{ I believe }

books can be


Children struggle with stress, anxiety, identity issues, grief, and fear just like adults. As a physician, I see children present to the office with symptoms of tummy aches, headaches, and illness when emotions are the main concern. Picture books can help children recognize their feelings by identifying with a character in a book with similar struggles and help them to cope and persevere.

At Hamline University I wrote: It’s a Scary World Out There: Crafting Picture Books to Help Anxiety and Fear. In this essay I provide examples of picture books that allow children to access their feeling through the eyes of a scared squirrel or a lost bear. When a child sees their own stress mirrored on the page, it also shows them that it is possible for them to cope and survive just as their favorite characters did.

I am working on two specific picture books that address anxiety and courage in the face of adversity. In Jimmy and His Worry Monster, Jimmy tries to summon the courage to attend his best friend’s birthday party while he battles his worry-monster constantly babbling his worst fears into his ear. In Manatees Have Spots Too, a young girl afflicted with vitiligo finds courage to battle the school bullies when she discovers her spirit animal – a manatee.

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