Currently Amazon’s number one best-selling book, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep isn’t popular because of its riveting plot or gorgeous illustrations. Parents are buying the self-published book from Swedish author and psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin because it promises to use “psychological techniques” to help children fall asleep.
Experts have compared the book to a form of “gentle hypnosis,” written with sleep-inducing cadences and employing cues like loud yawning. But Rabbit is far from the only children’s book using psychology. The following books all use well-established psychological methods, from cognitive behavioral therapy to deep breathing, to help children deal with a variety of issues.
A Terrible Thing Happened, by Margaret M. Holmes
Raccoon Sherman Smith sees an unnamed “terrible thing” happen one day. Afterwards, he has tummy aches, nightmares and nervous spells. But Ms. Maple, his school counselor, encourages him to talk about what he saw and draw pictures. This book is designed for kids who have experienced trauma, from physical abuse to natural disasters to gang violence. It works with the principle that avoidance is detrimental to mental health, as trying to suppress trauma will only cause trouble in other areas of a person's life.