Parents can use these books to facilitate conversations with their kids. | Source: Brown Book Kids/The Toy Insider

Reading is important for kids’ well-being, so it’s a perfect fit when books can support readers’ mental health.

Dr. Donna Housman, a psychologist in the field of child development and early childhood education, is partnering with Brown Books Kids to launch the first two books in her new children’s book series, ECSELent Adventures. The stories are meant to help kids process difficult emotions through fun, relatable, and diverse animal characters as they experience life challenges, like loss and exclusion. Parents can use the books as a tool to discuss difficult topics with their kids in positive and age-appropriate ways.

Related: Give the Gift of Reading with These Marvel Books

Gilly and the Garden follows otter siblings Hemmy and Shemmy (ambassadors of the ECSELent Adventures series) as they deal with the death of a pet to teach kids how to address loss and grief. In Theo’s Deliciously Different Dumplings, Theo the koala bear is bullied on the first day of school for being different than his classmates. This story teaches kids why diversity and inclusion matter. Both stories include tips and questions that the reader can use to learn more about the topics and explore emotions that come from challenges.

Gilly and the Garden is available now and Theo’s Deliciously Different Dumplings will launch on Nov. 29.

About the author

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco

Jackie Cucco was a Senior Editor of The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider. She covered toy trends, pop culture, and entertainment news, and made appearances on national and regional outlets, including CBS, WPIX, News 12, and more. Jackie spends her time watching horror movies and working her way through every Stephen King novel out there.