Writing Children's books dealing with real issues

  • I've been mulling this one over for quite some time now. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to translate dealing with real problems to a children's book? Problems like mental health awareness, addiction awareness and so on. I think it's important to relay this information to kids but in a lighthearted way they'd understand. I just have no idea how to go about doing it. The only inspiration I can draw from is how they showed dealing with addiction in rugrats when Angelica was faced with her addiction to cookies and thought it was brilliant lol. Any thoughts and comments are welcome.

  • Hello!

    For me, one has mastered it and this is Marla Frazee when she explains depression to children :


    Maybe this will inspire you?

    Good luck!

  • Another one I can think of is Shaun Tan. His "cicada" had multiple awards but I found the concept hard to grab for children;


    Anyway it is still a good reference to look at for inspiration



  • I love "the red tree" by Shaun Tan. The book depicts depression and hope in a very surrealistic way, and making total sense.

  • I would compile a list of children's books that have tackled some heavier issues. That way you can see how they are succeeding or failing in their execution, and it will serve as a jumping off point for your own writing.

    A couple of books I can recommend -

    For younger kids, "The Bad Seed" by Jory John. It's about how you can act out and label yourself as a bad person when bad circumstance happen, but you can heal and change and have a better life.

    For middle school kids, "Lois Undercover"by Fanny Brit. A short graphic novel that deals with divorce and an alcoholic father.

  • Some recently published books are "When Sadness Comes to Call" By Eva Eland and "Ruby Finds a Worry" by Tom Percival. They personify the emotions in a way that may be more relatable to deal with for children.
    I'd also suggest what Tessa said, about researching different books and seeing what speaks to you.

  • Dan Santat's "After the Fall" is about fear and anxiety and it's my favorite book ever 😍

  • @MyArt-Multiverse depression and addiction? I think you have to be confident you understand these topics well enough to explain them to children. I not sure i would be, and ive had experience of both. But if you can do it well, you'll probably win an award. Good luck.

  • @Coley Oh yes, love this one too!

  • @gavpartridge that's why I referenced the rugrats episode where they basically have an intervention for the 3 yr old girl who's addicted to cookies 🤣 to this day I've never seen a better kids version of addiction and how well executed it was.

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