Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen by Christy Monson

I decided to review this book today, because it is close to the 1 year anniversary of the Connecticut School Shooting last year, and this book was written in hopes of helping kids deal with a tragedy like this. I also wanted to take a minute and remember the kids and adults who lost their lives that day.


Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen

By Christy Monson

Illustrated by Lori Nawyn

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Familius on August 15, 2013

Theme/Topic- Coping with trauma

Opening and Synopsis-   First line of the book – “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.”

Description of book from Amazon – “Written after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Love, Hugs, and HopeWhen Scary Things Happen is an invaluable tool for helping children identify feelings that overwhelm them with anxiety and despair. Author Christy Monson guides readers through emotions of fear, sadness, and anger, then lends constructive and practical ideas for how to manage such feelings and seek comfort. Lori Nawyn’s engaging illustrations help young children understand that hope is only a hug away.”

Why I liked this book– This book is a necessity in every household. I think kids have to deal with bad things all the time. Maybe not as big as the school shootings, but a lot of other things in their lives, like being in a car accident, or a relative dying. This book can help. The story has a great feeling to it – a warm, calming, friendly – but serious – feeling. It is told in a very simple way, but I think it tells a big story. The illustrations are cartoon-like and make it easier to understand the story. The animals mixed in make it cute. I think the story will also help parents and teachers talk to kids about bad things that happen. I believe this is a book that every family will have use of in their house.

Activities and Resources- Talk. Talk about the book, about the event that happened 1 year ago, about anything that gives you and/or your child negative feelings (anger, sadness, fear, etc.).

To learn more-
Visit Ms. Nawyn’s website HERE.
Visit the publisher’s website HERE.

Five out of five bookworms for this important book! fivebooks 

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

Tags: , , , ,

20 replies

  1. Good, another book for kids to deal with tragedy. That’s three new ones I’ve seen. Enjoyed your review a lot. Added it to my list! Happy Birthday!!

  2. Great review, great choice and a very happy birthday to you.

  3. Such a serious book topic for your birthday. But that’s what’s so cool about you, E. You see the big picture, and care about others even on your day. Great review as always. Have a great day. Eat cake. Lots and lots of cake.

    Love and licks,

  4. Great review, Erik. The world needs more books like this. Have a happy birthday and a merry Christmas 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed this review, Erik, and am glad books like this are written. Too often parents want to shield children from the fact that there is “bad” in the world, wanting to keep the books they read all “rainbows and unicorns,” but the truth is, they witness bad things regularly. Better to help them cope with life, in general, and tragedy when it happens.

    For the life of me, I didn’t see ANYthing mentioned about your birthday, except in the comments section, so I’m going to assume today’s your birthday! I hope it’s a very Happy one, my dear 🙂

  6. I love that you recommend this book. I will be getting it! Have a super happy birthday, friend! ~CM

  7. This is an important book. Thanks for sharing it with the world. You are right, every home should have a copy to help children deal with bad things..I thought your birthday was December 24 (tomorrow)

  8. Will add this to my list of books to find in our libraries. Not sure though whether we would carry this particular title.

    Did I tell you I’m teaching a new course for higher degree students (those who are taking their masters/phd) on multicultural children’s literature and its link to socio-emotional learning? (this is my subtle way of explaining why I haven’t visited your blog in awhile, but I know I’d catch up soon enough, I always do, don’t I?)

    And so, I am always on the lookout for books that deal with “big issues” or “big themes” such as this one and coming up with specific text-sets that I would be sharing with my own students. Thanks for introducing me to another one I should hunt down and look for.

    • Cool! I hope the kids learn a lot from their great teacher! 😀 I hope you find the book! 🙂

      • Haha. This made me smile, Erik. I am teaching teachers here in Singapore, so they ARE kids at heart, but maybe not in actual age. Some (or most) are even older than me. They’re higher degree students, either taking their masters of education or a PhD in their respective fields. I was actually thinking of inviting you virtually again in one of our sessions. I will email you soonest about that. I think our internet connection then would be significantly improved. 🙂

      • Oooh! Fun! I hope you can see me this time! 😉 (I did that so I could hear you better, which was the point of the interview.)

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