Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you #netgalley for giving me a copy of #MindfulBeaAndTheWorryTree to review. This was a cute story about a girl with a worry. It was a little intense for my daughter (5), but I thought it was a good read. I liked that the story gave ways to get through worries. I think this is a good book for elementary aged children.
Was this review helpful?
This was an absolute gem of a book by the author, Gail Silver! 

I loved the classical-type illustrations by Franziska Hollbacher which were fun and colourful. I also liked the use of rhythm in the story and I thought this was a lovely touch by the author. The descriptions of what it feels like to worry too much were accurately portrayed (I am a worrier myself) and I loved the detailed coping mechanisms.

This is one of my favourite children's books I've read so far this year. Rating: 5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Magination Press for the complimentary ARC. This is my honest and totally voluntary opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Children's anxiety is often hard to notice. Often the difference between having anxiety, being a brat, being a wuss or just being ridiculous is difficult to see in most kids. I myself was a child that was accused of being 'difficult' or 'anti-social' because all I wanted to do was stay in my room and read. This wasn't that I didn't want to do things; it was more that I was often very afraid. Bea experiences this exact scenario on the day of her birthday. She is so overcome with worry about all the things that might go wrong that she asks her mother to cancel the whole event and tell all her friends to leave. 
Luckily Bea remembers her breathing exercises, meets a cute bird and blows up some balloons. This all helps her calm down and get excited to see her friends at her birthday party. What's brilliant about Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree is not just the illustrations (where vines in the pictures show the branches of Bea's anxiety) but also the typesetting. It's not so much the words used as it is the way they are written on the page. In all caps, in bold, in larger type size, etc. All of these elements that emphasize the way Bea feels will be easily transferred to any child, even if they cannot read. I imagine how I would have felt as a child not only seeing how I felt in the words read to me but also in the treatment of the words seen on the page. It takes good page layout and a decent designer to really understand the way placement and treatment can affect how we think. Whether it was Gail Silver or someone else that is one of the major highlights of how Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree conveys it's message. 
Overall, even for a child that isn't anxious all the time, I think Silver has an important ] message for children (and adults). A story that tells us it's okay to be anxious, afraid or nervous; but that it's worth it to try and get past that so you can have a great party! 

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Bea’s birthday party is about to start when her anxiety creeps in. She starts to worry about all the things that could go wrong and becomes so upset by it that she wants to cancel the party. After going out to the backyard to avoid answering the door, she starts to take deep, calming breaths and tries to focus on controlling her thinking. Eventually she calms down and is able to enjoy her party and her friends.

This book is a wonderful way to explain to children what anxiety can feel like. As an adult, it is a confusing feeling, so for a child who struggles with identifying and processing feelings overall, it can be especially so. In addition to showing the reader how anxiety can feel, how it can affect you, how it can pop up even at good times, it provides a simple method for finding calm: taking deep, slow breaths in and out, acknowledging the anxiety, and attempting to refocus your thoughts. This is the technique I’ve seen most commonly referred to and is simple enough for a child to do on their own. Good stuff.

Anxiety is a wily beast that can wreak havoc on your life and is especially disturbing for small children. This cute book provides concrete examples and tools for parent and child to help tame anxiety when it rears its ugly head.
Was this review helpful?
The Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree by Gail Silver is about a girl called Bea. Her birthday party is coming up and she is worried about many things. Will her friends come to the party? What if they don’t like the games? Will the cake be enough?⁣

Her worry sprouts and grows like the branches of the willow tree in Bea’s home. Will Bea confront her worries or will the branches of the willow tree surround her and choke her? ⁣

The illustrations by Franziska Hollbacher are beautiful with a vibrant green background. This book teaches little ones how to confront their worries and be more mindful of their thoughts.⁣

