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Self-Help Picture Books for All Ages

Sometimes all it takes is some nice juvenile-aimed prose and pictures to make you feel better or inspire you to act. List created and annotated by Camille, Parent Outreach Librarian.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The Camel’s Lament by Charles Santore

The Camel's Lament is a poem in picture book form in which a camel is comparing his life to the luxurious lifestyles of other animals. I think this is a perfect book to share with a kid or adult who is expressing all their woe-is-me, but not making any efforts to improve their situation.

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Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

In very few words Gravett tells the story of a lonely chameleon looking for a friend. He almost gives up, when he finds someone he goes with perfectly. Be yourself and true friends will find you.

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Sunny Boy! The Life and Times of a Tortoise by Candace Fleming

This book tells a funny story about a tortoise who longs for "slow-paced days and basking on sun-warmed rocks." But this tortoise, named Sunny Boy, soon finds himself forced to live the antithesis of the quiet life. The lesson to be learned is that sometimes you've got to step out of your comfort zone.

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The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland

I really like this series of books with the beaver, bear and moose each getting their feature book. This one is obviously about the beaver and he isn't taking the time to step back and see how his actions are affecting others until he is forced to.

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Making the Moose Out of Life by Nicholas Oldland

A moose realizes he's sheltered himself and sets out to find and experience what he's been missing out on. If you find yourself in a hermit-like state, staying home or within your safe zone, but wanting more, then this might be the book for you.

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Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Really cool interactive book that is perfect for adults and kids that need a creative inspiration or someone who just needs to be reminded that mistakes aren't all bad.

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Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

I really like Otoshi’s writing and how she can make even the saddest reader feel uplifted, hopeful and inspired. This is a great book to hand to someone when they’re feeling like they’re empty or don’t count.

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Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Perfectionist, are you? Read this story about a boy who was set astray from his love of drawing when someone points out that he isn't very exact. Only then is he able to learn that it isn't all about getting it right.

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The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

The hard blow of emotional pain might be softened by this touching story of a girl who decides to put her heart in a bottle so as to not feel the pain of loss.

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Clink by Kelly DiPuccio

Clink, an out-of-date robot can't seem to get out of the shadows of his newer, better-equipped counterparts. If you know of someone who is feeling old or useless, this might be a good book to help cheer them up.