Children's Mental Health Week with Graffeg

This week (7 - 11 February 2022) is Children's Mental Health Week. Children's mental health lies at the heart of many of our picture books, so we thought we'd walk you through some of our favourites. Check out our list below:

The New Girl written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher 

This wonderfully illustrated tale is about when a child starts a new school in a strange new town. The children in her class are hostile towards her and unhappy about the stranger in their midst, refusing to include her. The girl’s response is to create something beautiful that transforms their attitude towards her and their vision of themselves and their own lives in this inspiring story.

'a visually stunning collaboration between Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher. Kiku is cruelly isolated and ostracised before something beautiful inspires tolerance and acceptance. Words & artwork combine to make a most striking and skillful picture book.' Family Bookworms

The New Girl was also recently nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. Find out more about the nomination here. 

Picture books can be a brilliant way to introduce trickier topics to young readers and can start incredibly important conversations which can improve their mental health. That's where the Only One of Me series comes in.

Only One of Me: A love letter from Mum and Only One of Me: A love letter from Dad were both written with the intention of helping families to prepare for the loss of a parent. 

Most of us can’t imagine having the time we spend with our children cut short, but this is the reality being faced by mother of two Lisa Wells, who was diagnosed with terminal bowel and liver cancer in December 2017 at the age of 32.

Only One of Me is the product of Lisa’s lifelong love of writing and friendship with award-winning children’s author Michelle Robinson. The two collaborated on this tender and moving rhyming poem, with charming illustrations by Catalina Echeverri and Tim Budgen, which is both a love letter to Lisa’s own daughters and a testament to the unwavering strength of parental love, a timeless message for families facing the challenges of bereavement.

The Only One of Me project grew from Lisa’s determination to leave a lasting legacy for her daughters and her desire to help other families rally against the difficulties of loss. Her activities have raised thousands for charity and huge public support through JustGiving has enabled the publication of these beautiful books. Sadly Lisa passed away in August 2019.

Little Bunny's Book of Thoughts by Steve Smallman

When everything feels like a challenge, take time to stop and breathe with Little Bunny's book of calm, quiet and mindfulness.

Author Steve Smallman presents an uplifting, illustrated, rhyming text encouraging people of all ages to take a moment and try something new. With delightful illustrations of Little Bunny experiencing challenges and showing a range of emotions, this is a book which will speak to children and adults alike.

'This is exactly what we all need right now: a little book to have to hand when everything is getting on top of us' -Red Reading Hub

A Very Special Mouse & Mole by Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew

Simple pastimes help mouse and mole realise there's something special in everything, including themselves. 

A new edition of this classic story from author illustrator team Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew.

One in a series of gentle and humorous stories by acclaimed author and illustrator team Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew. 

Mouse & Mole: The Secret of Happiness by Joyce Dunbar and James Mayhew

Mouse and Mole’s charming, gentle and humourous adventures continue in this new addition to the much-loved series.

Contains three stories: The Secret of Happiness, This Way and That and A Good Read.

'Such a wondrous, warm addition to the series, The Secret of Happiness is filled with quiet reassurance, bringing delight to the most restless sort of days.' Mary Esther Judy, Fallen Star Stories

The Little Mistake written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher

Rosie is given a sheepdog puppy to rear who looks and behaves differently to the other sheepdogs on the farm and is too friendly to herd the sheep. When she overhears her parents referring to her as their ‘little mistake’, her puppy teaches her that not all mistakes are bad in this charming story about belonging and finding your place.

The Little Mistake is one in a series of six illustrated short stories about young people growing up in the countryside.

'Nicola Davies has created another brilliant wildlife story for young readers in this part of a series with Cathy Fisher. The story is ideal for upper primary readers, and, as ever, mixes a strong emotional connection with animals with fascinating detail.' - BookTrust

The Pond written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher.

The Pond is a touching picture book about a young boy, and his family, overcoming the loss of his father. This colourful, emotional book is filled with natural imagery, and will teach children not only about death and loss, but the importance of the natural world. From Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher, the duo behind the beautiful children’s book Perfect.

‘Cathy Fisher’s rich illustrations add depth to the emotional impact of the text which explores the way in which we can use places, objects and acts of creation to help us to remember those we have loved and lost. The book also reveals the way in which connecting with nature can be a healing process, for many different reasons.’ Katie Rosa Myles, CLPE

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