'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 4 August 2013

Review: Happythoughts are Everywhere...

These days, Bayden is a happy and confident boy, but there was a time, not too long ago, when he worried about EVERYTHING. He worried so much that he didn’t have energy to play, he didn’t want to eat and he had forgotten how to smile. Worrying took up all of his time and energy.

At his mother’s suggestion, Bayden went searching for his happythoughts. When he discovered them, they made a big difference. As Bayden searched his home for his happythoughts, he discovered special memories and items that made him happy, and even laugh out loud, and he realised that thinking about these special things could help him to overcome his worries and fears.

It is a sad reality that many young children are burdened by worries and fears about everyday life. My own daughter suffered with anxiety when she was younger and I know how overwhelming and draining dealing with such thoughts can be to a young child.

Happythoughts are Everywhere… is a picture book that encourages children to discover that they change their feelings by changing their thoughts. The book is a follow-up to author Nicky Johnston’s first picture book, Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! Both books acknowledge the physical and emotional drain that anxiety causes. They don’t dismiss these anxious thoughts as insignificant, but rather prompt children to overcome anxiety by actively focusing their thoughts on the things that make them happy.

Such a technique is, of course, only part of a solution when dealing with anxiety. Happythoughts are Everywhere… through text and illustrations also encourages children to share their feelings with an adult and actively spend time with others. The book concludes with suggestions for activities that can help children find their happythoughts and create some positive affirmations for those times when finding something positive to think about is more challenging.

Author/illustrator Nicky Johnston is a writer, artist, educator and mother. She is a passionate advocate for helping children to overcome anxiety issues. Happythoughts are Everywhere… is a great picture book to spark conversations with young children who are experiencing problems with anxiety. Johnston has a resource kit to accompany the book available at her website suitable for use by parents and teachers.

Title: Happythoughts are Everywhere...
Author/Illustrator: Nicky Johnston
Publisher: Happy Hero, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: August 2009
Format: Soft Cover
ISBN: 9780980449112
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book