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Good reads - Children and Youth


 Feel a little cover

Feel a Little: Little poems about big feelings

Palmer, J. (2017). Little Love.

Written by Jenny Palmer and Illustrated by Evie Kemp their book is designed to help and encourage kids to recognise their emotions. The book is made up of 14 poems and illustrations, each based on a different emotion.

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 How do I feel cover

How do I feel: A dictionary of emotions for children

Lipp, R., & Philips, C. (2021). Wilding Books.

With 60+ definitions to help improve emotional literacy. This hardcover book with over 140 pages, is all about our children learning to recognise and label emotions and feelings.

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 My elephant is blue cover

My elephant is blue: A book about big, heavy feelings  

Szymanik, M., & Unka, V. (2021). Penguin Group (NZ).

My Elephant is Blue is an empathetic, heart-warming story written to help tamariki cope with heavy feelings.

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 Stand by me cover

Stand by me: Helping your teen through tough times

Kirwan, J. (2014). Penguin.

An awesome resource for Kiwi parents and caregivers bringing up teens with or without experience of mental illness.

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 Whakarongo ki o Tupuna Listen to your Ancestors cover

Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna | Listen to your Ancestors

Joseph, D., & Te Whata, M. (2019). New Zealand: Oratia Books.

This picture book centres around how a teacher guides her granddaughter and her pupils to walk the path of their ancestors/tūpuna.

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 Whats going on inside my head cover

What’s going on inside my head? Starting conversations with your child about positive mental health

Potter, M. (2019). London: Featherstone.

What’s going on inside my head? looks at the topic of positive mental health, and aims to help children become more self-aware, providing them with suggested ways to look after themselves and to understand their feelings.

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 When the world feels like a scary place cover

When the world feels like a scary place: Essential conversations for anxious parents and worried kids

Gewirtz, A. (2020). Workman Publishing Company.

Conversations with children can be challenging, especially when it comes to the big stuff. Bullying, violence, climate change, racism and Covid-19 are examples of subjects tackled in this book by child psychologist Abigail Gerwitz.

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 Whare tapa wha kete cover

Whare Tapa Whā Kete Resource Kit

Written by Geneva Harrison; illustrated by Katherine Hall; Te Reo by Moana Keelan. (2020). Tuhi Stationery.

This resource kit is designed as an introduction to Whare Tapa Whā, a wellbeing model developed by leading Māori health advocate Sir Mason Durie in 1984 that describes health and wellbeing as a wharenui. It is a tool to improve the wellbeing of kids and their whānau and have fun at the same time.  

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Rāhina / Monday

Take Notice | Me Aro Tonu

A fresh week, blank slate and a new beginning. Let's start the week by setting purpose and intention, today is the day to take stock – how have you been feeling recently, are there any events or stresses that you need to sit with and unpack? 

Developing the ability to be fully present and conscious without being overly reactive or overwhelmed is no easy feat, it takes practice to achieve the delicate balance of awareness. When we take notice or practice mindfulness, we’re creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.  

Use today as a reminder to pay more attention to the present moment, to our thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us. At the end of the week, you can reflect on how you felt at the start of the week, and how putting each of the Five Ways into practice has helped to boost your mental health.

A few ideas to help you take notice:

Rātū / Tuesday

Give | Tukua

Today is all about kindness. When we give selflessly to others, whether through our time, resources, or support, we create a positive ripple effect that extends beyond the people we engage with. Carrying out acts of kindness boosts our happiness, life satisfaction, and overall wellbeing. When we help others, it gives us purpose and a sense of belonging – it’s a win/win!  

Think about how you might be able to brighten the day of someone you care about, or even a complete stranger. A small gesture might mean the world to someone else, and you’ll get a bit of a boost, too!

A few ideas to help you give:

Rāapa / Wednesday

Be Active | Me Kori Tonu 

We're nearly over the midweek hump and are inching closer to the weekend. Today is the perfect opportunity to give yourself a refreshing boost by engaging in some physical activity. Wi tēnei rangi to get the blood flowing through your tinana/body?   

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which can uplift your mood and increase feelings of happiness. It reduces stress and anxiety levels, promotes relaxation and enhances overall mental resilience. It can even sharpen our thinking and boost our creativity. 

Being active doesn’t always mean high-intensity cardio workouts, there are lots of ways you can move your tinana to uplift your mood, reduce stress, and feel a sense of achievement. Choose to do something that is purely for feeling good or having fun, and dedicate it to your wellbeing.

A few ideas hei āwhina/to help you be active:

Rāpare / Thursday

Connect | Me Whakawhanaunga

It’s nearly Friday – why not tap into those weekend vibes early, and carve out some time for some meaningful connection? Use today as a sign to arrange that outing or gathering with friends, participate in social events that you might be finding an excuse to skip, or seek out opportunities for shared experiences that deepen your connections.  

Connect refers to making social connections, or whakawhanaungatanga. A sense of feeling connected, loved or belonging with others is strongly associated with better wellbeing and other health outcomes by providing a sense of meaning, safety, support and purpose.  

A few ideas to help you connect:

Rāmere / Friday

Keep Learning | Me Ako Tonu

It might be the last day of MHAW, but today’s the day to reflect on what you’ve learnt throughout the week and implement those tools into the weekend and weeks beyond. 

Evidence suggests that learning or trying new things creates a sense of achievement, competence and stimulates engagement with the world around us. There are lots of ways that you can Keep Learning today and every day. 

A few ideas to help you keep learning: