Children’s Books

Children’s Books

  • My Happy Sad Mummy by Michelle Vasiliu (2014) – Preschool

Author Michelle Vasiliu draws from her own experience of bipolar disorder, cleverly and humorously portraying the emotional roller coaster of this illness, as a young child might perceive it and how through these difficulties, the bond of love between mother and child remains true. A fantastic picture book and invaluable resource for parents, teachers and health professionals.

JoJo Publishing.

ISBN10 0987358596 – ISBN13 9780987358592


Author’s website and ordering information.

·        Millie the Cat has Borderline Personality Disorder by Jessie Shepherd

Often when people are given a mental health disorder diagnosis the weaknesses are clear and overwhelmingly emphasized, while the strengths are ignored or forgotten. The mental health children’s book series ‘What Mental Disorder?’ challenges the stigma against therapy and diagnosis. It enlists the reader to view the character as a whole being and not as a mental issue. Although there are aspects that the character will have to learn to cope with in order to function successfully in their life, there are also amazing traits that make them unique and remarkably accomplished. Millie the Cat has Borderline Personality Disorder is a picture book that takes a unique look at the positive and negative characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder. Meeting kind Mille you get to experience how her day to day routine is, the aspects that she will have to cope with, the amazing personality traits that she has, and how she can learn new skills to be the best cat she can be. It is written in such a way that the mental health disorder is explained in a realistic balanced light, while eliciting empathy and understanding from the audience. The book series ‘What Mental Disorder?’ including Millie the Cat has Borderline Personality Disorder is excellent for therapeutic clinicians, those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, or those who would like to gain a better understanding of the disorder.

·        Happy Pants – Why is Mummy so sad? by Heather Gallagher 

When Mummy wears her happy pants we build sandcastles, go out for baby cinos and have lots and lot of cuddles.

But when she comes home with baby Darcy, her happy pants stay in her wardrobe…Postnatal Depression effects 1 in 7 women. Happy Pants is a heartfelt way to help older children know that their mum’s postnatal depression is not because of them, that dads are loving and caring, families can support each other and that mum will get better with help

ISBN: 9781921632938 – ISBN-10: 1921632933

Available from Boomerang Books

·        Between you and me (for children 8 – 12 years) and Let’s talk About ‘It’ (for parents)…….

… a colourful 44 page ‘flip’ book, so two books in one. It describes mental illnesses, some myths, what helps and much more, in clear simple language. It includes art and messages from children who have learnt about mental illness by attending a group called CHAMPS. Parents’ comments and activities are also included.

The aim for this book is to encourage children and parents to talk more, ask more questions and find some answers about mental illness. This book was developed in 2015 by FaPMI at Mid West Area Mental Health Service (MWAMHS) with the contributions of many people.

To obtain copies of this book please contact: Mid West Area Mental Health Service, FaPMI Coordinator 4a Devonshire Rd, Sunshine 3020 (03) 9288 7000 or email

·        You can’t hide an elephant – book 2 (Ages 7-12) by Sally Halligan

A Children’s Book About Family Violence

This book is designed to be used as supported reading for children who have experienced family violence. The book is a wonderful way to start a conversation about family violence in an age appropriate manner.

It also helps children voice their feelings about their personal experience.

The story is told through the voice of the eldest boy, and identifies situations that children may face when someone in the family has been using violence.

Children readily identify with the boy’s feelings, which are conveyed thoughtfully within the text and illustrations.

The book comes with a Safety Plan to complete and is ‘must have’ resource for therapists, case workers, group facilitators, refuge workers, welfare officers and parents.

These books may be purchased direct from the Victorian author: website or email

·        You Can’t Hide An Elephant – book 1 (Ages 7-12) by Sally Halligan

A Children’s Book About Mental Health

This  illustrated book is used as supported reading for children with a parent with a diagnosed mental illness.

The book encourages the ‘elephant in the room’ or the stigma of mental illness, to be discussed openly in an age appropriate manner.

A wonderful book for families facing the associated challenges when a parent has a mental illness.

The story is told through the voice of a female middle child.

This book comes with a Safety Plan to complete with appropriate support. The book is the perfect way to start a conversation about mental health, feelings and experiences. It provides hope and guides the development of strategies that will help to empower children.

It is a wonderful resource for therapists, case workers, counsellors, welfare officers, social workers, mental health nurses, group facilitators and parents.

·        The Weather House: Living with a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder by Lisa Laporte, PhD and Ronald Fraser M.D.

This book provides clinically sound and age-appropriate information for children, answering questions about the borderline personality disorder of a parent, and suggesting ways to cope with the difficult situations.

Through analogies of weather patterns, the book provides psycho-educational comments by a “weather wiz” who explains the mother’s sometimes strange behaviors that can be challenging to comprehend.

The wonderful illustrations help with the understanding, and lighten the story with humor. This book will help teach children to better understand what is happening at home and how not to feel responsible for their parents’ stormy times.

May be ordered from Unhooked books. Sample pages may be accessed online

·        In My Corner On the Moon by Rachel Rashkin-Shoot (age 11+)

This book is intended for children and adolescents who have experienced some form of trauma.

Narrated by 12-year-old Abigail, the book is written in a straightforward but gentle style and has a strong psycho-educational component.

The idea is to normalize the response that many children have to overwhelming events in their lives. Through Abigail’s story, trauma is put into simple terms that kids can understand and it’s done without delving into details of her own or any specific trauma, but focusing instead on responses to trauma and the healing process that follows.

Interactive questions at the end of each page encourage discussion among children and the trusted adults in their lives.

Book may be ordered from Unhooked Books or is available as an ebook from Amazon, Apple, Nook etc

·        An Umbrella for Alex by Rachel Rashkin-Shoot

This book narrates a young boy’s journey as he attempts to understand and cope with his mother’s abrupt mood swings. Written to be read with a therapist, parent, or other trusted adult, the story of Alex reassures affected children that they did not cause and are not responsible for the volatile behavior of their parent.

This book is suitable for both boys and girls, and specifically for children whose mother or father has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder or other mental illness and suffers from mood swings.

Book may be ordered from Unhooked Books or is available as an ebook from Amazon, Apple, Nook etc

This post has been adapted from