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  • Author : Jill Osborne
  • Illustrator : Kevin Collier
  • ISBN-10: 1932690603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932690606

Sam Feels Better Now! is a soft cover book catered to children, ideally of age group 4-10, who has gone through a traumatic situation. The interative story book is meant to help this group of readers manage their own feelings and overcome  their trauma or grief.

In Sam Feels Better Now!, the main character Sam saw something awful and scary! Ms. Carol is the special therapist who will show Sam how to feel better. The author has incorporated activities such as drawings and play within the storyline so that it will be easier for the the child who reads the book to open up and identify himself/herself to the story. Personally, I felt that the book would work best as a tool for therapists or caregivers who may be working with children who have experienced a variety of traumatic events. Parents on the other hand, may find this as a good guide book to work with their traumatized children at home.

When I interviewed author Jill Osborne recently, I asked her “In your opinion, what makes your book stand out from other trauma books catered for children?

Here’s what she had to say:

Sam Feels Better Now stands out from other trauma books for several reasons. It is a fully illustrated picture book with activities woven throughout. Many of the activities are written from the main character, Sam’s perspective in order to create some distance between the child and his or her experience. It is meant to be used as a metaphor for the child’s experience. This is helpful because there are many children who may not be ready to tell their experience directly, either because of their stage of development, or other reasons. The book is set up so that it can prepare a child to at the end begin to tell his or her own story by teaching coping techniques, such as relaxation and feelings identification. The idea is to allow the child to feel like they are helping the main character, Sam to feel better, but at the same time learn how to cope themselves.

About Jill Osborne – Jill Osborne 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.

BUY IT : Sam Feels Better Now! is available for purchase at Amazon.

Here are excerpts from the reviews posted on the blogs of our Parent Reviewers. Just click on the respective link to access to the full reviews:

Momma FindingsIn summary, Sam Feels Better Now can be described as a “Mini-Session” of therapy for your child without leaving the house. In fact, my son asked me before bed, “Mom, can we buy 20 of those books for every time I get scared?” As his Mother, I realized that the activities, the storyline, and the relaxation techniques he learned helped him dramatically and will be a path we return to when the next fearful event unfolds.

Mott’s Island – Overall, it is an excellent resource book that incorporates play therapy and expressive techniques that are easy for children to understand and relate to. Definitely will be re-read again and again!

All Because Two People Fell In Love – I feel that “Sam Feels Better Now!” would be an excellent resource for therapists who work with children. This book allows the child to hear the story of another child who has had a bad experience and the child to feel like they are not alone in their situtation. As the child participates in the activities, the therapist will be able to gain more information about the incident that the child has expereinced because it provides the child with a comfortable environment that they are more likely to open up and discuss their problems in. The book also includes a helpful guide for therapists to assist them while using this book. It also includes a helpful list of references and resources. This book is a totally awesome resource!

Rambling Moo – I find that this book is quite good as it gives parents or guardians some basic guides to deal with their kids’ feelings. Every kid has different feelings and the different ways to deal with them so it is only appropriate that we, as the parents find the appropriate solutions to help them, to cope in many instances.

Atomic Mama – I recommend the book to anyone dealing with children and scary situations. I’m going to tell my husband’s command Chaplain about this book also; I think it’s an excellent resource.

3 P’s Mama Says – 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.

Amanda – Samantha had a nice time coloring the pages and talking about why she was scared of the Bees. After going through the book, and following it step by step, Sam feels much better, and is not scared of the Bees.

Maria’s Space – I believe this is a great book for ages 4-14 even though the book is geared toward 4-7. The characters are sweet, colorful, non-threatening with big caring eyes.

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.

Great book for a child about to enter therapy or for a parent trying to find out more about their child. Also, a great resource for therapists.

The Pond – Sam Feels Better Now is a wonderful tool that therapists can use to help children retrieve their innocence and enjoy their lives.

It’s All About Play – Now, Karl feels much better. He told me he is not afraid of the “monkey in the window” anymore. After going through the activities in the book with him, he sort of found a way to forget the scary monkey by replacing that image with something friendlier – the monkey in Kung Fu Panda! Phew, am I relieved!

Chanel’s Journal – After going through the book, Mummy was very impressed on how great the book was written interactively just for children to help them to overcome all these negative feelings in a gentle and loving way but effective. The structure of the whole process was very systematic from helping the kids to express their feelings, to understand their feelings and to help them to overcome their feelings. All these were done in different activities which includes drawings, play and story telling.

Yenjai – As the book has quite a few pages, in my own opinion, you will take multiple sessions to finish the book. My seven-year-old son like the colouring part the most. He had a good time doing the exercise.

For obvious reason, there are multiple parts in the book which he fail to comprehend. This is where the caregiver comes in. We need to put in intense effort to explain to him the wording and the logic of the exercise.

Shake The Salt – This interactive story / picture book makes a wonderful guide for children working with a therapist to find a positive outlook that may have been overshadowed by a traumatic experience and to help them work through and past feelings of fear and uneasiness.

Value Book Shop’s Reading Notes – this is not a book you would cuddle up and read with your child. It is a resource book to help children deal with traumatic stress. Ideally, it should be used by a professional therapist as part of a trauma therapy but regular parents like me could benefit from learning what it’s all about too.

Life From My Laptop – It is a very useful resource for anyone who has a child who has gone through a traumatic experience.  Giving them a way to work through their feelings that they will enjoy and understand as they draw the things they witnessed, depictions of their emotions and other things and talk them through with their parent or their parent and a therapist. This book can be used alone with your child or through your relationship with a trained professional.  Either way it will definitely be a useful tool in dealing with your child’s feelings.

Mom of 2 Dancers – The interactive exercises involve have the child draw pictures that relate to the story. Sam also gets to talk about his emotions. The story continues with the child helping Sam by listing their own personal resources that he can utilize. These involve identifying people and places that he can go to help get him through the scary times. There are also exercises to help the child identify their emotions and to help them get started with telling their own story. Through the pictures and exercises, kids can start to learn to cope with their own trauma. Really an excellent book.

Right Reads Having counselled teenagers who come from troubled homes, I would have found “Sam Feels Better” useful even in my discussions with these tensed, withdrawn teens. Because children tend to clam up after a traumatic event, drawing and colouring offer them a more comfortable and less threatening way to express their feelings.

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Categories: Book Reviews

One Response so far.

  1. 1
    Margot Finke says:

    Jill Osborne is a terrific writer. I love this book of hers(Sam Feels Better Now),and I am so happy to see such nice comments about it on this Blog. “Sam” will help lots of kids!

    As a fellow children’s writer, I know only too well all the time, talent, and work Jill put into making this into a great and helpful story book.

    Margot Finke
    “Rattlesnake Jam”
    (Reluctant reader friendly)
    Fun with Gran & Pa

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