It can be hard to explain complex topics to kids, especially when it’s an emotional issue. These children’s books on hard topics will help!
One of the best ways to introduce hard topics to your kids is through books.
They are third person, easier to understand, and that distance can help a little one think about the topic without feeling on the spot.
It’s also easier for parents this way.
While it’s nowhere near as joyous buying books on how to prevent abuse, on disease, or death for little ones… sometimes we find ourselves in this position.
I have fallen back on books many-a-time when I wanted to talk about important topics.
Like the birds and the bees, and what photos not to look at and bodily changes and ALL SORTS OF THINGS I didn’t want to have to come up with the right words for.
Save the heavier books for other times of the day.
It can prevent them falling off to sleep, give them nightmares, or simply distress them.
Reading bedtime stories is super important, but choose more light-hearted themes.
Set a cozy scene when reading these books
- Get in a cozy spot to read
- Wrap up in warm blankets
- Let your child (and you if you want) get a nice snack to hold
- Read these books carefully in as neutral tone as you can, without walking on eggshells too much
- Stop anytime your child has a question and answer as truthfully as you can
- And be direct, this is more honest
Children’s Books For Kids To Help Introduce Difficult Subjects
So, let’s dive in. This will list books by topic, so scroll until you find the subject you are looking for. If it isn’t here, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to add it.
Children’s Books About Feelings
Feelings can be hard to talk about, much less teach. This is especially true if your little one is right in the middle of his/her feelings.
Read some stories that address feeling of anger, self-control, helplessness, and more. We know that kids can connect stories with feelings, which will give them words.
- You Are Special– A must read for anyone dealing with feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy.
- Seeds and Trees: A Children’s Book About the Power of Words– Our words have power. Every child will benefit from understating this concept. Children need this skill when dealing with their feelings.
- The Oak Inside the Acorn– For the child who has ever had to ask “why”? This book beautifully paints promise and hope.
- God, I Need to Talk to You about Lying- The topics of self-control and lying are beautifully illustrated in this book.
- Teaching Christ’s Children About Godly Feelings– A great read to help kids learn how to express their feelings in a Godly way.
Pull out these fun questions to share some laughs with your precious ones. Use them out at meal times, car rides, or any time the day is getting chaotic and you need a reset to connect.
Books for Kids on Abuse (and Protection from Abuse)
Body safety skills are important to teach to young children. They should know that their body is theirs alone and always keep an open dialog with their parents.
These books can help talk about the topics that can be difficult to discuss.
- God Made All of Me: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Children Protect Their Bodies- This book helps explain sensitive issues in a safe way. It’s also equipped with parent talking points.
- Some Parts are not for Sharing- It’s very important to teach younger children about basic body safety. First of all, this book uses non threatening language. Secondly, it uses fun light-hearted pictures to teach important issues.
- My Body Is Private- Understanding this concept and being able to say “no” are the main topics of this children’s picture book.
- My Body! What I Say Goes!– This book teaches children about body safety. Also, it handles respect, and the danger of keeping secrets. Lastly, it teaches how to listen to their discernment.
- Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept- Easy to read and beautifully illustrated, this storybook teaching important safety habits concerning the body.
Kid Books About Moving
Moving can be very hard on kids. In particular, if they had to leave family and friends. In fact, I was once told that moving is one of the top 6 stressors for women. So, must be stressful for the kids too.
These books will help make feelings associated with transitions to a new home easier to talk about.
- Sandy’s Moving Day- This fun story features a dog who is moving away from friends and into a new place. It’s a great read to get kids excited about change.
- Moving to the Neighborhood- Daniel Tiger is moving in and has some new things to get used to. Above all, this picture book deals with emotions involved with moving.
- Nora and the Growing Tree: An Owlegories Tale- As a result of moving, kids may feel displaced. Therefore, it’s important for kids to be taught about how to grow where God plants them. This book also deals with how to live in Godly contentment.
- The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day- Every family goes though some changes, even the Bear cubs have some adjusting.
- The Giving Tree- This touching book is a classic children’s story of change and navigating through the seasons of life.
Children’s Books About Sickness
Unfortunately, kids have to deal with sickness sometimes. It could be a loved one, a close family member, or even themselves.
There’s a book below to help a child in each of these conditions. I personally had cancer, so I know it is a tough topic. And sometimes reading a book helps you keep it together.
- What Does Super Jonny Do When Mom Gets Sick?: An Empowering Tale- One of the most confusing elements of sickness is the feeling of powerless. Moreover, kids will be encouraged after reading this picture book.
- The Gift That I Can Give- Compassion and empathy can be taught. So, this adorable storybook tells the story of a girl who found ways to make the people around her feel special. She even gave to the sick.
- The One O’Clock Miracle- Build your little one’s faith in the healing power of Jesus with a re-telling of a beloved Bible story.
- The Cracking of Monday Egg- Sometimes, children have a difficult time undressing why some people’s sicknesses hinder them from participating in activities. Also, this book will be a good read for anyone needing to discuss that topic.
- Hospital Sick- Hospitals can seem like a scary place for for a kid. Therefore, this book would be a great read to introduce hospitals in a non-threatening way.
