Please Explain Anxiety to Me! By Laurie Zelinger and Jordan Zelinger

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think a lot kids could be helped with a book that helps them understand why they sometimes feel this way.

anxietyPlease Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents

By Dr. Laurie Zelinger and Jordan Zelinger

Illustrated by Elisa Sabella

40 pages – ages 4+

Published by Loving Healing Press on September 23, 2010

Theme/Topic- Anxiety

Genre- Nonfiction/help book

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Once upon a time, before there were people, dinosaurs roamed the earth.”

Taken from the back of the book – “”Please Explain Anxiety to Me” gives accurate physiological information in child friendly language. A colorful dinosaur story explains the link between brain and body functioning, followed by practical therapeutic techniques that children can use to help themselves.”

Why I liked this book – I like this book because it doesn’t just explain what to do about a problem kids have, it explains why it is happening. It shows there is something going on in our bodies that make us feel sick in the stomach or not wanting to do something. I like how the book also compares what happens when you feel anxiety to a light-switch. The illustrations are really cute and they go with the story magnificently. I love the cartoon-like feel to them. I think a lot of kids would get help from this book!

Activities and Resources – The book itself is a resource for helping kids with anxiety understand what is going on with their bodies.

There is also a summary of the ways for kids to help themselves with anxiety in the back along with a note to parents.

I found a website AnxietyBC that has a ton of activities and suggestions for dealing with all kinds of anxiety kids have. Click HERE to go THERE.

You can visit Dr. Zelinger’s website (HERE) to learn more about her and her play therapy.

The blog The Chaos And The Clutter has a cool idea for an anti-anxiety kit for kids. It has things in it like stress balls, music and gum. Click HERE to see how to make one.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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50 replies

  1. What a great book for anxious kids!

  2. This looks like a great book for little worriers, I think a lot of parents don’t realise just how much stress can affect children …and often it’s unexpected things that are causing the worry.

  3. I LOVE that first sentence for a book about anxiety!

  4. Sounds like anxious adults could enjoy this book too!

  5. What a resource for children and parents. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. I have to check this out. Thanks for sharing!

  7. A great resource to help kids learn about anxiety and techniques to use to help themselves.

  8. This sounds just what I’ve been looking for, Erik. I think it’s important for parents to talk with kids about themselves before school tells them allsorts. Thanks!

  9. Well, this sounds like a great tool for a lot of folks! I have found that I am a great tool for anxious kids! I often get called in on the first day of school to help with new little ones. I need to get this book for my bag. Thanks!

  10. You amaze me with the spread of your horizon!

  11. Julie took the words right out of my mouth…. you certainly amaze me with the amount of research and areas that you cover in your book reviews…. brilliant, Erik!

  12. Sounds like a book we need to include on our shelf. Your resources are wonderful. I have a cyber-friend in Australia, Nicky Johnston, who wrote and illustrated “Go Away Mr. Worry Thoughts,” for which she has won awards for acknowledging anxieties that children experience and helping them to overcome. Erik, thank you for selecting a book like this one and keeping us aware of children’s feelings and needs. (Oh P.S. you can find Nicky at She’s a wonderful artist too.

  13. Erik, your links to activities are fab-u-lous! Looking at the anti-anxiety kit now – love it. Thanks for all of the work you do on your reviews and research finding activities to go along with them. How did you do with your belt testing this week?
    Have an awesome weekend!
    ~CM (& Neighbor Girl)

  14. This is great, Erik! Kids really need this book and I can’t wait to read it. Seems like though that our library system doesn’t have most of the books I see on Susanna’s PPBF page and site. Last Tuesday I went with my list and I struck out. so disappointed. 🙁

  15. I’m working with a first-grade boy who’s got severe anxiety … so I showed him your review and he agreed that I ought to get this book for my shelf. Thanks!

  16. I may sometimes not realize anxiety is a something young ones deal with. I keep thinking it’s something that doesn’t hit until more social pressures hit. But it is a great idea to recognize this early on and a story like this is wonderful to explain what’s happening – to child and parent – in simpler language. Great choice.

  17. Why didn’t they have books like this when I was a kid? How very useful. Great review Erik.

  18. I really like this book, Erik! Lots of adults don’t realize that kids suffer from anxiety. It’s so important to give kids the knowledge and the tools so they can deal with this problem…love your resource list! Even if we just empower kids so they tell someone that they aren’t feeling right is important.

  19. Great! I think many parents will be grateful for books like this.

  20. Thanks for this review Erik. There are few books on this topic, and I know some parents and kids this book could help.

  21. Erik, I like the subject. It will help kids realize they are not the only kid who gets anxious so they are not an anomaly. I also liked Rhythm’s comment. Often an animal, usually a dog, can help kids talk out their problems which can often help the anxiety. Once said, it is easier to say again, this time to a counselor, or teacher, or even a parent. These books are not the easiest to review and you did a great job.

  22. I hadn’t heard of this book before but will be checking into it. Thank you for including a link to our Anti-Anxiety kit. It has helped our kids tremendously!

  23. This looks like a great resource, Erik. I know a lot of kids who could benefit from it. I like that it uses dinosaurs 🙂 and that it explains what’s happening to you – I think it’s always better if you can understand things! Many thanks for adding this one to our list!

  24. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention! The level of anxiety definitely rising in our class- I see it more and more in kindergarten. Going to order a copy now!

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