Thank you to Netgalley, The American Psychological Association and Magination Press for the ARC. ⁣
Was this review helpful?
This book is meant to help children with anxiety and worry overcome their fears and calm themselves down.  However, this book fails on many levels.  The rhyming meter falters on nearly every page, and the sentences are over long for the audience.  The illustrations showing a plant growing out of control are effective, but the use of several different types of fonts makes the page cluttered and frantic.  Perhaps that is supposed to be mirroring the feeling of a panic attack, but it might cause visual anxiety as well.  The story tells readers what to do instead of showing them.  This book might have a place in a therapists office, but not in a general collection.
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully illustrated book that explains anxiety and the 'what if's' and how quickly it grows. Suffering from anxiety as an adult I wanted to see how it's explained to children and it's actually a good ittle resource. It explains her thinking and how she begins to cope with it using a breathing techniques.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
As a mother of a child who has been diagnosed with anxiety, I found that this book was easy to relate. It is heartbreaking to see how much stress a little person can go through because their brain goes into over drive. This definitely has an accurate depiction of what an anxious child is like. 
I like that it has some techniques that could help a child learn to cope with their anxiety as it is one of the toughest lessons to teach a young one.
Was this review helpful?
Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree centers on Bea and how she deals with her anxiety. There are cute, engaging illustrations of the Bea demonstrating deep breathing and self-talk. This book would assist my students dealing with worry. Thanks American Psychological Association and NetGalley for the ARC of this title.
Was this review helpful?
This book is about Bea, a girl that's struggling with worried, anxious thoughts and anxiety. Bea is worried about getting through her birthday party. Bea's mom talks to Bea and gives reassurance. Bea is not sure she can face her friends, the party, and all that goes with it. This book is relatable for kids who deal with the same thoughts. In the book, Bea shows her self doubt, but begins to see that she can do it. In the book Bea also goes through breathing exercises, which are a great skill for kids dealing with anxiety, to know. I read this book to a group of students at school that deal with anxious thoughts. I heard things like "I've thought that before," "she's like me" and "you can do it Bea." The illustrations in this book were colorful, bright, and fun. I enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to other professionals working with kids.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the illustrations and the message of this wonderful children's book. The message was about anxiety and how it can take over with all the "What-if" questions, and just builds and builds. This book portrayed how Bea could deal with it, by mindfulness and deep breathing, and going to a calm place. Also choosing how she can react to the anxiety. I think this book is extremely important and a great learning opportunity concerning how to deal with anxiety in yourself and others.
Was this review helpful?
Bea is having a birthday party, but the worry tree has started to grow and threatens to keep her from the fun. She struggles to get a grip on her fears, but some deep breathing in blowing up balloons seems to help.

I’m assuming that like the other books from the American Psychological Association this will have notes to parents and caregivers in the back with further tips and advice for how to help a child with anxiety. (The ARC I received was blank in the last few pages where that would be.) I like the analogy of worries with a plant that is threatening to entrap and tangle a little girl. The book also will help kids become aware of the thoughts they are entertaining and provide a management tip in some deep breathing. Parts of the book were in rhyme and other parts weren’t really and that kind of threw off the rhythm a little bit for me. The art style is one that will appeal to kids. Recommended to families with little worriers and elementary schools. There aren’t many books at all that tackle anxiety for young kids, so this fills a need.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received an electronic ARC from Magination Press through NetGalley.
Helping children cope with anxiety.
I like the premise and I like the information on relaxing your breathing and focusing on simply breathing in and breathing out. I also like the hint that the mother may also suffer from Anxiety given near the end.
The illustrations bring what's happening inside to life. The vines cling and wrap and grow stronger as Bea gets more and more caught up in her concerns and fears.
However, the rhyme scheme feels forced and does not read smoothly. It's struggle to read this aloud without sounding disjointed. It's hard to stay in the rhythm when reading silently as well. This distracts from the author's point.
I like the first step provided but would have appreciated some information for adults (may be coming in the final version) and an acknowledgement that sometimes focusing on breathing may work and sometimes it may not.
It's still a terrific resource for families and elementary level libraries so children can identify with someone going through the same thing they are.
Was this review helpful?
A young girl named Bea enjoys playing outside by the full willow tree. She loves to swing, climb, sing, and dance.

One day, Bea’s mom finds Bea awake, sitting up in bed, groaning. Her mom tells her it’s almost time for her birthday party, but Bea is filled with worry and dread about the party.  “It’s my anxiety,” she tells her mom. 

Bea’s mom sighs compassionately. They have faced this problem before. 

Bea’s fearful thoughts are multiplying, as illustrated on the page in thought bubbles. In addition, vines fill the pages and seem to be overtaking Bea’s room. 

The imaginary vines in Bea’s bedroom look similar to the ones that grow outside on the willow tree. (At times like this, Bea calls the willow tree the worry tree.) Bea feels as if she is tangled up in knots by the worry vines. 

Bea’s stomach flips and flutters inside like butterflies. She isn’t breathing right. Her heart is pounding, and she asks Mom to cancel the party...she is afraid everything will go wrong. ‘What-if’ anxiety thoughts fill her mind.

