Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sam Feels Better Now - A Review

I love to read children's books. Always have. In fact, for P1's recent birthday, I could not decide on any one she got 4! lol Oh well...they were the $3 version at Walmart of things like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and one of my favorites, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

I just had the chance through Parent Reviewers to read and evaluate a new children's book titled, "Sam Feels Better Now!: An Interactive Story for Children" by Jill Osborne. The purpose of the book is to help children who have experienced traumatic events to be able to learn how to cope, and reduce the effects of traumatic stress. Let me tell you about it.

What I Found:
Sam has seen something scary! After seeing the scary thing, Sam is experiencing some problems in his life. Can you help him to feel better? You Can! In "Sam Feels Better Now!: An Interactive Story for Children" you can help him to feel better by reading about Sam, his problems, and drawing pictures and telling stories about Sam.
Sam Feels Better Now! is written by author Jill Osborne. Jill graduated from Toccoa Falls College in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Skills and Psychology. After that, she went to work for the state of Georgia in a psychosocial rehabilitation and peer support program. During that time she completed a Master of Science (M.S.) in professional counseling in 2006 and a Specialist in Education (Ed.S) in professional counseling in 2007 from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. There she specialized in play therapy, traumatology, and child and adolescent therapy.

Jill wrote the book so that when a child is working with this book he or she can use his or her own experiences in defining what experience Sam has had. Sam's trauma could be a variety of things, sexual abuse, physical or verbal abuse, natural disaster, war, even dog bites. This is all directly targeted toward children ages 4-10.

What I Liked:
I really like they way the book is written, laid out and presented. The graphics are friendly and inviting and the language in the text is understandable to the age group she wrote it for. The story has pages included that allow the reader to draw their interpretation of how Sam is feeling or doing. The questions that Ms. Carol, the Play Therapist in the story, asks are questions for the readers to answer as well. I can easily see this drawing feelings and thoughts out of children that they did not know how to express.

I also really like that Jill included a Therapist Guide at the end of the story, allowing direct follow up to coincide with the book. She has the book broken down into 6 chapters for the Therapist and leads them through the questions to ask the child, step by step. Thorough references and additional books on the subjects included are referenced at the end of the book as well.

What I Disliked:
I do not have a background in children's therapy but I am a Mom of children in the age range intended. Based on that background, I find no deficits or faults of any kind with this book. It is amazingly well done.

What I Say:
Hopefully most of us will not need to provide therapy of a serious nature for our children. Nevertheless, it is sometimes beyond our control. My P1 has not had great harm done to her but she is high-strung, head-strong and has a hard time expressing her feelings in appropriate manners. I think this book can be of great benefit to us for her, just to help her with her feelings and her ability to express them. I will keep you posted.:)

If you think there might be any reason your child or a child that your love could use some help working through their feelings and emotions following trauma or difficulties of any kind, I would not hesitate to recommend this book. It retails for $24.95 and can be found at most major book retailers online.


Be sure to check out my other blog, 3 P's in a Pod!

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