Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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!
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**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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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!
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There need to be more books like this that explore emotional stresses for children without being overly preachy or intense. I had anxiety as a child and I think this would have been a great book to help me understand that anxiety is a common thing that lots of other children struggled with, etc. I also like the metaphor of the tree, and the deep breathing practice!
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This could be a good resource for a one on one storytime with a child suffering from anxiety. I wish I had more stories that talked about anxiety growing up, maybe then I would have realized others suffered from it too.
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Bea is about to have a birthday party but she's full of anxiety with the what ifs. What if no one comes? What if no one likes me? What if the balloons float away? A story about a little girl who has anxiety and how she handles it so that she can enjoy her party.
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In this book we follow Bea as she gets completely worked up with worry over her about-to-start birthday party.  Stressing about all the little details has her body going into overdrive. When she's able to take a step outside, feel the peace of nature, and work on breathing and mindfulness exercises she is able to calm herself some.

I'm usually not a huge fan of rhyming books, but I don't mind it at all in this one. The illustrations are not my favourite sort, but they do a good job of showing the feelings of claustrophobia one can feel as anxiety hits.  I like that this book gives a pretty accurate description of how too much worry feels, and I love that it shows some coping mechanisms.

Overall, I give this 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Magination Press for providing me with a DRC of this book.
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I received a digital copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. Honestly, this is now one of my favorite children's books. "Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree" focuses on social anxiety in a way that is easy to understand and incredibly accurate. The author depicts social anxiety by describing it as a tree that continues to grow as anxiety builds up, which is exactly how it can feel. My only critique would be the style of the artwork, but that is purely due to my style preferences. I would recommend this to both children and adults.
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I was given an advanced copy of the book to read. I really enjoyed the story. It teaches children how to handle their anxiety and overcome fear. I would definitely use this book in my classroom.
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Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree was an excellent book for children to better understand how worry starts and grows. Then it quickly moves into how you have power over it. Great read!
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Bea is about to have a party when the "What if's" happen.  As worry starts to creep in her mind, Bea finds herself anxious about how it might go.  Children can easily relate to Bea and how her worry creeps into her life.  This book would be a great addition to a teacher, counselor, or even home library shelf for those children who tend to find themselves in the same situation.  The illustrations are relatable but more diversity in the pictures would help for all children to find themselves in the pages.
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