arrival

I'm a Big Brother J PIC C (second copies at J 612.6 Co)

Lisa's Baby Sister J PIC G

Silly Baby J PIC F

Lola le lee al pequeño Leo J SP 468 MC

You Were the First J PIC M --a book to help a first child feel special in the wake of a new baby

Little Miss, Big Sis* J PIC R

Dino-Baby J PIC S

Davy Loves the Baby J PIC W

Behold! a Baby J PIC W



Something Happened J 155.93 BL

From the catalog: "This book addresses the sadness that a child experiences when the anticipated baby has died. The child's fears and feelings of guilt are addressed as well as other confusing feelings. Perhaps most important, the book includes the family's experience of going on with life while always remembering their baby. The child reading the book is left with a sense of reassurance that life continues and he is still a vital part of a loving family."



The Goodbye Book J PIC P A beautiful book that will fit most situations: death of a relative, death of a friend, death of a pet. 

Ida, Always J PIC L --A beautiful book, and the perfect book to read to child with a loved one with terminal illness

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney J 155.9 (Parenting) --When his cat dies, a child thinks of ten good things to say about him at his funeral. 

Grandpa Has Changed J PIC P --for those coping with a loved one's Alzheimer's diagnosis

Now One Foot, Now the Other J PIC D When Bobby was little, his grandfather helped him learn to walk. Now, after his grandfather's stroke, Bobby helps his grandfather learn to walk again.

Finn's Feather J PIC N Finn finds a feather he believes was sent from his deceased older brother.

Missing Mommy E COBB (a book specific to the death of a parent or caregiver, available via interlibrary loan through SELCO)


When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer J 616.994 ST A good book for a child who has received a cancer diagnosis, or to explain cancer diagnoses and treatments to other kids who have learned a friend or sibling has cancer.

Cancer Hates Kisses J PIC S From the summary: "As Mom goes through treatment for cancer, her family supports her with what cancer hates most: love"





My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes J PIC M Focuses on unwanted, not necessarily abusive, touch--like not wanting to be given a sloppy kiss from a relative or be licked by a dog. Asserts a children’s right to always say no when they don’t want to be touched. Does not address repeated abuse or mention body parts.

My Body Belongs to Me J 362.7572 St  For younger, not older, childrenWritten in simple, slightly sing-songish rhyme. In first-person narration, a child tells of being touched "in that place that no one else can see" by an uncle's friend, and of reporting the incident to parents, who tell the child they are proud that the child told them. The child also mentions knowing that a teacher would be another good person to tell if parents aren't available. The child is drawn in an androgynous way, so that any young child should be able to relate to them. Includes suggested follow-up questions and a list of resources.

I Said No! A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private J 362.7572 Ki A practical book that illustrates "green flag" and "red flag" behavior in a vivid (colorfully illustrated) way that a child can remember for future use. Discusses the difference between treats, bribes, and threats. Could be used with younger and older (up to age 9 or so) children.