Little ones are full of big emotions, and sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get! Now more than ever, our anxieties are bubbling over, and our kids are no different. That’s why we are loving Puppy in My Head, a new picture book by Elsie Gravel. 

Using the “puppy in my head” as a metaphor for anxious feelings, this brilliant book is an engaging how-to guide, taking kids step-by-step from fear to calmness. Who knew a picture book could do all that! Read on for three reasons why you need Puppy in My Head on your bookshelf ASAP.

photo: HarperCollins

A Must-Read For Kids With Anxiety

Health goes way beyond just the physical. When it comes to recognizing the importance of mental health, we've taken a huge step in the right direction, from mindfulness to meditation. We also want our kids to learn positive ways of managing their experiences and expressing their emotions. Let's face it: when it comes to learning, whether it's a language or a life skill, the earlier, the better!

The reader meets a sweet puppy named Ollie, who sometimes gets scared, running around in a panic, making the narrator feel the same way. When Ollie is happy, it feels great! But sometimes, Ollie is overly excited or scared, and that can feel overwhelming. Puppy in My Head connects with kids with a sense of understanding and compassion and gives them tools to tackle anxiety.

photo: HarperCollins

An Excellent Metaphor For Feelings of Fear

Fight or flight! We all know that unpleasant feeling: butterflies in the tummy, heart-pounding, flushed cheeks—"I forgot to set my alarm! AHHH!". Luckily, there's usually no reason to be scared, and we can talk ourselves through it (or talk to our boss if we did forget to set our morning alarm). Kids are still learning how to deal with their emotions and could use some help when it comes to fear—irrational or not. 

This book cleverly uses the metaphor of a restless and scared puppy to describe to kids what it's like to feel afraid when there's no real danger. Puppy in My Head is quiet and powerful while teaching kids the importance of mindfulness and how it helps keep the scaries at bay.

photo: HarperCollins

Praise From A Child Health Expert

"Puppy in My Head will be a lovely way to introduce mindfulness to young children and parents at any pediatric clinic. With the growing awareness about the health impacts of toxic stress, books like this are a great help—fun, friendly characters that teach without being teachy. More like this please!"

- Dr. Deirdre Bernard-Pearl, Integrative Pediatrician, Santa Rose Community Health, Santa Rosa, California

With its bold colors and whimsical illustrations, little readers will be drawn into this comforting story that normalizes anxiety. You and your kids are now a little more well-equipped to handle the puppy in your head. (And don’t forget to set that alarm!)


Add Puppy in My Head to your bookshelf today! 



—Jamie Aderski