Self-Care and Empathy | Health Series Nonfiction

Facing life’s challenges and understanding the experiences of others are themes in this season’s health and wellness selections.

This season readers can explore the health and wellness of the community around them through self-care and empathy work. By learning to see what their neighbors do and to understand others’ experiences, young readers are opened to a new world that is welcoming to all. This might look like taking a few breaths between classroom assignments or taking the time to learn about how a glucose meter works. Going beyond this, the care and keeping of oneself is highlighted in these series, from taking time to stretch before you exercise to learning just how vital it is to brush your teeth. Each series has something to offer that will invite readers to consider the health of not only themselves but also of their families and communities.



ANDREWS, Elizabeth. My Friend with ADHD. ISBN 9781098245276.
––––. My Friend with Allergies. ISBN 9781098245283.
––––. My Friend with Asthma. ISBN 9781098245290.
––––. My Friend with Autism. ISBN 9781098245306.
––––. My Friend with Diabetes. ISBN 9781098245313.
––––. My Friend with Epilepsy. ISBN 9781098245320.
ea vol: 24p. (My Friend with Health Needs). ABDO/Cody Koala. Jan. 2024. Tr. $31.36.
Gr 1-3–Reading like a story or a conversation that plays out with a friend, these titles show a glimpse of the daily experiences of children with health needs. The view is split with text on ones side and a photograph on the other side that adds context to the narrative. Through explanations and photographs of children with the diagnoses, young readers are exposed to diverse technologies that supports the topical health needs addressed in each title. VERDICT The best feature of this series is the work it does to normalize the experiences and needs of children who live with common health issues like diabetes and neurodiversity in a simple, visual way to their peers.

BELL, Samantha S. Dealing with a Move. ISBN 9781503885400.
––––. Dealing with Loss. ISBN 9781503885394.
GIEDD, Steph. Dealing with Bullying. ISBN 9781503885387.
––––. Dealing with Disagreements. ISBN 9781503885424.
––––. Dealing with Divorce. ISBN 9781503885356.
––––. Dealing with Family Changes. ISBN 9781503885417.
––––. Dealing with Illness. ISBN 9781503885370.
––––. Dealing with Peer Pressure. ISBN 9781503885363.
ea vol: 24p. (Dealing with Life Challenges). Child’s World/Wonder Books. Jan. 2024. Tr. $32.79.
Gr 2-4–Familiar situations for children and families are centered in these titles on tough topics. While the page counts for these titles are limited, they are substantial enough to cover each issue in a way that allows children to explore the topics alone or with a caregiver. Real photographs of children with their families accompany the text as they work through issues from bullying and moving to divorce and illness. The pop-up notes allow readers to take a breath and digest what they are reading. VERDICT Families will find the straightforward explanations paired with coping mechanisms to be helpful for children going through complex emotions.

HOLMES, Kirsty. Healthy Mind. ISBN 9798889164623.
PHILLIPS-BARTLETT, Rebecca. Healthy Body. ISBN 9798889164616.
––––. Healthy Diet. ISBN 9798889164593.
––––. Healthy Exercise. ISBN 9798889164609.
ea vol: 32p. (Live Well!). Bearport. Jan. 2024. Tr. $29.95.
Gr 3-5–Want to learn what it takes to live well? Kids can read through these exciting titles to learn tips and tricks to have a healthier body and mind. Using a visual approach, readers can explore a variety of media from anatomical drawings, real photographs of kids, and illustrations that work together to explain how the body works when cared for. The building blocks of each topic are addressed before the readers are given a more granular explanation of ideas like complex carbohydrates. Rather than choosing one singular approach, the author, for example, uses a combination of information from Harvard and USDA standards for building a plate that balances the discussions around both dairy and oils. VERDICT A fun addition for public or school libraries looking to expand their life sciences collections toward more lifestyle discussions.

