Hey Warrior: A Book for Kids About Anxiety

Karen Young

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  • Ages: 5-12+
  • Pages: 28
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780648488811
  • Published: 2017


Empower children to manage their anxiety by learning that it comes from a place of protective strength within their brains—the amygdala—a tiny but fierce personal “warrior” that prepares us to fight or flee danger, even when we don’t need or want its protection! Wonderful illustrations and keen insights gently teach children how to be the boss of their brains and let their warriors know when to stand down and relax through positive thinking and breathing exercises. By understanding the physical science of anxiety and why their brains produce it, children can then learn to master it as a positive, friendly superpower.

Michelle Garcia Winner, the Founder of Social Thinking, says:

Between the gorgeous illustrations and the incredible insights, the information provided within this storybook provides a powerhouse of information to help kids develop a growth mindset. Hey Warrior helps kids make sense of their anxiety, while also being encouraged to see it in a positive light. For our little scientists, the role of our brain’s amygdala is described as our personal warrior helping us to be prepared to battle any perceived threats. The author explains that anxiety “is amazing but it doesn’t always feel amazing” because your “fierce warrior is working for you, even at times when you don’t need protecting.” The author goes on to explain that as bossy as your amygdala can be, it works best when you (the child) insist on being the boss. She provides a strategy to help kids practice being ready to keep their warrior in control as needed.

I love how this storybook helps kids learn about their anxiety in a manner that helps them understand its role in our lives while also learning how to not let it take over our lives. Learning about one’s own internal experiences and how to manage them is the ultimate cognitive behavioral teaching. Young readers will not only learn about their own brains, but understand how they can learn to manage their internal reactions.

This book pairs well with The Zones of Regulation by Leah Kuypers, The Power of Thought on Feelings by Jack Pransky and Amy Kahofer and The Whole-Brain Child series by Dan Seigel and Tina Payne Bryson. It complements all aspects of the Social Thinking® Methodology because this little gem empowers students to learn aspects of executive functions, including self-regulation, by learning about one’s emotional self. This helps individuals meet whatever goal they set for themselves, even if their goal makes them anxious!

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