Amber Flag Christmas Books for Welbeing

As Christmas is just around the corner, why not think about giving a feel-good book as a welcome gift to your family and friends. This list of books promoting mental health and wellbeing comes a selection, many of which are recommended by Children’s Books Ireland. More information is available on

We hope you enjoy these recommendations…this is not an exhaustive list and of course there are many fantastic books available in your local bookshops, online and from the wonderful resource that is our local library.

Happy reading and be well! Happy Christmas,

The Amber Flag Team 2020/2021.

For Very Young Children (aged 0-4):

Feeling Great! By Ailie Busby (lift the flap book for little learners)

ABC of Feelings by Bonnie Liu (alphabet and feelings all rolled into one book)

I Am: A Book About Feelings by Alice Melvin (helps young children to verbalise feelings)

Red Red Red by Polly Dunbar (helping young children to deal with overwhelming emotions)

Minfully Me: Where is Happy? By Louise Shanagher and Rose Finnerty (Using our internal tools to promote positive mental health)

Mum’s Jumper by Jayde Perkin (a story for small children about dealing with grief and loss)

Dare by Lorna Gutierrez (simple poetry about being your best self)

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (Funny and touching story about Ferdinand the bull who is not like all the other bulls)

While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar (very topical book about Tortoise and Hedgehog who find ways to have fun while social distancing)

For Children Aged 5-8:

A Zebra Named Zion by Ben Smith (colourful book about a zebra learning to manage sadness)

The Girl With The Parrot On Her Head by Daisy Hirst (picturebook about friendship and loss)

Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival (How do you make a friend? What do you say? This is a lovely book, particularyly for children transitioning from preschool into primary, or children wjo have difficulty making friends easily)

Little Tree – A Story for Children with Serious Medical Problems by Joyce C. Mills (using the analogy of a tree in a storm, this story is inspiring for children whose lives have been altered by serious injury or illness)

Gringer the Whinger by Jane Landly and Sheena Dempsey (funny book about emotions)

Fox and Goldfish by Nils Pieters (a child appropriate picturebook about death, aimed at opening up discussion with trusted adults about dying and loss)

Cad a Tharla Idir Mamai agus Dadai? Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (leabhar deas Gaeilge faoi caidreamh agus mothuchan)

Look Up! By Jung Jin-Ho (a little girl looks out at the world from her wheelchair – a story of friendship and connection)

The Boy in the Jam Jar by Joyce Dunbar (a little boy dealing with hearing loss and his hearing aids is an inspirational tale)

When Sadness Comes to Call by Eva Eland (picturebook with suggestions for dealing with sadness, such as listening to music or going for a walk)

Child of Galaxies by Blake Nuto (powerful book about the infinite possibilities of life)

For Children Aged 9-12:

My Feel Good Book: 90 Ways to Feel Confident and Happy to Be You! By Francoize Boucher (Colourful, interactive feel-good book)

Mindful Kids: Dyslexia and Me by Amy Rainbow (book/workbook for children about how dyslexia affects a child)

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen (fictional story about London boy, Ade, dealing with his mother’s depression and the loss of his home)

Not My Fault! By Cath Howe (a book about sibling rivalries)

My Friend the Alien by Zanib Mian (a book challenging discrimination, about a boy who befriends an alien)

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf (Alexa and her friends want to befriend the new boy in their class and learn about his life as a refugee from a war-torn country)

The Boy With The Butterfly Mind by Victoria Williamson (an interesting read about a boy with ADHD)

Cen Chaoi a Bhfuil Tu? Go Maith o Anke Kranedonk (Sceal e seo ata trom ach tabhachtach a leamh faoi na dushlain a bhaineann le tinneas le linn na hoige)

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (Steve suffers with anxiety and the new baby in his family is very sick – how will he cope?)

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (a fictional story about grief and anger)

For Children/Teens Aged 13-16:

Car Wash Wish by Sita Brahmachari (a sweet story about a boy with Asperger syndrome dealing with grief and the arrival of a new baby in his family)

Knock Knock by Pauline Burgess (troubled Belfast teen, Ben, spends time in a summer camp and uncovers a family secret)

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan (fictional tale about seventeen year old Bobby who cares for his mum, who has Motor Neuron Disease)

Choose You-Become the Unique, Incredible and Happy Teenager You Choose to Be by Dr Sharie Coombs (A book for teenagers who want to take control of their emotions and improve their wellbeing)

It’s Not Ok to Feel Blue and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis (contributions from a number of inspirational people, including celebrities, who open up about how they have managed mental health difficulties in a positive manner.