EMOTIONAL RESCUE FOR YOUNG READERS
If 2017 was the year in which feminism dominated children’s publishing, emotional health has been the key theme for 2018, with fiction and non-fiction titles encouraging young readers of all ages to consider their emotions. From resilience to mindfulness, books offer the potential to allow children to see their own worries from a more objective perspective and to find inspiration and problem-solving tools in the trials of fictional characters. Here are some of the best of these titles published this year. mistake – yum!” The naif illustrations make the book accessible in visual style too, while the direct challenging of thought patterns works as a gentle introduction to cognitive behaviour techniques. All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell
Scribe,£11.99 This colourful picture-book provides an alternative perspective on the culture of academic achievement by celebrating a diversity of talents. In slick rhyme, Bell tells us: “Smart is not just being best at spelling bees, a tricky test. Or knowing all the answers ever . . . Other things are just as clever.” All the Ways to Be Smart invites children to question and take ownership of their own special strengths. There is value in practical ability, creative imagination, social skillandemotionalsensitivity.Alison Colpoys’s illustrations celebrate a diversity of cultures too, offering a parade of beauty that will give children of all backgrounds and interests confidence in their own uniqueness.
Headbomz:Wreckin’YerHead by Oisin McGann
Free Commissioned by the ISPCC to coincide with their Talking Makes Us Stronger campaign, Headbomz is pitched at the 9-11 age group, and introduces us to a tight-knit group of friends who are having difficulties in different areas of their lives, from schoolyard bullying to parental conflict, illness and grief. McGann uses his engaging story to encourage young readers to find a trusted friend, child or adult, to share their problems – their “headbomz” – with. The book is available free of charge, and there are a variety of practical tools available for parents and teachers on headbomz.ie