Picture Books for Tough Times

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Books to share with little ones that can provide some inspiration, perspective, and comfort when the world feels like a scary place.

  • Look for the Helpers

    2018 by Cassel, Alexandra

    When a bad storm hits the neighborhood, Daniel Tiger gets scared. This book teaches the wonderful lesson we learned from Mr. Rogers: no matter what happens, there are always helpers. If we see something scary or experience something scary, always remember to look for the helpers.

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  • On the News: Our First Talk about Tragedy

    2018 by Roberts, Jillian

    Helps explain what tragedy is, how we might feel, and how to cope with our feelings. Points out the helpers that you will find when there is a tragedy.

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  • Most People

    2017 by Leannah, Michael

    This book helps to put the news into perspective. Most people in the world try to help others rather than hurt them, and even most of those who do bad things can change.

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  • The Breaking News

    2018 by Reul, Sarah Lynne

    While the kids watch their parents closely, the parents are following something on the news that is clearly distressing. The kids try to be extra well behaved and do small kind things for their family. This lovely story helps kids see that they can participate and act as a helper for their family and maybe even the world.

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  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice

    2018 by Celano, Marianne

    Emma and Josh talk with their families about the shooting of a Black man in their community, which helps them understand and stand up for racial justice. Includes an excellent guide for parents and caregivers to help address racism with young children.

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  • Outside, Inside

    2021 by Pham, LeUyen

    A very gentle, yet inspiring book to help families reflect on the pandemic. Focuses on the time early in the pandemic when people looked out for each other.

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  • I Am Courage: A Book of Resilience

    2021 by Verde, Susan

    This series of inspirational picture books beautifully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds helps empower kids to believe in themselves, even when the world seems so much bigger than they are.

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  • The Rabbit Listened

    2018 by Doerrfeld, Cori

    Sometimes, just listening is the best thing you can do when your little one is troubled.

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  • Here and Now

    2019 by Denos, Julia

    This book helps center us and remind us of the connection we have to all living things, especially when world events seem overwhelming.

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  • The Worry Box

    2018 by Chiew, Suzanne

    Murry Bear has so many worries, but his sister suggests writing them down and putting them into a "worry box." "Sharing worries always makes them feel smaller," she says, and of course, it does.

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