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Maia and the Worry Bug (primary age)

Quick Overview

This is an easily read book for children aged 6 to 10, designed to be read by parents and primary school children together. The story unfolds how anxiety, in the form of a worry bug, arrives at Maia’s house and takes over. The more attention the family members give to the worry bug the larger it gets, until a young neighbour points out what is happening. The family then talk about what they can do together to manage their anxiety and take back control of their lives. This book is the second in an anxiety management resource – the other Wishes and Worries is for classroom use.

 

The story in this book provides a focused way to discuss anxiety that would also greatly benefit many parents, including those with limited literacy. The strength of the book is how it externalises the problem of anxiety, so family members don’t feel blamed or stigmatised. It is beautifully illustrated and shows appropriate emotional expressions by the characters, so the reader can relate well to the story and the feelings that are evoked. It may be too long for most children to read at one time and is probably more suited to children experiencing anxiety triggered by natural disasters such as earthquakes. There are also eleven pages of guided exercises which provides plenty of prompts for family discussion and actions, likely to benefit families experiencing anxiety.

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Review

Reviewer: Barbara Liffiton

Book Title: Maia and the Worry Bug
Author: Julie Burgess-Manning
Publication Date: 2015
Problem Addressed: Anxiety
Suitable for: Children from ages 6 – 10 years

Book Summary:
This is an easily read book designed to be read by parents and primary school children together. The story unfolds how anxiety in the form of a worry bug, arrives at Maia’s house and takes over. The more attention the family members give to the worry bug the larger it gets, until a young neighbour points out what is happening. The family then talk about what they can do together to manage their anxiety and take back control of their lives. This book is the second in an anxiety management resource – the other Wishes and Worries is for classroom use.

Strengths:

This book is easy to read and the story provides a focused way to discuss anxiety that would also greatly benefit many parents, including those with limited literacy. The strength of the book is how it externalises the problem of anxiety, so family members don’t feel blamed or stigmatised. It is beautifully illustrated and shows appropriate emotional expressions by the characters, so the reader can relate well to the story and the feelings that are evoked.  With the 11 pages of guided exercises, there are plenty of prompts for family discussion and actions, which would benefit families experiencing anxiety.

Weaknesses: 
It may be too long for most children to read at one time and is probably more suited to children experiencing anxiety triggered by natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Recommendations:
This book would be useful for a family whose younger members are experiencing anxiety.

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