Reassuring Books to Ease Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is normal for young children. It’s common at school or daycare drop-off, but can occur any time a child has to separate from their parent or caregiver. Because books are a great way to help children process transitions and big events in their lives, we’ve compiled a list of go-to books to ease them into the new school year.

Youth Services Librarian

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Three owl babies, whose mother has gone out in the night, try to stay calm while she is away gathering food.

Wherever You’ll Be by Ariella Prince Guttman

Even though they spend the day apart, a working mother and her child find comfort in thinking of each other.

The Worry Box by Suzanne Chiew

While siblings Molly and Murray prepare to visit a waterfall, Molly notices that her brother seems fretful. When he admits that he is scared of the loud noise the waterfall will make, she introduces him to a worry box. Writing down his concerns and placing them in the box helps relieve Murray of his worries and allows him to control his fears.

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Little Llama is initially apprehensive about starting preschool but once he realizes that his mother returns at the end of each day, he happily joins in the classroom fun.

I Love You With All My Heart by Jane Chapman

This sweet story reinforces the absolute love felt between parents and children, assuring children that they will always be loved forever by their parents, despite mistakes made or the distance between them.

First Day Critter Jitters by Jory John

This delightful story follows a group of adorable animals who share their unease about starting school for the first time. From a kangaroo anxious about leaving his mother’s pouch to an energetic bunny worried about sitting still, many of the common fears presented will resonate with children.

I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything! by Alissa Holder

When Ayaan’s mother notices he looks upset one morning, her young son confesses that sometimes he doesn’t feel very smart. Ayaan’s mother encourages him to say affirmations that give him the self-assurance to face the day with conviction.

The Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague

While the world outside our immediate family may seem like a scary place, if we expand our own personal circle to include new friends, teachers, etc., we can build an incredible community.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

Nervous about her first day of school, Sarah Jane Hartwell, refuses to get out of bed. After she begrudgingly makes her way to the classroom, readers are surprised to learn that she is the teacher!

The End is Just the Beginning by Mike Bender

This book teaches readers that the end of one thing is actually the beginning of another. This clever book is perfect for teaching children that while change may be scary, it may also bring unexpected happiness.

Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische

Illustrations, hand-lettering, and easy-to-read text reveal a child’s bedtime promise to strive the next day to be adventurous, strong, curious, and more.

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