I am always on the lookout for new books for my children to read and enjoy, but when my daughter, aged 7, starting telling me just about how anxious she has been feeling lately, I knew that a book might be able to help in ways that I can’t. It came with great timing when I was introduced to The Little Squirrel Who Worried by Katie O’Donoghue.
To start off with, the book is beautifully illustrated. Not cartoon-style pictures but really natural and lifelike drawings of the animals; so pretty. The style is very Beatrix Potter style compared with more modern children’s books, and it is something that I love, and my daughter did too.
As you’d imagine, the book is about a little squirrel, and it comes time for him to leave the tree and collect acorns for winter. He’s nervous as he hasn’t left the tree for a while, which is something that children can relate to since the start of the pandemic. As squirrel thinks about having to leave it makes him worried because he doesn’t know what is out there and what might be waiting for him.
As Little Squirrel goes out and about on his journey, there are a range of woodland creatures that are there to help, helping to show that he isn’t alone, and there are different ways for him to cope. From a badger to a wren and a giant stag, there are animals to help and share their insight into how he can go about his journey.
As you can imagine, this shows that we can all feel nervous, anxious or worried and that it is completely natural. The book also highlights that our minds and bodies are connected and there can be some psychological reasons to how we feel at certain times. Through meeting the animals who share their techniques, it has showcased to myself and my daughter the strategies that you can use when feeling certain ways to help, and that you can overcome these feelings that may seem overwhelming. One talking point with my daughter has been that having friends and people around you can make a difference, and to not be worried to ask for help. This has definitely been a big takeaway for her.
About the Author
Katie is a child and young person’s therapist, who also happens to have a background in fine art and design, with a masters degree in Art Psychotherapy. This combination makes for a book that not only looks good but has some real value for children. I have been very impressed by the book and can see just how much value it has added to my daughter’s life and she deals with her anxious feelings which I’m pretty sure are related to the ongoing pandemic.
The book has been great, and often you can find with books like this is that the story suffers when there is a particular topic that is been addressed. This is definitely not the case as the story is still enjoyable, even if not looking at it from a perspective of looking to find ways to deal with anxiety. The characters are good and the story is compelling.
I would definitely recommend this to parents of little ones who are feeling anxious. It can be read in chapters or even the whole things all at once. My daughter has also been able to read it herself, so it is definitely aimed at children around her age who can read independently too.
Have you heard of this book before? It would be great to hear what you think.
*this book was gifted in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.