Books for Children

Children’s literature can be used as a tool to help children understand and contain their feelings via displacement techniques (an indirect form of communication). This also is referred to as displaced or vicarious learning. Neil Kalter (1990) has delineated six displacement techniques in this process:

1. Represent in the displacement the observable signs of emotional distress (e.g., crying, fighting, being uncooperative, trouble with schoolwork).
2. Comment on how upsetting the observable behavior is to the displacement figure who is used to represent the child.
3. Represent and verbalize the underlying emotional pain or internal distress that the displacement figure is experiencing.
4. Correct verbally by demonstrating in the displacement any misperceptions or misunderstandings—based on fantasies, beliefs or internal conflicts—the child may have that could be contributing to the emotional distress.
5. Represent the acceptability of the conflicted feelings.
6. Portray alternative ways of expressing and coping with conflicts.

The following books can be used as tools for displacement communication, as well as to help inform and normalize the experiences that the children are going through.

By Category

Family Matters
Fear/New Situations
Medical Issues, Illness, & Disabilities
Parental Problems
Sexual Abuse/Good Touch – Bad Touch
Series & Miscellaneous

Book Series