How To Help Kids Navigate Real Life with Three Wonderful Gospel-Rich Picture Books

In this post, I’m sharing about three new books that help kids deal with real life issues - anger, anxiety, and failure. Spoiler alert: I love them.

How To Help Kids Navigate Real Life - 3 Wonderful Gospel-Rich Picture Books on Anger, Anxiety, and Failure #counselingforkids #reformedmama #biblicalcounseling #christianpicturebooks

Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here. I purchased each of these books on my own and was not compensated for posting.

You can’t turn around without hearing about “surviving” parenthood. The day in and day out work of tending to kids of all ages is undoubtedly hard work.

When we step back and look at our parenting goals, we truly desire to teach our kids huge truths about God and life. That just doesn’t seem to fit with that “survival mode” mentality. We can often fall into the lie that those goals have to be achieved through huge monumental moments requiring preparation, perhaps curriculum, and lots of uninterrupted time.

In reality, our kids will learn more in the day to day. How do we respond when the whole bowl of cereal is spilled on the floor? Hopefully, on some days we do accept it and patiently clean it while soft hymns play in the background in our otherwise clean kitchen and then pour a new bowl and kiss the child on the head.

But, there will also be days where we are tired and the dishes from dinner are still in the sink. Depending on our personality, we may either yell about it or sigh, mumble something, and non-verbally convey our displeasure in the moment. Either way, we have genuinely hurt our kids feelings over a simple bowl of cereal.

What do we do then? These are the moments that our kids get to see how we actually do life. Not what we teach them in a planned out scripted lesson. Hopefully, then we repent for not only our anger and lack of grace but also for the place we have given our idols of comfort and convenience.

I love reading books with my kids because it opens up a whole new world right on our living room sofa without me having to any real preparation. When the books inspire conversations about that stuff of real life (like when we sin and how we deal with the aftermath), it is a true blessing to our family. The three new books in the series Good News for Little Hearts all do just that. Today, I’m going to give you all the details about these books because I know they will be treasured by many on sofas for years of childhood chats.

Series description from the publisher: A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces. The last page of each book contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps children apply biblical truth to specific issues. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.

New Growth Publishers released all three books together:

  1. Zoe’s Hiding Place (Dealing with Anxiety)

  2. Jax’s Tail Twitches (Dealing with Anger)

  3. Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up (Dealing with Failure)

Details for all three books:

  • The story for each book was created by Jocelyn Flenders (From the book, she is “a homeschooling mother, writer, and editor. The Good News for Little Hearts series is her first published work for children.”)

  • Each story was edited by either David Powlison or Edward T. Welch, both counselors and part of CCEF (Christian Counceling & Education Foundation). See individual book descriptions below for more details.

  • Illustrator: Joe Hox

  • Publisher: New Growth Press (who has published other books we love like The Ology)

  • Published date: October 8, 2018

  • Book Details / Number of pages: Each book is Hardcover and 32 pages in length

  • Does it contain depictions of Jesus?: No (as it isn’t a Bible story - it contains talking animals).

These books help our kids see what to do when things don’t go as planned. When not only the child gets angry, but then when the mom and dad get angry too. What will they do? How will they ask for forgiveness as a family of sinners? When a little girl is afraid of something bad happening and chooses to have faith but then the thing she feared actually does happen. How can she cope with that? This is the stuff of real life. They go further than traditional stories with a “try your best” message and dig deeper.

The stories are extremely relatable. Even though the characters are all animals, as both a child and parent, you can image the same scenarios playing out in your own home. Some are negative like two brothers picking on each other, which obviously escalates and needs a resolution. Others are positive like when an older sister helps talk through a situation and the younger brother asks for her to pray for him.

How To Help Kids Navigate Real Life - 3 Wonderful Gospel-Rich Picture Books on Anger, Anxiety, and Failure #counselingforkids #reformedmama #biblicalcounseling #christianpicturebooks

On top of that, each book has beautiful illustrations. The details on each page of the environment are adorable and make it like a “search and find” book to see the creative ways the small animals create a home out of everyday “human” objects.

My children all also liked seeing the characters overlap from book to book. In Zoe’s Hiding Place, you can find Buster and Jax in the art throughout the story even though they aren’t mentioned by name.

I want to always be transparent with you here, so there were a few small things I didn’t love about the books as a whole.

How To Help Kids Navigate Real Life - 3 Wonderful Gospel-Rich Picture Books on Anger, Anxiety, and Failure #counselingforkids #reformedmama #biblicalcounseling #christianpicturebooks

My first negative critique is completely practical. I wish the dust jacket matched the hard cover book. Dust jackets don’t last long in my house but with these books, once the dust jacket is gone, the cover won’t have the title and author information. Obviously, this isn’t a huge deal but it was disappointing to me as a real mom who has been known to throw books and water bottles into the trunk of the car on the way to the park.

Second, I love that the books are so Christ-centered. This is hard to find in children’s books. They use the name of Jesus often and pray with Scripture from the ESV, NIRV, or NLT. However, they never use the word “Bible”. They always call it “The Great Book”. This isn’t a huge deal, it just seemed odd and I found myself changing it as I read it aloud.

Even with those two critiques, I love these books and think you probably will too.

The whole series can be seen (and purchased!) on Amazon here. I truly hope that New Growth adds to this series!

Keep reading below for more details on each book.

How To Help Kids with Anxiety: Zoe's Hiding Place

Author: David Powlison  (who has written other great books for adults like Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness)

Description from the publisher: This beautifully illustrated book invites children to remember that the Lord is near when they are anxious. Zoe, a fearful mouse, is worried about a class trip. As she talks with her parents, Zoe realizes that she can turn to God for help. Papa Mouse gives her a verse from the “Great Book” that she can read when she is afraid. She learns that she can tell God all about her fears, and he will comfort her. Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they are afraid.

How To Help Kids with Anger: Jax's Tail Twitches

Author: David Powlison  (who has written other great books for adults like Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness)

Description from the publisher: Everyone gets frustrated when something important to them goes wrong. In Jax’s Tail Twitches, the whole Squirrel family ends up out of sorts when acorn gathering doesn’t go according to plan. Although Papa, Mama, Jax, and Caspian Squirrel all get angry, they also learn about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God’s words, and praying together. Edited by David Powlison, Jax’s Tail Twitches ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes how we respond when life goes wrong. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will help children and adults remember to turn to God for help when they are angry.

How To Help Kids with Failure: Buster's Ears Trip Him Up

Author: Edward T. Welch (who has written other great books for adults like When People Are Big and God is Small)

Description from the publisher: Buster was sure he was the fastest bunny in the meadow. But during a race at summer camp, nothing goes as planned and Buster gets tripped up. After his epic fall, his older sister, Ivy, helps him see that failure is an opportunity to grow. As Buster remembers God’s love, he is able to let go of others’ opinions and accept that it is okay to try your best but not always be the best. Edited by Edward T. Welch, Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains us through failure and turns our focus away from ourselves and toward others. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will remind children and adults of God’s love and help for those who get tripped up.


All three of these books are also included in my Favorite Resources for Kids Page which you can access here.

Now that you’ve read all about them, you can either pin the post on Pinterest to save it for later (and share with others!) or buy them now by clicking here.