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Now more than ever we need to look after our mental health and books can provide a brilliant way of helping children and young people to understand the world around them as well as what’s going on in their heads. Here are our picks of the best books for 5-8 year-olds to keep young minds healthy.

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and taking place from 18-24 May, this year’s theme is kindness, the perfect antidote to isolation and stress. Find out more

[See our book lists for 0-5s, 8-12s and 12+]

Why Do I Feel Like This? by Shinsuke Yoshitake, published by Thames and Hudson

Why Do I Feel Like This? follows a child’s hilarious, wildly inventive train of thought as she walks home in a bad mood. Where do sad or angry feelings come from? What’s the best way to make them go away? And is there any way to stop them from coming back? This imaginative story will help young readers to think about their emotions and find creative ways to deal with bad days.

What’s Going On Inside My Head? by Molly Potter, illustrated by Sarah Jennings, published by Bloomsbury Education

We all know that healthy minds are really important but how do we make sure we look after our mental health from a very young age? What’s Going On Inside My Head? is a book for children that explores practical ways we can keep our minds in good shape as well as our bodies.

By talking about positive self-image, emotional intelligence, relationships and mindfulness, this book will help children develop healthy habits and good coping strategies from the start. Presented in a warm, child-friendly but no-nonsense way it will help establish solid foundations for every child’s current and future wellbeing.

Perfect for starting conversations with children about their mental and emotional health, What’s Going On Inside My Head? is a must for every parent who understands the importance of keeping a healthy mind.

Dream Team: Attack of the Heebie Jeebies, by Tom Percival, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Meet the Dream Team! Turning nightmares into incredible adventures!

Erika’s had a bad day. But going to sleep upset means bad dreams. She finds herself stranded in the Dreamscape along with a mob of hungry Heebie Jeebies – and to make matters worse, she’s being hunted by a terrifying Angermare!

Enter the Dream Team! Can they help Erika overcome her worries and get home, or will she be trapped forever?  

Attack of the Heebie Jeebies is the first in a fun and engaging colour illustrated series from Tom Percival, exploring anxiety in in children through action and adventure.


Stretch Your Confidence, by Beth Cox and Natalie Costa, illustrated by Vicky Barker, published by b small 

Confidence is like a muscle and everyone’s confidence can benefit from a bit of coaching to stretch and strengthen that muscle. From dealing with friendship wobbles to embracing mistakes and coping with change, the awesome activities in this book have been expertly designed to help children discover just what they can do. Build confidence and empathy with inclusivity expert Beth Cox, Power Thoughts founder Natalie Costa and Blue Peter Book Award winner Vicky Barker.