Divorce Books For Kids
No one wants their kids to go through the pain of a divorce, but sometimes it happens. Of course, we want the kids to come through as best they can. Furthermore, when life doesn’t go as planned… it may be hard to talk about.
These books were written to help children process their feelings associated with divorce:
- Jesus Was with Me All Along: A Book About Divorce- This children’s book tells the story of a young boy who finds comfort in the arms of Jesus.
- It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear- A great read-together book during a time of divorce in a young child’s life.
- Fred Stays with Me!- A more lighthearted approach, the girl in this story navigates the her new living arrangement with the help of her pet dog.
- The Tiny Snowflake- Divorce can leave children feeling like they don’t know where they belong. First of all, this book is a sensitive way to learn about uniqueness. Secondly, it addresses belonging and family.
- The Kissing Hand- One of the main struggles associated with divorce can be separation anxiety for young children. Thankfully, this brilliant story offers peace and consolation during a difficult time.
Children’s Books About Safety
There are many different kinds of safety skills we want out children to possess. Maybe it’s fire, stranger-danger, or virus safety you’re looking for?
There’s book for that.
- Shady People: A Rhyming Children’s Book About Body Safety- This picture book is a great way to introduce safety with strangers. Also, it deals with how to act when assaulted by a stranger.
- The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School- Take a look at germs as the Bear cubs return home from school sick.
- Bicycles- Safety is not just a topic that needs to be discussed outside while the action is taking place. Reading about helmet safety can be a fun and sensible way to teach this topic.
- Ollie the Owl: Inspiring Safety for Children if Ever Lost- Getting lost from family can be a daunting thing to discuss. This storybook gives some powerful lessons and reinforces family values.
- Plan and Prepare! (Fire Safety)- This sing-along picture book will have everything wanting to plan and prepare fire safety.
Books About Friendship Problems
As children age, personalities shine though. This is particularly true when they start school. School can bring about friendship issues that are difficult to talk about. Whether it’s being left out, finding that one good friend, feeling inadequate, etc.
It’s amazing what all school brings up.
These books help address rejection, fighting, talking behind each others backs, and want to show empathy in various situations.
- Hermie: God Forgives me, and I Forgive You- Children learn the importance of friendships, second chances, and forgiveness with Hermie.
- Strictly No Elephants- Elegantly written to teach children to embrace empathy when dealing with friends, this story grows the heart to see others uniqueness.
- God, I Need to Talk to You About Bullying- This book is beautifully illustrated and shows the reader how to be a good friend and forgive according to scripture.
- Kindness is my Superpower: A Children’s Book About Empathy, Kindness and Compassion– Sometimes, friendship issues stem from a lack of understanding in empathy.
- The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts- The Bear cubs encounter several friendship issues that are overcome with scripture and faith based teaching.
Read These While You’re At It
Children’s Books About Death
Unfortunately, this is something we need to talk about with kids, whether it’s a close family member or even a pet, etc. If you feel you will break down trying to talk about it, a book may help you be able to get through the talk.
Some children also enter into that age (preschool and up) where they understand death is real and can want to talk about death or dying a lot. These books may help them put some pieces together.
- It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change– Beautifully illustrated, Little Seed and Little Fox will help your young listener through change and hardship.
- What Cloud Is My Daddy In?: A Children’s Book About Love, Memories and Grief- Although this is a picture book to read with a child who was experienced loss, it also includes some adult led conversational pieces and activity ideas.
- The Invisible String- This story speaks to the hearts of any child who feels the pain of loss. It has been claimed by councilors and child phycologists as a great tool for grief.
- The Memory Box: A Book About Grief– When the need arises, it can be difficult to talk about death. This storybook is an excellent way to discuss this topic in a meaningful and sensitive way.
- God Gave Us Heaven– Children wonder what comes after life when they have lost a loved one to death.
- When I’m With Jesus: For any Child with a Loved One in Heaven– Written for children who have experiences loss, this book tells about heaven and Jesus has in store for them.
Children’s Books About The Birds And The Bees & Bodily Changes
I remember in early elementary school kids telling everyone how they thought babies were made. Now looking back, that is definitely not how babies are made but the fact is that this topic comes out QUICK.
It’s my motto to beat the school chatter around these topics and prove myself to be an expert to my kids so they’ll come to me, not their classmates, with questions.
- The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality – This is the exact book I used and highly recommend it.
- The Story Of How You Were Made – This is a lovely guide to help with the talk.
- Maidens By Design – A great book for a daughter who is 9+ and will begin entering into puberty in the coming years.
- Guy Stuff: The Body Book For Boys – Written by a pediatrician and covering issues like body odor, acne, hair care, and healthy eating, etc.
- Girls Body Book – It covers a lot of areas girls will face in the upcoming years.
Children’s Books About Differences
We know our kids will encounter people of all walks of life as they grow up. If you want your children to be kind to others, these books will help open up topics of conversation with them so they can step into others’ shoes.
- Some Kids Use Wheelchairs – This is self-explanatory.
- What Happens When A Kid Has Cancer – How to handle a friend or family member going through this hard time.
- We’re Different, We’re The Same – A Sesame Street book on racism, diversity, and, how we are all alike on the inside.
- I Am Connor – This book is about a young boy with down syndrome.