Exploring Affective Bibliotherapy Features in Children’s Literature for Emotional Healing and Growth


  • Rafidah Abdul Aziz Perak State Public Library Corporation, No. 17, Jalan Raja Dihilir 31350 Ipoh Perak, Malaysia
  • Wan Satirah Wan Mohd Saman Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Perdana Campus, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Norshila Shaifuddin Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Perdana Campus, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Sharifah Muzlia Syed Mustafa Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kampus Puncak Alam 42300 Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Wan Norhaliza Wan Mokhtar Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Perdana Campus, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia




Affective Bibliotherapy, Children’s Literature, Bibliotherapy, Emotional Wellbeing


Recent developments in psychology have rekindled interest in the therapeutic potential of literature. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein many children lack access to conventional psychological assistance, bibliotherapy emerges as a viable aid for addressing personal issues. However, not all children's books are suitable for this purpose, necessitating meticulous scrutiny to ascertain suitable therapeutic reading materials. Through qualitative examination, this study scrutinized the affective bibliotherapy approach within fiction and illustrated books, unveiling three essential bibliotherapy attributes in children's literature. Comprehensive examples are offered for each feature, aiming to enrich future bibliotherapy research and application.


Aiex, N. K. (1993). Bibliotherapy. ERIC Digest. (ERIC Reproduction Document Service No.ED357333).

Anderson, N. (2013). Elementary children’s literature: Infancy through age 13 (custom for University of South Florida). 2nd ed. Cambridge: Pearson Pub.

Berge, J. M. (2017). Bibliotherapy. In D. H. Saklofske, C. R. Reynolds, & V. L. Schwean (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of psychological assessment of children and adolescents (pp. 684-696). Oxford University Press.

Cherry, K. (2020). The influence of psychoanalysis on the field of psychology. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-psychoanalysis-2795246

De Vries, D., Brennan, Z., Lankin, M., Morse, R., Rix, B., & Beck, T. (2017). Healing with books: A literature review of bibliotherapy used with children and youth who have experienced trauma. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 51(1), 48–74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/TRJ-2017-V51-I1-7652

Doering, K. L. (2019). Inclusivity in children’s literature: examining quality of text, accuracy of representation of children with cancer in picture books, and children’s response to three specific texts. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 173. Retrieved from http://proxy.libraries.smu.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/

Greenberg, L. S. (2010). Emotion-focused therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/e602962010-001

Hasandarvish, M. (2020, June 11). Experts warn of ‘hidden epidemic’ as Health Ministry survey reveals 424,000 Malaysian children live with mental illnesses. Malay Mail. Retrieved from https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2020/06/11/experts-warn-of-hidden-epidemic-as-health-ministry-survey-reveals-424000-ma/1874507

Greenwood, K. (2017). Bibliotherapy for young children: A natural fit. Journal of Children’s Literature, 43(1), 46-56.Layne, S. (2016). Using children’s literature to teach emotional intelligence. Journal of Children’s Literature, 42(2), 51-59.

Institute for Public Health (IPH) (2019). National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2020. National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS): vol. I: NCDs Non-communicable diseases: Risk factors and other health problems. Selangor: Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

Kramer, P. A., & Smith, G. G. (1998). Easing the pain of divorce through children's literature. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(2), 89-94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022951212798

Lamm, J.(2021). Emotional healing: A path to recovery. Retrieved from https://themindfool.com/emotional-healing/#What_is_Emotional_Healing

Mc Nicol, S., & Brewster, L. (2018). Bibliotherapy. London: Facet Pub. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29085/9781783303434

Mentalhealth.gov. (2021). Mental health myths and facts. Retrieved fromhttps://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts

Mitchell. D., Waterbury, P., & Casement, R. (2002). Children's literature: An invitation to the world. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Myracle, L. (1995). Molding the minds of the young: the history of bibliotherapy as applied to children and adolescents. ALAN Review, 22(2). 36-40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21061/alan.v22i2.a.9

Pardeck, J. T., & Pardeck, J. A. (1993). Bibliotherapy: A clinical approach for helping children. Switzerland: Gordon and Breach Publishers.

Rafidah Abdul Aziz, Lailatul Faizah Abu Hassan, Salleh Mohd. Radzi, & Siti Nisrin Mohd. Anis. (2019). Assessing bibliotherapy elements in Malaysian children’s literature. International Journal of Education and Knowledge Management (IJEKM), 2(1), 1-9.

Shechtman,Z. (2009). Treating child and adolescent aggression through bibliotherapy. The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality. DOI 10.1007/978-0-387-097459_9, Springer Science Business Media. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09745-9

Stanley, J. D. (1999). Reading to heal: How to use bibliotherapy to improve your life. Boston, Massachusetts: Element.

Suhaila Sulaiman, Mohamed Basharudin, Che Wail Abdul Hadi, Mohamed Shahadan Salleh, Yusoff Khairul Nizan, & Mohd Isa Mohd Yaziz. (2018). Mental health and awareness of child abuse and neglect (CAN): The case among parents in Malaysia. Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, 1(1), 14-20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31014/aior.1994.01.01.3

Sullivan, A., & Johnson, M. (2014). Affective bibliotherapy: The use of young adult literature as a therapeutic tool with adolescents. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 27(3), 149-160.

Varela, M., Serrano, N., Capelo, M. R. T. F., & P, J. A. (2018). Effects of bibliotherapy in well-being and human development its application in education. In TheCreativity and Innovatiion as a Challenge for the Systems of education – Cross-cultural perspective (pp.107-119). Toruń: Wydawnictwo Marszałek, Poland: International Forum for Education.




How to Cite

Abdul Aziz, R., Wan Mohd Saman, W. S., Shaifuddin, N., Syed Mustafa, S. M., & Wan Mokhtar, W. N. (2023). Exploring Affective Bibliotherapy Features in Children’s Literature for Emotional Healing and Growth. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 8(SI12), 3–8. https://doi.org/10.21834/e-bpj.v8iSI12.5001

Most read articles by the same author(s)