5 Children’s Books to Help with Conversations about Domestic Violence

A parent reading a children's book with her two young kids

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. When kiddos are exposed to domestic violence in the home, it can be hard to know how, and when, to talk to them about it. These children’s books may make these conversations a little bit easier for CASA volunteers, parents, foster parents and caregivers to have with children and youth.

My Not So Perfect Family by Rhonda Dagg
Jack, Marley and Sophie are three children who have an important story to tell. Each of them has a family that is not so perfect, and each of them has experienced domestic violence. By sharing their personal experiences, they want to help other children know that there are other families like theirs, that they are not alone, that it’s not their fault and that it helps to talk to a trusted adult. The book includes a guide for adults who are sometimes uncertain about how to help children when they are scared, sad or feel alone.

Funny Feelings Aren’t Funny by Kim May
Funny Feelings Aren’t Funny is a book to help children to communicate their feelings. The book follows a series of characters in a variety of situations which could be perceived as being unsafe. The characters experience an array of physiological reactions, such as “butterflies” in the stomach or a “pounding heart,” which could indicate that something about the situation is “not quite right.”

The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside
Wherever Jenny goes, her worries follow her – in a big blue bag. They are with her all the time – at school, at home, when she is watching TV and even in the bathroom! Jenny decides they have to go, but who will help her get rid of them? This book offers a funny and reassuring look at dealing with worries and anxiety, to be used as a springboard into important conversations.

At the End of Holyrood Lane by Dimity Powell
Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, this beautifully crafted picture book provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.

How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear? Exploring Big Feelings After Living in a Stormy Home by Jane Evans
This is the story of Baby Bear who lives in a home where the Big Bears have fights and arguments at night. It’s a gentle therapeutic story to help children aged 2 to 6 years who have experience violence at the home to express and explore difficult feelings.

For more information on talking with children about domestic violence, visit the Safe & Together Institute and read Echo’s article, How to Talk to Kids About Domestic Violence.