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Samson C. Turtle and the Deep Breath by Clare Flory and Lily Uivel

Samson C. Turtle lives on Sea Turtle Street and he is one hundred and two. Age has taught him one or two things, and he’s happy to share his wisdom with all the creatures in the sea. The most important thing that Samson knows is what to do when you are feeling a little bit anxious, or scared, or sad. It goes a little like this:

Close your eyes softly,

breathe through your nose,

fill up your lungs and wiggle your toes.

The soft flow of the rhyme makes this a calming, easy read, perfect before bedtime, and maybe when a child is feeling sad or stressed. The repetition of Samson’s advice gives children (and adults) a chance to practice along with Samson, breathing in as deeply as they can and counting to one… two… three… The story is easily understandable for young children but also has a good core message that will be helpful for children who are older. The back of the book has a valuable little guide that outlines Samson’s steps for what to do when you are feeling anxious. The book itself is a nice reminder to parents and teachers that children also experience anxiety, and that it is never too early to learn how to deal with this.

Lily Uivel’s pictures are a lovely complement to this story, full of bright colours along with blues and greens that are nice and relaxing, and a smiling turtle who makes you feel calm and reassured!

A very important book for schools, kindergartens, and home bookshelves.

Reviewer: Susannah Whaley

Ethicool Books, RRP $22


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