Health on the Shelf

Health on the Shelf

Health on the Shelf in partnership with Libraries Tasmania, is a collection of suggested picture books (0-8 years) and junior fiction (5-12 years) that explore ideas about healthy living for children. There are books about:

  • appreciating diversity,
  • building positive relationships,
  • maintaining healthy bodies,
  • managing feelings and emotions, and
  • understanding food.


Health on the Shelf books can be read by children independently or together with an adult. The books are fun and engaging stories that include a health message; they are not information books. You can print off a copy of the list along with reading tips.

You can print a copy of reading tips and the booklist

Picture Books for Children (birth to eight years)

Interacting with babies and toddlers is important to their development. You can give your child a great start by talking, singing, playing and sharing simple books together even if you aren’t a confident reader yourself.

Here are some tips for shared reading time with your child:

Before reading

  • Let your child pick and choose what they read for pleasure.
  • Find a comfortable place to sit and read together.
  • Turn off electronic devices and give your child your full attention.
  • If your child is reading to you, let them hold the book.
  • Ask them to predict what the book will be about from clues in the cover and title.

During reading

  • Run your finger along the line to show your child that text runs left to right, top to bottom.
  • Prompt them to figure out difficult words by breaking them down and sounding them out.
  • Once they have figured out the word, ask them to go back and re-read so comprehension isn’t lost.
  • Allow them to stop and point at / talk about the pictures.
  • Pause once or twice during reading and ask them to predict what might happen next.

After reading

  • Ask what they would do / how they would feel if they were in the story.
  • Don’t feel pressured to finish the book if it’s boring or too difficult.
  • Ask your child if the book reminds them of anything else they’ve read, viewed or experienced.
  • Encourage them to re-tell the story or part of the story.
  • Have them tell you what they did / didn’t like about the book.
  • Allow them to read favourite books again and again.
AuthorTitle Topic
Robert CostaLittle Sower Samuel Understanding food
Lois Ehlert Eating the alphabet Understanding food
Eric Carle The very hungry caterpillar Understanding food
Claire Potter, Ailie BusbyWhich food will you chooseUnderstanding food
Eileen Browne Handa’s surprise Understanding food
Monica ReeveBug soup beatUnderstanding food
Megan FowardA patch from scratchUnderstanding food
Ben LerwellLet's go outsideMaintaining healthy bodies
Charlotte BarklaAll bodies are good bodiesMaintaining healthy bodies
Katie CrenshawHer body canMaintaining healthy bodies
Katie DaynesWhy should I brush my teeth?Maintaining healthy bodies
Mo WillemsThe pigeon needs a bathMaintaining healthy bodies
Giles AndreaeGiraffes can't danceMaintaining healthy bodies
Rachel TomlinsonA Blue kind of dayManaging feelings and emotions
Brian LiesThe rough patchManaging feelings and emotions
Neith NegleyTough guys (have feelings too)Managing feelings and emotions
Amanda McCardieA book of feelingsManaging feelings and emotions
Trace MaloneyWhen I’m feeling scaredManaging feelings and emotions
Anna McGregorAnemone is not the enemyBuilding positive relationships
Sophie BeerLove makes a familyBuilding positive relationships
Sophie BeerKindness makes us strongBuilding positive relationships
Tom PercivalMeesha makes friendsBuilding positive relationships
Amy June BatesThe big umbrellaBuilding positive relationships
Aunty Patsy CameronSea CountryBuilding positive relationships
Deborah KellyMe and youBuilding positive relationships
Mem FoxI'm Australian tooAppreciating diversity
Davina BellAll the ways to be smartAppreciating diversity 
Kim KaneFamily forestAppreciating diversity
Scott StuartMy shadow is pinkAppreciating diversity 
Aunty Fay MuirRespectAppreciating diversity

Stories for Younger Readers (five to 12 years)

These stories, which include aspects of health literacy in the plot, are aimed at older children to be read and enjoyed independently. They can also be used as the basis of parent-child, small group or whole-class discussion.

AuthorTitle Topic
R PalacioWonderAppreciating diversity
Maryam MasterNo wordsAppreciating diversity
Jamie SumnerRoll with itAppreciating diversity
Jordan GouldGuardian (Wylah the Koorie Warrior Series)Appreciating diversity
Kate FosterPawsAppreciating diversity
Alex GinoMelissaAppreciating diversity
Shirley MarrA Glasshouse of starsAppreciating diversity
Terri LibensonRemarkably Rubie (Emmie and Friends series)Building positive relationships
Kayla MillerCrunch (Click series)Building positive relationships
Maryam MasterExit through the gift shopBuilding positive relationships
Remy LaiFly on the wallManaging feelings and emotions
Kate GordonAster's good, right thingsManaging feelings and emotions
Nova WeetmanSick BayManaging feelings and emotions
Jamie SumnerTune it outManaging feelings and emotions
Raina TelgemeierGuts (Smile series)Managing feelings and emotions
Jeff KinneyBig shot (Diary of a wimpy kid series)Maintaining healthy bodies
Sally Rippin The deep end (Billie B. Brown series) Maintaining healthy bodies
Sally RippinThe big adventure  (Hey Jack series)Maintaining healthy bodies
Ash BartyPerfect matchMaintaining healthy bodies

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