We’ve been posting a lot of resources about how to talk to our kids about the war in Ukraine as well as a list of wonderful children’s books about anxiety and worry. We wish we didn’t have to, but that’s the world we are living in right now, and we know that even our youngest kids may be feeling anxiety over the news.
The recent Spawned podcast episode, How to talk to kids about Ukraine with expert tips from Melinda Wenner-Moyer is a terrific way to start to open a dialogue with kids. And we’ve just learned of a free ebook from subscription book service A Kids Book Company titled, simply, A Kids Book About War.
We really wanted share it it here, with the hopes that it can help some parents and caregivers to really address the difficult and complicated subject of war in an easy-to-understand way for kids.
Related: Fourteen talks to have before your child turns fourteen, with author Michelle Icard
Written for approximately ages 5 and up, this short-but thorough book is free to download to your laptop, phone, or tablet as either an ebook or audio book. As a parent to sensitive kids, I really appreciate that there are no pictures, just words arranged in a compelling way, so that kids aren’t traumatized with images or illustrations about the realities of war.
Related: Gifts supporting Ukraine: 11 wonderful ideas with 100% of proceeds giving back to Ukrainian causes
But keep in mind that words may be enough to worry some kids because, well, war is a hard topic and can’t always be sugar-coated. (Nor should it be.) And while Emmy award-winning reporter, producer, videographer, and editor Sarah Jones does an amazing job of balancing the horror of war in her book with a tone that’s geared toward young kids, very anxious kids may stress over the last few sentences in particular, which bring home the idea that people affected by wars are “just like you.”
In fact, while I think it’s excellent, I do recommend you preview the book before you share it with your kids — not because of anything offensive, but to prepare yourself for some sections that might require a little more discussion before moving on.
I feel strongly that this isn’t a “here kid, go read this” kind of book. Instead, it’s one that a parent or teacher should read with a child, leaving plenty of time to talk, reassure, and answer hard questions.
Related: What we can do to help Ukraine right now and how getting kids involved can help them too
While the book is free, you can make an optional donation of any amount to UNICEF USA, Doctors Without Borders, or War Child Canada when you download your book. It’s a tangible way to remember that, while there may always be war, there will always be helpers out there.
And that, if nothing else, is reassuring.
Download the free ebook or audio book, A Kids Book About War by Sarah Jones