As World Mental Health Day (10th October) approaches, parents and teachers are being encouraged to sign up to a new book club which will give kids free access to online books and activities to boost their wellbeing.

Created by the award-winning parenting website KiddyCharts, the ‘Shelf Care’ book club offers free PDF books, activity sheets and audiobooks – with the chance to win printed books each month. Hosted completely online, the club is quick and easy to access. And with a focus on mental health, each book has been handpicked to help support children’s wellbeing.

A report last week by the Education Select Committee found that the number of children persistently absent from school since the pandemic has more than doubled, with mental health and anxiety cited as a key cause. A recent study shared by the University of Cambridge also found that children who begin reading for pleasure at an early age have better mental health in adolescence. KiddyCharts’ goal is to get children more in touch with their emotions, using reading to create a strong foundation for better mental health practices.

Launched earlier this year, The KiddyCharts Shelf Care Book Club has a growing number of members and has already shared books by authors including the Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and Carys Bexington. October’s book is ‘Once Upon a Witches Broom’ by Beatrice Blue, a heart-warming story about friendship and self-belief.

KiddyCharts Founder Helen Neale, a counsellor and parenting expert, has worked closely with publisher Quarto Kids to select books that will help children understand the world around them and better process their emotions. From understanding grief to improving self-esteem and empathy, every Shelf Care book has a positive mental health message. 

Helen Neale said:

“As World Mental Health Day approaches, we’re encouraging teachers and parents everywhere to sign up for our free Shelf Care Book Club! Reading is a great way to boost wellbeing and we know that kids who are engaged with literacy have better mental health in the long run. We hope that by giving schools and families free access to our books that we can encourage kids to enjoy reading for pleasure and create a safe space for them to explore their feelings and emotions.”

Teachers and parents are encouraged to sign up for the Shelf Care Book Club at : and to access this month’s free book at :


KiddyCharts offers a fantastic range of free printables, activities, resources and giveaways which can be used in the classroom and at home – visit to explore!

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