Mom responds with compassion. She gently reminds Bea that she is strong and that she knows what to do. They have already learned helpful strategies to deal with anxiety, but sometimes Bea needs a reminder. 

Bea goes outside and begins to breathe deeply, thinking only about her breathing. 

As she blows up some balloons for the party, the deep breathing required continues to calm her. 

She starts to notice the air and wind, the sky, and hears the birds singing. 

Soon Bea’s friends are beside her, and they are all ready to enjoy the birthday party. 

This beautifully illustrated picture book should prove helpful to children with its focus on quieting anxiety with mindful self-calming techniques.

Thank you for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?
We absolutely loved this book and as the mother of an anxious child it was so good to see this depicted in a children's book so we could open the conversation up on a more personal level. The focus on finding a safe space, slowing down, and letting go of stress was perfect. Lovely book!
Was this review helpful?
**This review will be published on 30 April (UK publication day) links can be updates**

The Story:
Bea loves to be outside, but on her birthday, she is lying scared in her bed. Bea is feeling anxious about the party and has a million what-ifs and questions running through her mind. Her mum tries to reassure her but ultimately Bea learns to control her anxious thoughts by concentrating on her breathing. Then she realises she’s forgotten the balloons for her party. Can she overcome her worries and have a great party?

Favourite Spread: 
I love the spreads which include multiple speech bubbles for Bea’s inner monologue that runs in parallel to the conversation she is having with her mum. Gail really has captured the thoughts of a person struggling with anxiety. 

The speech bubbles in particular offer an insight into what anxiety feels like making this a great story to read with both children who maybe don’t know how it feels to be anxious as well as for a child that gets anxious but is struggling to explain their emotions to others. Gail has also cleverly incorporated breathing techniques within the story to help alleviate a panic attack.

The Verdict:
Overall this is a brilliant rhythmic story for exploring what it feels like to be anxious and how to deal with anxiety and panic. My only slight concern was that the willow tree (Bea’s safe place) looks almost identical to the “Worry tree” and I felt this made the message slightly confused. Although using a tree as a metaphor was a nice idea, it did come across a little scary how the tree had “gnarled roots”. However, once past this early spread and into the story of the anxiety Bea was feeling, both the words and illustrations were fantastic.

I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with an advanced digital copy via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderful book for any child suffering from anxiety. Bea is having a party and is starting to worry about all that could go wrong. Before her party is about to begin she starts using some relaxing exercises and calming techniques. This book is great for children like my son who suffer from anxiety and obsessive behaviors. Tips for how to change your thoughts and relax are so useful for children with anxiety.
Thank you to NetGalley and American Psychological Association for the chance to review this book.
Was this review helpful?
While I liked the intent of the book, how it was executed did not excite me. I suppose there are parents that can use this story to help talk through anxiety, but I know with my own daughter who experiences anxiety, she'd find this story out of touch with her situation. Her struggles aren't as simply solved as breathing in and out.
Was this review helpful?
Interest Level: K-3

Do you ever feel anxious or worried? Do you ever have the "what if" worries? Do these worries sprout from you like gnarled tree branches? Bea is about to have her birthday party and she has so many worries - what if no one plays with me?, what if we didn't bake enough cake?, what if... what if... what if...  Bea has so much anxiety that she can't even enjoy her own birthday party. Bea has to go out back and do her calming exercises - breath in and breath out. She has to clear her mind of all of the "what if" worries. Can Bea overcome her anxiety and enjoy her own birthday party? Will all of her "what if" worries be breathed away or is her party ruined? Read this great book to find out the answers to all of these questions!

This is a phenomenal book to help children cope with the anxieties of life. It teaches them to go away to a quiet place and let your breathing calm you down. It lets kids know that it is okay to have worries and then once you calm down they will find most of these worries were for nothing. Bea lets kids know that they are not alone when it comes to anxiety. Everyone has them and it's up to you to control it. Every child (and adult) should have this book if they deal with ongoing anxiety issues. Don't miss this one!!
Was this review helpful?
I loved reading this book with my 10 year old son. Such an accurate description of how anxiety can take hold, and how to best get it to release that hold over us. Written in a way that is easy for young children to understand. We need more books like this that approach mental health topics in a positive way that is perfect for starting our young children on the right path to nurturing their own mental health.  Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?