The Joy Thief is definitely a resourceful tool for adults and children alike to discuss negative feelings and find joy.
Disclosure: I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
The Joy Thief! is a story that helps children and adults to discover more about a subject that is often difficult to understand. Demonstrating the subjectivity of trauma, The Joy Thief! highlights how a seemingly ordinary occurrence can have a significant impact upon the wellbeing of a child, particularly if left unaddressed.
Challenging the idea that trauma only occurs during more “serious” incidents, The Joy Thief! leads us to conclude that such occurrences, or rather our responses to them, may be more significant for children’s mental health than we would perhaps like to admit.
The story of The Joy Thief! encourages help-seeking, while challenging adults to consider the way they handle such situations.
The story is written in a person-centred fashion, seeking to normalize a range of outcomes that children may experience following a traumatic experience – including the little-acknowledged phenomena of imaginary “friends.”
Whilst highlighting positive themes of intersectional persity, The Joy Thief! also challenges us to consider issues of parental absence, inattention, and invalidation within the context of the needs of children.
Above all, The Joy Thief! is a story of hope.
“This book demonstrates beautifully a gentle reminder to parents about the way that children can perceive the world and then models to children how talking about difficult things helps. Supporting better mental health and wellbeing for children is invariably about how the adults around the child respond to what is so often in front of our noses, yet we fail to always see.” — Lisa Cherry, schools, services & systems consultant, and author on trauma-informed & relationship focused practice (Twitter: @_LisaCherry)
“The Joy Thief! is a joy to read and is a beautifully illustrated book with inviting and fun colours. The language is simple, using the idea of rhymes to communicate the powerful and crucial message of children sharing their fears and worries with a trusted grown up, so they can get rid of their Joy Thief and be happy. Learning to share our innermost anxieties and not hold onto trauma is an essential lesson that we need to teach at an increasingly early age.” — Deborah Somerset, safeguarding trainer and trauma-informed consultant. (Twitter: @DLSSafeguarding)
“Sean McCallum has written a lovely book with vivid colors, rhyming text and a message. He describes how the unexpected appearance of spider frightens a young girl and the subsequent distress that builds up with repeated suppression of the memory. With psychological underpinnings, this book explores the impact of keeping upsetting thoughts pent up as well as the benefit of being able to share them with someone you trust. Highly recommended.” –Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Board Certified Psychologist, author of Please Explain Anxiety to Me and Please Explain Alzheimer’s to Me
From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com
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These books are always really cute, short, well illustrated books that are easy for kids to read and understand.
The Joy Thief rhymes – something I always enjoy in a children’s book, and talks about a time when the child is scared. At the moment of the fear, there is also a slammed door by a parent, and what I feel is a conditioned response occurs. A slammed door equates to fear.
Personally, I feel using the term trauma in the title was a bit misleading. As an adult with a wide array of trauma in my past; the conditioning of fear from a spider and slamming a door does not equate to trauma. I felt that fear would be a better suited word than trauma. I personally feel that what the little girl experienced was not trauma but again, that is my personal opinion.
What occurs with the character of the book is most certainly relevant and it is fear and there was the conditioned response of further fear from the door slamming. The concept of a Joy Thief puts the entire situation and feelings into a perspective that not only makes those emotions easier to explain for an adult, but also makes it so much easier for a child to understand.
The Joy Thief took the little girls joy and she finds a way to take away the power of the Joy Thief and find her joy again.
Overall, I found this to be a cute book that can help adults and children alike, with negative emotions and discussing things or events that steal someone’s joy. It is also a way to open a line of communication on what brings one joy and how to take back the power from the Joy Thief so that one can be happy again.
This is definitely a must for parents, therapists – even teachers to have in their classrooms to help children discuss feelings of fear or other negative feelings that take away their happiness. It will definitely be a resourceful tool!
Enjoy these excerpts!A Firefighter within the U.K. Fire & Rescue Service, Sean is also an Infantry Veteran of the Iraq War of 2003. A specialist in crisis intervention, Sean developed the ‘CRISIS Schema®’ – an evolutionary model of psychological first aid, now in use by practitioners across 4 of the world’s continents. Sean is also a director of Eudemonics CIC, a non-profit agency helping people and organisations to recover from psychological trauma. Coordinating community programmes supporting military veterans, victims of domestic abuse, and people enduring addiction, Sean lives in Nottinghamshire, England, with his partner Caron and their daughters Morgan and Isla.
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