Category Archives: Books and Resources

Books for Shy Kids

Recently I wrote a post on the Slow to Warm Up child. I looked for some books that might help them to feel seen and also feel inspired to try new things.

Lots of books and videos are about the bold, brave extroverts. But, there are some great stories about slow to warm up kids who overcome their caution and go on big adventures or take on challenges that scare them. Look for stories where a shy or quiet or cautious or worried child tries something new or finds their voice but doesn’t have to change who they are. These stories can help these kids know they’re not alone and give them more confidence about trying new things.

When No One is Watching by Spinelli. (Read-Aloud.) The narrator talks about all the bold, brave, fun things she does when no one is watching. But then she hides all that when any one is looking at her. Until she finds a special friend who she feels comfortable with, and can do everything with.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Lovell, illus Catrow. (Read-Aloud.) Molly Lou is short, and has buck teeth, and an unusual voice – all things that might make people judge her but her grandmother teaches her to love all the unique things about herself. When she starts at a new school, she stands up for herself and finds her place.

Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Nelson-Schmidt. (Read-aloud.) Jonathan is scared to try lots of things as he imagines “what if” a whole list of bad things happens. Then he turns it around and imagines “what it” good things happened. That gives him the courage to try. Other good books for worriers are: Ruby Finds a Worry (Read-Aloud) and The Worrysaurus. (Read-Aloud.)

Too Shy for Show-and-Tell by Bracken, illus Bell. (Read-aloud) Sam is a quiet boy who feels like no one knows anything about him. But he’s afraid to do show and tell. In the end, he does and makes friends. I would not read this to a child who wasn’t scared of doing show and tell (we don’t want to create a fear!) but it would be great for one who was.

The Invisible Boy by Ludwig, illus Barton. (Read-aloud.) This tells about a boy who feels invisible until a new friend notices his drawing skills. Good for an elementary school child who is feeling left out.

Willow’s Whispers by Button, illus Howell. (Read-aloud.) Willow’s voice always comes out in whispers – her teacher can’t hear when she asks for apple juice and gives her orange; a student can’t hear when she says “I’m playing with that” and takes the toy. Willow’s dad supports her, and she finds her voice. Good for 4 – 7 year olds who can’t find their voice.

Mary Wrightly, So Politely by Bridges, illus Monescillo. (read-aloud.) Mary is always polite. But she’s also so very quiet that many people don’t hear her. She learns to speak up loudly (but still politely) when she needs to in order to get a special present for her brother. For 4 – 7 year olds who need to learn to speak up.

What do you recommend?

These books are specifically written for kids who are challenged by their shyness, their worries, or their tendency to make themselves small. There are also quiet kids who like to observe before jumping in – not because they’re shy or worried, just because that’s how they like to do things… I’d love recommendations for books about those kinds of kids – please add comments!

Note: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on those links, then purchase an item on Amazon, I do receive a small referral bonus.

Online Resources Available through KCLS

If you live in King County, Washington, you have access to several amazing online resources for free through the King County Library System. (Here’s my basic tutorial on how to use KCLS. And here is KCLS’ info about their ebook options and streaming video services.)

There is so much content available that it’s hard to even preview it all, so I’m just including a snapshot of just two pages of search results from each service to give you a sense of what they offer.

  • Libby – ebooks and downloadable audiobooks
Libby – kids’ picture books
Libby kids science books
  • Hoopla – movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to stream or download
Hoopla PBS shows
Hoopla comics
  • Tumble Book Library Video storybooks and read-alongs for readers in grades K-6, including some in Spanish and French
Tumble picture books
Tumble science books
  • BookFlix Classic video storybooks paired with non-fiction eBooks. Preschool to 3rd grade.
Bookflix Imagination books
Bookflix Nature and Animals
  • Kanopy – Watch thousands of films from independent filmmakers and popular producers. Titles include The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, and PBS.
Kanopy Kids
Kanopy Science Documentaries

Learn more about these, and other services at

Using the King County Library

If you live in King County, Washington, you have access to one of the best public library systems in the entire country! And it’s all FREE of charge. Here’s an overview of the services they offer for parents with young children, both in person and online.

Going In Person

There are LOTS of library locations. (Click on that link for directions AND hours.) You may choose a favorite one to go to over and over, or you go on a grand tour to see them all! (When my kids were little, I did a weekly field trip that would include a different library and park each week.)

When you arrive, you can go to the children’s section – if you don’t see it right away, just ask someone to point you there. You can choose any book on the shelf and read it to your child then and there, or you can choose to take it home. If you want to check it out, you’ll need a library card. Just go to the information desk and they’ll help you set up an account. You can check out up to 100 books at a time! You can keep videos for up to 7 days and books for 28. You can often renew for longer. (More details on borrowing.) When you’re done with materials, return them to any branch of the KCLS library.