MURRAY, Julie. Taking Care of Your Teeth. ISBN 9781098268350.
––––. Tools at the Dentist. ISBN 9781098268367.
––––. Tooth Types. ISBN 9781098268374.
––––. A Visit to the Dentist. ISBN 9781098268381.
––––. What Does a Dentist Do? ISBN 9781098268398.
––––. What Does an Orthodontist Do? ISBN 9781098268404.
ea vol: 24p. (Terrific Teeth). ABDO/Abdo Kids Junior. Jan. 2024. Tr. $31.36.
K-Gr 2–Set aside those fears of the unknown and dentistry with the power of knowledge! Through simple and direct sentences, young readers are prepared for what to expect at the dentist’s office, from the tools in the room to the teeth in their mouth. Real photographs of the equipment and people readers might encounter solidify the concepts being introduced. The curious can finally examine what it is that dentists and orthodontists do—and why their jobs are different. Visual reminders at the end of each title encourage readers review the main ideas. VERDICT An excellent choice to help demystify the dentist to young readers. Recommended to public libraries looking to expand their nonfiction early reader collection.

SCHUH, Mari. My Life with a Grandparent with Alzheimer’s Disease. ISBN 9781645496663.
––––. My Life with a Parent in the Military. ISBN 9781645497240.
––––. My Life with Losing a Pet. ISBN 9781645497219.
––––. My Life with Losing a Sibling. ISBN 9781645496687.
ea vol: illus. by Alice Larsson. 24p. (My Life With...). Amicus Learning/Amicus Illustrated. Jan. 2024. Tr. $35.70.
Gr 1-3–Emotional wellness is just as important as physical wellness. Witnessing the feelings of those in difficult situations can be heavy, but here readers see the hard parts and the bright sides in each given situation. The illustrations are warm and give the feeling of a comforting picture book while also treating the subject matter with respect and realism. This continuation of the series breaks away from physical ailments and digs into the realm of psychological and emotional pains. As with the previous entries in this series, there is a real person highlighted within each area in focus, such as a child dealing with Alzheimer’s disease in his family. VERDICT An excellent resource for caregivers and classrooms alike to address tough topics, appropriate for both children going through them and their peers who want to understand.

TROUPE, Thomas Kingsley. What Would Happen if... You Never Brushed Your Teeth? ISBN 9781645492948.
––––. What Would Happen if... You Never Got Vaccines? ISBN 9781645492979.
––––. What Would Happen if... You Never Left the Couch? ISBN 9781645492962.
––––. What Would Happen if... You Never Slept? ISBN 9781645492924.
––––. What Would Happen if You Never Took a Bath? ISBN 9781645492955.
––––. What Would Happen if You Only Ate Chocolate? ISBN 9781645492931.
ea vol: illus. by Anna Mongay. 24p. (What Would Happen if...). Amicus/Amicus Illustrated. Jan. 2024. Tr. $35.70.
Gr 1-3–Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stopped showering? This series has you covered! Using gross-out tactics to the extreme, these amusing titles take readers deep down the rabbit hole of various unhealthy and unhygenic scenarios. The science behind illustrations of stink clouds and tooth decay explains the logical, healthy reasons why it is so important to take care of the body. This colorfully illustrated selection takes to task the inquisitive reader who’s wondering: What’s the worst that could happen? VERDICT An excellent addition to school libraries looking to add some zest to their health collections.

WOOLLEY, Katie & Dr. Rhuanna Watts. Mindfulness and My Body. ISBN 9798887701318.
––––. Mindfulness and Nature. ISBN 9798887701264.
ea vol: illus. by Sarah Jennings. 32p. (Mindful Spaces). Mayo Clinic/Mayo Clinic Press Kids. Mar. 2024. Tr. $9.99.
Gr 1-3–In a picture book format, these titles explore mindfulness through fun and active illustrations of mindfulness-based techniques in vibrant colors. Each activity depicted is paired with an explanation that describes how it encourages mindfulness, and what is going on in the body during those practices. While the activities are interesting and the illustrations are engaging, this text appears to be aimed more at caregivers and educators working with younger children than the younger readers themselves. VERDICT With the range and detail of activities described, these titles would pair well with other classroom activities ranging from science lessons to physical education.

Understanding people around us and their diverse needs, from emotional wellness to technological assistance, is vital to being a good member of the global community. In the same way, taking care of oneself and understanding how best to do that is just as important. There is also humor to be found in self-care practices—the “What Would Happen If...” (Amicus) series will have young readers coming back to laugh and learn again and again. These titles are a combination of informative, amusing, and slightly icky that were designed to (literally) illustrate the importance of hygiene and wellness. More importantly, they have a charming re-readability that makes them enjoyable on the second pass. A great collection of titles that encourages young readers to learn more about themselves and their peers.


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