This beautifully illustrated book raises awareness of the daily struggles that some children face. Simple things like answering a question, playing in the schoolyard and going to the library are such struggles for kids who have anxious feelings. This book is written to help others understand what anxious behaviour both looks and feels like. “Just Like You” is a valuable tool for creating awareness and support for families dealing with anxiety.
The book introduces the concept of the “anxiety monster”. It allows children to see anxiety as an “it” or a “thing” that is completely separate from them. The story teaches that worry, fear and panic are feelings that can be managed while reinforcing the fact that despite the main character’s differences, she really is “Just Like You”.
Young readers are also introduced to the concept of a toolbox which holds numerous ideas and choices for helping to reduce the effects of the “anxiety monster”, allowing them to be successful in everyday tasks.
This is a great story for children with anxiety as well as their peers. It provides great opportunities to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues as well as raise awareness that these amazing children just need to be heard and helped.
Working in tandem with the book “Just Like You”, “Me” is a toolbox journal which gives children a sense of ownership and awareness of their own emotions. It allows them to have a secure place to let their feelings flow. In their own words, and with their own thoughts and creativity, this journal will open up a great forum for discussion.
Children have an opportunity to create a toolbox that helps them identify options for when they are feeling uncomfortable. There is even a place to name their “anxiety monster”, reminding them that anxiety is an “it” or a “thing” – and not actually a part of them.
At the bottom of each page is an affirmation. These are encouraging and inspiring phrases that children can say out loud. Each phrase is written to help foster a positive mindset and a sense of empowerment.