When my children were little, ee went to the library once a week. I allowed them each to have ten library books out at a time. We kept them on a special shelf at home. Before we went, they could choose which books they were ready to return, and which they wanted to keep a while longer. If they brought 3 back, they could get three new ones. If they brought all 10 back, they could get 10 new books that week.

Accessing KCLS Online

To get started: If you don’t already have a library card, go to to set up an account.

On their website at, you can search for any book you want. The results will look something like this:

You can choose a physical book (and sometimes a book with a CD of the book read aloud); an ebook that you can read on a browser or download to a device; or a downloadable audiobook.

If you choose an ebook or audiobook, and a copy is available now, you can download it right away. (Learn more about downloading e-books.) If a copy is not currently available, put it on hold, and you’ll get an email notification as soon as one is available to borrow.

If you want a physical book, then place a hold. You’ll then choose a library branch to have it delivered to for pick-up. There are lots of locations all over King County.

If no one else has requested it, you’ll typically have it within a week. If you see that there are something like 83 holds on 12 copies, you know it will be longer. When your book arrives, you’ll get an email. You can go to your library to pick up the book during business hours any time in the next week.

Once you’ve checked out a book, you have it for 28 days (21 days for e-books). You’ll get an email when it’s due. If you want it for longer, you can renew online, unless someone else has placed a hold on that book.

KCLS has books available in over 20 languages. You can do an advanced search that limits your results to books in that language. Learn more at:

Online Resources available through KCLS

There are several libraries of online children’s e-books. We can access, for free:

  • Libby – ebooks and downloadable audiobooks
  • Hoopla – movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to stream or download
  • Tumble Book Library Video storybooks and read-alongs for readers in grades K-6, including some in Spanish and French
  • BookFlix Classic video storybooks paired with non-fiction eBooks. Preschool to 3rd grade.
  • Kanopy – Watch thousands of films from independent filmmakers and popular producers. Titles include The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, and PBS.

Learn more about these, and other services at You can see samples of what kinds of books and videos they have at:

For more information on where to find book recommendations and how to preview books on YouTube and through online reviews, check out


Story-times are one of the best things to do with your toddler or preschooler to prepare them for kindergarten. They are free and fun, and a good learning experience for your child that will help get them excited about reading. Read more about them in my post on Story-Time: Cheap Dates with Toddlers.

If your family speaks a language other than English at home, they do have storytimes in some other languages, or the English storytimes offer a great opportunity for children (and parents!) to get more familiar with English.

In winter 2023, King County libraries are offering several story-times every single day at various branches across the county. For example, on Wednesdays you could attend story-time in Burien, Issaquah, Kirkland, Maple Valley, North Bend, Redmond or online. There are 8 online story-times every week, including ones in Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Tigrigna, and one that focuses on LGBTQ pride themes. Find the current schedule at


National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) has lots of great free research-based resources on their site at – from that page, click on the link in the lower right hand corner that says “For Families: Resources” and that will take you to

There are several sections of this page – here’s what you’ll find:

  • Making Life Easier: tip sheets on how to turn events that are often challenging for parents into something more manageable or even enjoyable. Covers: Bedtime / Naptime, Diaper Changes, Going to the Doctor / Dentist, Holidays, and Errands.
  • Visual Schedules: how to use this powerful tool for teaching routines and expected behaviors: first you do this, then we’ll do that.
  • Backpack Connection Series: a way for teachers and parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Handouts on four topics:
    • Addressing Behavior – Biting, Hitting, Whining, Meltdowns
    • Teaching Emotions – Anger, Fear, Frustration, etc.
    • Routines and Schedules – and how they reduce family challenges
    • Social Skills, Sharing, Taking Turns, Appropriate ways to get attention
  • Family Articles – Making the Most of Playtime, Teaching your child about feelings (from birth to age 2), Teaching Independence with Daily Routines
  • Scripted Stories – I like Tucker Turtle Takes Time to Think. The “turtle technique” is a really helpful skill for my kid who struggles with emotional regulation.
  • Teaching Social Emotional Skills – includes graphics for a feelings chart (see picture above) and problem solving steps.
  • General Resources. Includes a helpful brochure called Positive Solutions for Families: 8 Practical Tips for Parents of Young Children with Challenging Behaviors.

Elsewhere on the site is a helpful video for child care providers or parents about how to teach social skills and emotional skills in the preschool classroom.