Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review: Wilma Jean the Worry Machine

Childhood anxiety has steadily been on the rise for the past several decades. Increased pressures in school, family stress, environmental dangers, and social expectations are just some of the contributors to the worries of children. Often times parents are confused as worries manifest from seemingly the smallest of circumstances. The common root of many anxieties are a lack of control and security. Although some children grow out of this "fear phase," children who experience a significant degree of distress or interference in daily activities due to worries are at risk for continued anxiety in adolescence and adulthood, as well as the development of depression or other mental health disorders.

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine is a helpful resource for parents of anxious children. This book features a worrisome little girl named Wilma Jean whose life is experiencing interference due to her worries.  The book normalizes the experiences of childhood anxiety while guiding both parents and children on the development of coping skills. Near the end of the book, parents have an opportunity to engage their children in a discussion activity as well as create a coping plan to address common fears and worries. Parents will appreciate the inclusion of a specific intervention to utilize at home with an anxious child. The text is a bit lengthy for younger children, but the concepts are applicable to a variety of age groups. The humorous pictures aid in keeping kids engaged in the story while illustrating the experience of anxiety and offering a different perception of the worry. Also worth checking out is a companion idea and activity book.

By: Julia Cook
Illustrated By: Anita Dufalla

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