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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.


Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

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Uplifting Picture Books That Don't Preach
Ordered by Author

Great Reads: By Subject, Title, Author, or Illustrator

All book reviews on this site are written and revised by Cheryl Rainfield.

By Title  |  By Author  |  By Illustrator  |  By Category

Good picture books—books that are well-written, have engaging art, and contain encouraging messages—can be nurturing and healing for both children and adults.

Picture books can offer comfort, encouragement, gentle guidance, and positive messages through story—a method that makes messages easier to absorb. Books are powerful. They can help bring good feeling, boost self-esteem, remind the reader of what's important in life and how to cope with problems, all while entertaining and uplifting the reader.

I pick books that, to me, contain the most delight and healing. I hope you'll check them out.


A. W. Flaherty (Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating)
Aaron Blabey (Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley)
Adam Rex (Pssst!)
Alice Schertle (Little Blue Truck)
Alice Walker (There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me)
Amanda Harvey (Dog Eared: Starring Otis)
Andrea Beaty (When Giants Come to Play)
Anette Bley (A Friend)
Ann Meek (I'm Special, I'm Me!)
Anthony Browne (Silly Billy)
Antoinette Portis (Not a Box)
Arthur Geisert (Lights Out)


Babette Cole (Princess Smartypants)
Barbara Jean Hicks (Jitterbug Jam: A Monster Tale)
Barbara Lehman (Rainstorm), (The Red Book)
Bernard Waber (Courage)
Bob Graham (How to Heal a Broken Wing), (Max)
Bob McLeod (SuperHero ABC)
Brad Wilcox (Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie McRae!)
Bradley Trevor Greive (The Blue Day Book for Kids: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up)
Brenda Silsbe (The Bears We Know)


Caralyn Buehner (Dex: The Heart of a Hero)
Carla Morris (The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians)
Carolyn Crimi (The Louds Move In!)
Catherine Rayner (Augustus and His Smile)
Chih-Yuan Chen (Guji Guji)
Chris Gall (Dear Fish)
Chris Monroe (Monkey with a Tool Belt)
Colin McNaughton (Once Upon an Ordinary School Day)
Colin Thompson (The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley)
Cornelia Maude Spelman (When I Feel Sad (The Way I Feel Books))
Cynthia Rylant (Alligator Boy)


David Bruins (The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear)
David McPhail (The Searcher and Old Tree)
David Melling (The Kiss That Missed)
David Shannon (A Bad Case of Stripes), (Good Boy, Fergus!)
David Wiesner (Flotsam)
Debbie Bertram and Susan Bloom (The Best Book to Read)
Debi Gliori (No Matter What)
Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan (Willow)
Dianna Hutts Aston (Not So Tall for Six)
Donna Rathmell and Doreen Rathmell (Octavia And Her Purple Ink Cloud)
Doreen Cronin (Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type)
Duncan Weller (The Boy from the Sun)


Eileen Spinelli (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch)
Ellen Jackson (Sometimes Bad Things Happen)
Eric Rohmann (Clara and Asha)
Eva Montanari (My First...)


Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz (Is a Worry Worrying You?)
Frank Asch (Like a Windy Day)
Frieda Wishinsky (You're Mean, Lily Jean)


Gabriela Keselman (Marc Just Couldn't Sleep)
Geneviève Côté (What Elephant?)
Giles Andreae (Love is a Handful of Honey)
Gilles Bachelet (My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World)


Heather Jopling (Ryan's Mom is Tall)
Helen Lester (The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing)


Jack Kent (There's NO Such Thing as a Dragon)
Jackie Urbanovic (Duck at the Door)
Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman (You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum)
Janet Ruth Heller (How the Moon Regained Her Shape)
Jean de Deu Prats (Sebastian)
Jeanne Modesitt (Mama, If You Had a Wish)
Jeff Newman (Hippo! No, Rhino)
Jill Esbaum (Estelle Takes a Bath)
John Himmelman (Chickens to the Rescue!), (Katie Loves the Kittens), (Tudley Didn't Know)
Judy Sierra (Born to Read)
Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (And Tango Makes Three)


Karen Beaumont (I Like Myself!)
Karen Hesse (Spuds)
Kari-Lynn Winters (Jeffrey and Sloth)
Karla Kuskin (Green as a Bean)
Kate Banks (Max's Words)
Kate Bernheimer (The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum)
Katherine Rawson (If You Were a Parrot)
Kes Gray (Billy's Bucket)
Kevin Henkes (A Good Day)
Kimberly Willis Holt (Skinny Brown Dog)


Leo Landry (Space Boy)
Linas Alsenas (Peanut)
Linda Bailey (Goodnight, Sweet Pig)
Linda Smith (Mrs. Biddlebox), (Mrs. Crump)
Lisa Desimini (My Beautiful Child)
Louise Yates (Dog Loves Drawing)
Lynda Gene Rymond (Oscar and the Mooncats)


Marc Tauss (Superhero)
Margaret Wild (Bobbie Dazzler)
Marla Frazee (Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages)
Martin Baynton (Jane and the Dragon)
Mary Casanova (Some Dog!)
Mathilde Stein (The Child Cruncher)
Melanie Watt (Chester), (Chester's Back!), (Scaredy Squirrel at Night)
Michaela Muntean (Do Not Open This Book)
Michelle Knudsen (Library Lion)
Mo Willems (Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct), (Leonardo, the Terrible Monster)


Natasha Wing (Go to Bed, Monster!)


Oliver Jeffers (The Incredible Book-Eating Boy)


Pamela Edwards (Oliver Has Something to Say!)
Patricia Thomas (Red Sled)
Patrick McDonnell (Art)
Peggy Snow (My Favorite Sounds from A to Z)
Peter Brown (Chowder)
Peter H. Reynolds (Ish)
Polly Dunbar (Flyaway Katie), (Penguin)


Randall Ivey (Jay and the Bounty of Books)
Rebecca Doughty (Some Helpful Tips for a Better World and a Happier Life)
Rob Scotton (Splat the Cat)
Robert Neubecker (Courage of the Blue Boy)
Robie H. Harris (The Day Leo Said I Hate You!)
Rosemary Wells (McDuff Moves In)
Roslyn Schwartz (The Mole Sisters and the Moonlit Night)
Ross MacDonald (Another Perfect Day)
Ruth Ohi (Chicken, Pig, Cow)


Sarah Dyer (Five Little Fiends)
Sarah L. Thomson (Imagine a Day)
Sarah Weeks (Ella, Of Course!)
Scott E. Franson (Un-Brella)
Sebastian Meschenmoser (Learning to Fly)
Shaun Tan (The Red Tree)
Steve Smallman (The Lamb Who Came for Dinner)
Susan Meddaugh (Martha Speaks)
Susan Pearson (Slugs in Love)
Suzy Lee (The Zoo)


Tim Egan (The Pink Refrigerator)
Tina Burke (Fly, Little Bird)


Valerie Coulman (Sink or Swim)


Wallace Edwards (Monkey Business)
Will Hillenbrand (My Book Box)


Yoon-duck Kwon (My Cat Copies Me)


Zhaohua Ji (No! That's Wrong!)

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