Sadness is not depression, and depression is not sadness. Sadness is an important feeling that shows us what we care about. It is, of course, also a significant component of many people’s experience of depression and other mood disorders. The books in this category help children learn to cope with sadness rather than push it away or let it build up.
Age range: Elementary-aged kids. Older kids will understand the depth of the story better than younger ones, but this story does such a nice job describing a complicated but important concept in an accessible way that many younger children will get a lot out of it too.
Recommended for: This book portrays the importance of sitting with and “unpacking” our feelings rather than avoiding them. It is excellent to read with children who think that feeling sad is wrong, weak, useless, or scary and therefore minimize what they’re feeling and/or who avoid thinking about or sharing their feelings. It’s also great for a child who is feeling sad about a family’s move (as Santiago is), but it’s certainly not limited to this specific situation. This story is available in Spanish as well as English.

When Sadness Comes to Call

Written and illustrated by Eva Eland
Age range: Preschool through elementary school. It’s simple on the surface but the message is profound.
Evidence-Based Practices: Mindfulness, Behavioral activation