This gentle, engaging story cleverly conveys sophisticated concepts about feelings and emotional regulation. With animals used to personify parts of the brain, children are taught how worry and fear quickly take over, and what to do about it.
In this blog post, Jane Evans, tells me a bit about herself, the book and what she thought you might get out of reading it.
In fact, Small Elephant could feel and imagine Little Meerkat’s feelings so well that it wasn’t long before they were both rushing about looking worried, searching everywhere and bumping into each other!
Just then, Mini Monkey swung down from a tree to see what all the fuss was about. Little Meerkat and Small Elephant were in such a panic that they found it hard to be still and calm enough to explain, and in the end they both burst into tears!
How did you come up with this idea?
Having studied how stress, anxiety and trauma impact the brain and body I always give an explanation of this in my direct work with adults and children. I use Maclean’s Triune Brain Theory model and I came to realise that what I saw in so many of my clients was a ‘Meerkat on look-out’ for possible danger as they are mostly in survival mode. I came up with the 3 animals to represent the main areas of the brain as a simple and appealing model everyone can relate too.
What problem is this book solving?
Helping children and the adults in their lives understand how are body and brain can panic and cause chaos in our lives but there are things we can do to avoid this and access calmness again.
Who is the target audience?
Children 2-6 years but is entirely relevant for any child who wants to understand how to access calmness
What is the most important lesson people will learn from reading this book?
We can be calmer if we help our body first.
What was the hardest thing about developing the content?
Not making it too complicated!
How do you imagine the book being used/what impact do you imagine it will have?
With every child, every where! When we teach a child a small amount about the way their body and brain can work together to access calmness through a simple understanding and exercises we set them up for better outcomes in mental and physical well-being, relationships and learning for life.
What are you most pleased with?
I adore the illustrations and how well they transmit the messages, Izzy Bean is a magician!
My next book for children is out on July 21st, ‘Cyril Squirrel finds out about love’. Helping children to learn about the ways that love can look, sound or feel, this heart-warming picture book shows some of the many different forms love, friendship and kindness take. Suitable for all children aged 2-6, especially those who may have confused ideas about love, Cyril’s adventure includes guidance for adults on how the book can be read with children.
About the author
Jane Evans is an Early Childhood Trauma and Parenting Expert, Author, TEdxBristol and International Speaker and Trainer. When she is not writing Jane works one-to-one with foster carers and parents who are caring for highly anxious and traumatised children. She regularly speaks at events and delivers training on how early repetitive trauma and high anxiety shape a child’s body and brain and what support they need with this. She appears on the Radio and TV talking about a range of issues relating to how we are raising children today and has been known to do a TED Talk!
Jane’s website: www.thejaneevans.com
Follow Jane on Twitter: @janeparenting2
And like her Facebook page: Parenting & Children Post Trauma
Jane’s other books include:
You may also be interested in:
Information about CWMT’s Free Mental Health Book Club or sign up here:
Or, for more free stuff, click here.