Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre

Inspiring & Promoting Excellence in Child Care & Early Learning

Resource List: Heart / Mind Well-Being Children's Books

The following list is of selected picture books related to Heart / Mind Well-Being: Available at Westcoast Early Learning Library.

The following picture books were purchased with a grant from CKNW Orphans’ Fund in the spring of 2015. Each book was selected based on how well it illustrated one or more of the five domains of the Heart/Mind Well-Being: Getting along with others, Being alert and engaged, Feeling secure and calm, Solving problems peacefully, and Being compassionate and kind. We suggest you go to www.heartmindonline.org for more information on Heart-Mind well-being.

While the following list organizes the titles by the five domains, each title could easily fit into one or more areas of the Heart/Mind Index. These titles are also a natural fit with the rest of our curriculum collection which features resources supporting anti-bias education, multiculturalism and diversity. Early Childhood Educators and others who support parents and children in their work are welcome to borrow from our special collection—we look forward to meeting you at the WELL.

  • Being Fair
    By Cassie Mayer.
    This book gives a definition of fair behaviour and examples of how to act fairly. It presents everyday situations that are fair or unfair with simple text and illustrations, and provides an opportunity to discuss these concepts.
  • Chester’s Way
    By Kevin Henkes.
    Chester and William have their own way of doing things, and they do everything together. When Lily moves in next door the boys adjust to a new way of looking at the world.
  • Enemy Pie
    By Derek Munson.
    Hoping that the special pie his father bakes will help him get rid of his enemy, a boy finds that instead it helps him make a new friend.
  • Friends To The End For Kids: The True Value Of Friendship
    By Bradley Trevor Greive.
    A combination of humorous photos of animals and text which reinforce the values of friendship: love, loyalty, and fun.
  • Friendship Is Like A Seesaw
    By Shona Innes.
    This book explores friends at their best—as well as friendships that are ‘out of balance’, and gives suggestions for re-balancing relationships.
  • How To Be A Good Friend: A Guide To Making Friends And Keeping Them
    By Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown.
    There are many ways to show you want to be a friend. This book provides tips on the following: how to choose friends, how to show someone you'd like to be their friend, how to handle bosses and bullies, the best ways to be a friend and ways NOT to be a friend, and ways to settle an argument with a friend.
  • If You Plant A Seed
    Written and illustrated By Kadir Nelson.
    This beautifully illustrated book follows two animal friends as they plant a vegetable garden and learn that seeds of compassion and generosity grow as well as carrots, while the seeds of selfishness grow a heap of trouble.
  • “I Have A Little Problem,” Said The Bear
    By Heinz Janisch.
    Bear has a problem, and everyone he meets has the solution. The trouble is, they’re all in such a hurry to help that they have no time to listen and find out what Bear’s problem is.
  • I’m The Best
    By Lucy Cousins.
    Dog’s non-stop bragging is starting to make his friends sad so they devise a way to remind him of what it means to be a best friend.
  • Magic Little Words
    By Angele Delaunois. This book distills the big ideas behind some common courtesy words such as “Welcome: I open my heart and home to you.”
  • Mr. Happy & Miss Grimm
    By Antonie Schneider.
    Miss Grimm is not pleased by her new neighbour’s cheery behaviour, but Mr. Happy knows that with kindness and patience anything can grow—even friendship.
  • My Mouth Is A Volcano!
    By Julia Cook.
    All of Louis’ thought are very important to him and when he has something to say it erupts and interrupts others. When others begin to interrupt Louis he learns to respectfully wait his turn.
  • Ninja Cowboy Bear Presents The Way Of The Ninja
    By David Burns.
    Ninja decides his friends are too boring and strikes out on his own to find adventure, only to remember that the greatest thrills are the ones shared with friends.
  • Noni Says No
    By Heather Hartt-Sussman.
    Noni learns that she can stand up for herself and still be a good friend.
  • Please, Mr. Panda
    By Steve Antony.
    Panda has brought doughnuts for the group but no one seems to know how to ask for them politely.
  • You Are Friendly
    By Todd Snow.
    This book describes ways to be friendly such as sharing, being gentle, and asking others to join in the play.
  • All In A Day
    By Cynthia Rylant.
