Books, Highly Sensitive Children, Reading

2019 Picture Book Picks for Sensitive Kids


Picture Books for Sensitive Kids

Sharing a story is a special time for you and your little one.  A picture book makes us think, question, and even giggle.  It should be a time that you and  your child feel safe and content. If you have a sensitive child, you may find yourself quickly flipping pages trying to make sure the words and pictures won’t lead to any new fears or tears. I hope I can help you with this list. After some research, these books top my list as some of the cutest, quirkiest, silliest, and most thought-provoking reads of this year. Since every child has their own sensitivities, please make sure you look through your favorites thoroughly before completing your holiday shopping!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog. 



Bear Came Along 

Written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. This book will delight your little readers with a group of curious forest friends and a personified river. I absolutely love the pops of color and the expressive faces of the animals in this book. This story  keeps the pages turning in this journey of adventure and teamwork.


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Hum and Swish  

Words and picture by Matt Myers. I stumbled upon this picture book at the cutest little bookstore while vacationing in North Carolina. I opened it up and was entranced by the underlying message. A young girl simply wants to create and is bothered by all of the adults asking about her creation. She befriends another artist painting alongside her who is also focused on the process rather than the product. An enlightening reminder about the creative process and letting it be without a label.


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This Beach Is Loud!

Written and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. Perfect for any child with sound sensitivity or any sensory challenges, this book demonstrates how excitement, fear, and anxiety can all be a part of a special day and smartly interweaves strategies that can help. (Check out Nope. Never. Not For Me! for another great story in the Little Senses series) 




Authored by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This book is SO cute. A girl and her peaceful pet turtle are in for a tough transition when she heads back to school. Truman the turtle has a difficult time separating and takes it upon himself to reunite as quickly as possible.


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A Stone Sat Still

Written and illustrated by award winner Brendan Wenzel. Beautifully depicted, this book takes us on a journey of what it’s like to be part of the background as a stone, but also how necessary every part of nature is. 


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A Friend for Henry

Story by Jenn Bailey and pictures by Mika Song.  Henry wants a new friend but his strict parameters don’t always allow for others’ differences. He soon figures out that friends may be similar but don’t have to be exactly alike. A beautifully simple story about someone on the spectrum navigating the social situations of school.


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I Wonder

Written by Kari Anne Holt and illustrated by Kenard Pak (one of my favorites!) Has your child ever asked you an unusually deep and interesting question? I just love those moments because they really highlight the genuine curiosity and awe in which children see the world. This book opens up the conversation for many intriguing wonderings about life. 


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Our Favorite Day

Story and pictures by Joowon Oh. Cozy in its simplicity, Oh paints a picture of a practical routine broken up by the joy of a grandchild’s visit. There are no zoo trips, swimming lessons, or festivals to attend, but rather quiet delight in a grandparent’s home, creating art and special moments together.


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The Night is Yours 

Written by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. I can almost feel the humidity lift in this tribute to cool summer nights and the fun that takes place under the moonlight. Set in the courtyard of an apartment building with a predominately African American cast, this book will refresh any bookshelf. 

Can I Keep It

Can I Keep It?

Authored and illustrated by Lisa Jobe. A little boy wants a pet, but his mother helps him understand that each animal might be happiest under different circumstances. This tale ends happily when the boy gets a furry friend of his own. 


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Seagull & Sea Dragon

Story and pictures by Sydni Gregg. Beautifully illustrated in bright hues. Head to the coast for an unlikely tale of friendship!

Back to School, Highly Sensitive Children, Home

Back to School with Highly Sensitive Children

Is your child sensitive to sounds, textures, or even changes in routine? Is he highly observant — noticing when the smallest detail in the room may have changed? Do you notice he’s highly attuned to the emotions and reactions of others? If any or all of these sound familiar, you may have a highly sensitive child (also known as an HSC). And it’s more common than you might think. Up to 20% of children are born with this unique wiring.


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Going back to school sparks anxiety and excitement for many children, HSC or not. But preparing your sensitive child for the beginning of the school year may help ease his fears. As a highly sensitive person, parent, and former teacher, here are some strategies I’ve found helpful.

  1. Talk about it. Casually bring up school throughout the summer and all of the fun new opportunities your child will have in his new classroom. About a month away from school’s start, begin ramping up your conversation and getting more specific about your child’s new teacher, classmates, and supplies to buy.

  1. Make preparation fun. Even if your child wears a uniform at school, you can still have fun shopping for new notebooks, colorful supplies, and maybe even some fun shoes. It doesn’t have to be expensive either; you could even try a few different lunch and snack options to put in your school lunch rotation. 

  1. Head to the library. Check out some back to school books at the library to get in the school frame of mind. Try to make them most relatable to your child. For example, if he is entering second grade and is nervous about making new friends, try to find a book that addresses either or both of those concerns. Check some lists out here and here

  1. Visit the classroom. Email your child’s new teacher and ask if you can drop in while he or she is setting up the room. Make sure you keep it casual, focused on your child, and brief as most teachers have enough stress as the school year looms. 

5. Make a book. If you have a chance to visit, take photos of the new room with your child and put them in a book so he can preview his new surroundings in a comfortable environment. If you can’t visit ahead of time, write and draw a simple and positive story about your child’s first days of school and try to visit the school or classroom website together. 

  1. Give the teacher detailed information. No one knows your child like you. Write up a description about your child and highlight his unique HSC tendencies to help the teacher understand him better. Give your contact information and keep in touch regularly to see how your child is doing. The first days are a whirlwind for everyone, so you may want to wait a couple weeks to let your child and his new teacher get acquainted.

  1. Take a break when you get home. Give your HSC time to relax and unwind when he gets home. Give him space to process the school day and reflect before you ask for more details about the day. A snack, a favorite television show, or time with books will help refresh his spirit from the stimulating school day. 

  1. Check yourself. Is your child the one who’s most anxious or are you? Sometimes, we project our own anxieties and fears on our children. Even if we don’t feel like we are exuding stress, our body language and tone may say otherwise. Keep conversations about school light and fun and vent those fears after bedtime.