How books help children discuss difficult feelings – and feel less alone

A well-chosen book can help us explore all kinds of feelings. With a class of children who are about to move up to the next year –  a key time for anxiety – a book like Anthony Browne’s Silly Billy could help them discuss their worries and what they might do about them.

A book can put into words or pictures a feeling that a child is unable to express. In Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree, we see feelings of sadness, frustration and loneliness – and hope – manifested as stunning, evocative paintings. It can be hard to articulate a feeling, even for us adults – but a picture might give us a way in.

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