    This book invites children of all ages to appreciate one day as a perfect piece of time in which to live fully.
  • Blue On Blue
    By Dianne White.
    Rhyming text and beautiful illustrations depict the swell and quieting of a storm.
  • How To
    By Julie Morstad.
    This imaginative ‘how-to’ book explores whimsical ways of doing a host of things including, ‘how to wonder’, ‘how to feel the breeze’, and ‘how to be brave’.
  • I Am Really, Really Concentrating
    By Lauren Child.
    Based on the original Charlie and Lola stories, this book follows Lola as she prepares for the school field day. Lola comes in last in the egg and spoon race, but wins a prize for concentrating intently and keeping her egg on her spoon.
  • Mattland
    By Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert.
    A young boy transforms a muddy field into an imaginary world with the help of his friends.
  • Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda
    By Lauren Alderfer.
    Monkey asks Panda what he does to seem so happy and peaceful all the time. Panda replies that he brings his attention to whatever he is doing at a given time--whether eating, walking, or resting.
  • No Ordinary Apple: A Story About Eating Mindfully
    By Sara Marlowe.
    A young boy’s caregiver offers an apple as a snack, guiding him to experience it in a new way that makes it “the most appley apple ever.”
  • Silence
    By Lemniscates.
    Simple text encourages the reader to be silent and listen for as many sounds as can be heard.
  • Step Gently Out
    By Helen Frost.
    A simple poem accompanied by close-up photos of tiny creatures. This book invites us to look closely and notice the amazing world around us.
  • Take The Time: Mindfulness For Kids
    By Maud Roegiers.
    The child in this small book takes the time to slow down and think about what she is doing, what she has dreamt, and to listen to the silence.
  • What Does It Mean To Be Present?
    By Rana DiOrio.
    This refreshing, vibrant picture book engages all of the senses to demonstrate the myriad ways a child can seize the moment. The story sparks meaningful discussions about the important gift of appreciation, and advises children and adults alike to live more fully and richly.
  • All Of Me: A Book Of Thanks
    By Molly Bang.
    A toddler is thankful for his hands, feet, etc. and all the things he can do.
  • And Two Boys Booed
    By Judith Viorst.
    A boy becomes increasingly more anxious about performing in the school talent show, but manages his emotions and performs anyway.
  • The Best Part Of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies In Pictures And Words
    By Wendy Ewald.
    Photographs and original poems by fifteen children illustrate how they each perceive their own bodies and themselves.
  • Girls Dance, Boys Fiddle
    By Carole Lindstrom.
    Friends and family do not initially understand why young Metisse insists on playing her fiddle for Grandmother’s birthday since ‘everyone’ knows girls are supposed to dance and leave the fiddling to the boys. With the support of her grandfather, Metisse embraces the rhythm of her tradition and culture while playing the fiddle.
  • Happiness Is…
    By Marcus Pfister.
    From a winter snowflake melting on one’s tongue to blowing the seeds from a dandelion, this book celebrates happy moments shared by two friends across the seasons.
  • The Happy Owls
    By Celestino Piatti.
    All the other birds wonder why the owls are so happy so they send the peacock to ask them. But they are unable to understand the answer to their question—how could anyone be happy simply to see the rain and sunshine?
  • The House That’s Your Home
    By Sally Lloyd-Jones.
    A traditional look at all the things that make one’s home special, including the family that lives there.
  • Home
    By Carson Ellis.
    Home might be a house in the country or an apartment in the city. This book celebrates the possibilities of home.
  • How To
    By Julie Morstad.
    With sparse text and whimsical illustrations this book explores imaginative ways of completing a host of activities from ‘how to wonder’ and ‘how to feel the breeze’ to ‘how to be brave’. Ultimately, the book suggests that we can choose to be on a path to self-fulfillment and happiness.
  • I Am Who I Am
    By Bruno Hachler.
    This book for toddlers talks about differences and similarities among people.
  • Jeneli’s Dance
    By Elizabeth Denny.
    Jenneli loves to dance the Metis Red River Jig with her grandmother but she is both horrified and excited when Grandma Lucce enters her in a dance competition.
  • Morris Micklewhite And The Tangerine Dress
    By Christine Baldacchio.
    Morris loves the way the tangerine dress at school swishes and crinkles when he wears it. The other children don't understand at first, but eventually they accept his choice.
  • My Name Is Yoon
    By Helen Recorvits.
    Disliking her name as written in English, Korean-born Yoon, or ‘shining wisdom’, refers to herself as ‘cat’, ‘bird’, and ‘cupcake’, as a way to feel more comfortable in her new school and community.
  • My Princess Boy
    By Cheryl Kilodavis.
    One little boy loves to dress in pink and wear a tiara and his family loves him exactly the way he is.
  • On Monday When It Rained
    By Cherryl Katchenmeister.
    Photos and simple text which capture the remembered feelings on a small boy.
  • Outside Your Window: A First Book Of Nature
    By Nicola Davies.
    Poetry and images highlight the world of nature outside the door, whether in the city or country.
  • Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes
    By Eric Litwin.
    Pete the cat just keeps on smiling no matter what he steps in.
  • The Stars Will Still Shine
    By Cynthia Rylant.
    Shining stars, flowers that bloom, love…this book celebrates the constants of our beautiful world.
  • Suki's Kimono
    By Chieri Uegaki.
    Suki’s favourite thing is her blue cotton kimono. A gift from her obachan, it holds special memories of her grandmother. And she intends to wear it on the first day of school—no matter what anyone says.
  • Those Shoes
    By Maribeth Boelts.
    A young boy realizes that the things he has—warm boots, a loving grandmother, and a good friend, are worth more than the things he wants.
  • Willow’s Whispers
    By Lana Button.
    Willow’s voice, as soft and shy as a secret, goes unheard at school. After a night of wishing for a bigger voice Willow comes up with an idea: a magic microphone!
  • Yoko
    By Rosemary Wells.
    Yoko is proud of the sushi her mother has painstakingly prepared for her lunch until her classmates tease her about it.
  • A Little Peace
    By Barbara Kerley.
    It doesn’t take much to spread a little peace—a smile, an outstretched hand. Beautiful photos show diverse people spreading peace.
  • Anything Is Possible
    By Giulia Belloni.
    Two traditional enemies, a sheep and a wolf, collaborate to build a flying machine. With perseverance and ingenuity they prove that even the most improbable dreams can be made real.
  • The Can Man
    By Laura E. Williams.
    A young boy learns to think beyond his own wants and make a difference in one man’s life.
  • The Garden Of Happiness
    By Barbara Lambase.
    An empty lot filled with garbage is transformed into a symbol of hope and positivity for one neighbourhood in New York City.
  • The Hundred Dresses
    By Eleanor Estes.
    An impoverished girl is bullied throughout the year by her classmates but finds a way to leave them with the gift of forgiveness.
  • I Like Who I Am
    By Tara White.
    Celina is a young Mohawk girl who is bullied because she doesn’t look like her classmates. She chooses to dance no matter what her classmates think.
  • Immi’s Gift
    By Karin Littlewood.
    A small Inuit girl’s world is made brighter by gifts from across the sea which inspires her to send a gift of her own.
  • It’s My Turn
    By Heather Maisner.
    When friends come over to play in Ben and Amy's garden tent it takes a while before they can learn to share and cooperate.
  • The Magnificent Thing
    By Ashley Spires.
    One day a little girl has an idea: with the help of her assistant she will make the most magnificent thing! Of course making the magnificent thing is much harder than she thought.
  • Mimi’s Village And How Basic Health Care Transformed It
    By Katie Smith Milway.
    When Mimi’s little sister becomes ill after drinking dirty water, the family must travel to a nearby village to access health care. This situation sets Mimi’s family and their entire village on a path to better health through simple health care measures.
  • My Friend And I
    By Lisa Jahn-Clough.
    When a little boy moves in next door a lonely child learns how to share and handle the challenges of friendship.
  • Nobody’s Perfect
    By David Elliott. This book shows that growing up is more about patience than perfection and that focussing on the positive reaps its own rewards.
  • One Well: The Story Of Water On Earth
    By Rochelle Strauss.
    All life on Earth is dependent on our common ‘well’ which is threatened by a growing population and increased demands.
  • One World, One Day
    By Barbara Kerley.
    Beautiful photos of children going through their day, and all their similarities and differences.
  • Peace Is An Offering
    By Annette LeBox.
    Follows neighborhood kids as they find love in everyday things such as sunlight shining through leaves and cookies shared with friends.
  • Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick
    By Kevin Henkes.
    When Sheila Rae’s little sister Louise asks for a lick of her peppermint stick, Sheila Rae teases her and says, "You can have a lick if you can guess how many stripes there are." Louise is frustrated but eventually the two work out a compromise that satisfies everyone.
  • The Smallest Girl In The Smallest Grade
    By Justin Roberts.
    Hardly anyone notices young Sally McCabe, the smallest girl in the smallest grade, yet she notices everything from the twentyseven keys on the janitor’s key-ring to the bullying going on in the playground. One day Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard.
  • Swimmy
    By Leo Lionni.
    A little fish survives being swallowed by a tuna then devises a plan to camouflage himself and his new companions.
  • Talk And Work It Out
    By Cheri J. Meiners.
    A young child talks about the process of peaceful conflict resolution in clear, simple words with supporting illustrations.
  • Ten Thank-You Letters
    By Daniel Kirk.
    This funny friendship story shows how different personalities can manage to fit together perfectly. Pig just wants to take his time to write a thank you letter but Rabbit gets so caught up in the project that he uses all the paper and stamps. Fortunately, Rabbit’s final thank you letter reminds Pig how lucky he is to have Rabbit as his friend.
  • What Do You Do With An Idea?
    By Kobi Yamada.
    A young boy has an idea and wonders what to do with it. Eventually he realizes his idea has grown and is now part of the universe.
  • Willow Finds A Way
    By Lana Button.
    All the girls want to go to Kristabelle’s fantastic birthday party so they go along with all of her demands on the playground. When Willow’s bossy classmate un-invites some children from the party, Willow finds the strength to speak up.
  • 10,000 Dresses
    By Marcus Ewert.
    Bailey longs to wear the beautiful dresses of her dreams but is ridiculed by her unsympathetic family who reject her true perception of herself. Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage.
  • Accept And Value Each Person
    By Cheri J. Meiners.
    With simple text and illustrations, this book introduces diversity and related concepts: respecting differences, finding similarities, being inclusive, and appreciating people the way they are.
  • Alfie And The Big Boys
    By Shirley Hughes.
    Alfie is in awe of the rough and tumble grade school boys next door, but he begins to understand that even big boys need help sometimes.
  • Boo Hoo Bird
    By Jeremy Tankard.
    This book for toddlers asks the question, “What makes your boo-boos feel better?” A little bird’s friends assess his injury and provide the best care they can to make his boo-boos better.
  • The Farmer And The Clown
    By Marla Frazee.
    A textless picture book about a farmer who rescues a baby clown who has ‘bounced’ off a circus train. The farmer cares for the child, and then reunites the baby clown with his family. This is a story about doing the kind thing, the right thing, no matter how unprepared you may feel. Despite their differences, the farmer opens his home to the little clown until he can be reunited with his family.
  • How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids
    By Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.
    In this story, filling one’s bucket is a metaphor for encouraging kind and considerate behaviour and for teaching the benefits of positive relationships. Felix notices that every interaction he has with others either fills or empties his bucket, and that everything he does and says fills or empties the buckets of those around him.
  • How To Heal A Broken Wing
    By Bob Graham.
    When Will finds a bird with a broken wing he takes it home and cares for it, hoping in time it will be able to fly again. Stunning pictures with sparse but powerful text.
  • The Invisible Boy
    By Trudy Ludwig.
    Brian has always felt invisible in school, but when a new student arrives, everything changes.
  • The Little Bit Scary People
    By Emily Jenkins.
    A girl describes how sometimes people seem a little bit scary but suggests that when you know them a little better -- how they treat their pets, that they love to sing, etc.-- they are very much like you and those you love.
  • Mole’s Sunrise
    By Jeanne Willis.
    Mole thinks he will never be able to see the sunrise because he is blind. When his friends ‘show’ it to him he is astonished: it is even more beautiful than he ever imagined.
  • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
    By Emily Pearson.
    Ordinary Mary was so very ordinary you’d never guess she could change the world, but her caring act sets off a chain reaction of kindness that multiplies around the world.