The best picture books that inspire children to be happy with who they are

Who am I?

I was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, but inherited ‘travelling DNA’ from my sailor father which has led to a life of work and travel around the globe. In addition to being an audiologist and teacher, I am also the author (and sometimes illustrator) of 15 children’s picture books. Many of my books have been inspired by the special children I have had the privilege to work with as both an audiologist and teacher. My books are on a variety of topics including childhood hearing loss, dysgraphia and writing challenges, bullying and forgiveness, learning English as an additional language, and positive self-image. Some of my books are written to evoke giggles and belly laughs. 


I wrote...

Book cover of Hair Peace

What is my book about?

Johanita is a young girl of African descent who does not like her hair. She has short, tight, kinky curls but wants hair like other girls at school because she believes it will make her more beautiful. When she goes to the mall with her mother one day, Johanita discovers a salon full of wigs. She proceeds to try on different wigs and wears one to school each day to match with her 'twin.' After a new girl starts school, Johanita discovers that beauty comes in many forms and it isn’t your hair that makes you beautiful. Hair Peace was inspired by the beautiful women and girls of Cameroon, Africa.  It is a book about positive self-image and perceptions of beauty.  

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Not-So-Great Zoo Swap Shop

Dawn Doig Why did I love this book?

A wonderful book that celebrates the beauty of diversity. Our world is full of people (and animals!) who do not look the same whether it be the colour of their skin, the shape of their eyes, or the length of their limbs. These people bring with them a vast range of talents, abilities, and creativity. How boring our world would be if everyone looked the same and could do all the same things! The illustrator did a fantastic job bringing this story to life and the author did a fabulous job with the rhyming text. A lovely book that is sure to be enjoyed by anyone who ventures to open the pages.

By Cora Lydon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Not-So-Great Zoo Swap Shop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zebra's desperate to blend in like a chameleon. Penguin yearns for a cheetah's speed. When the chance to swap their key traits and characteristics arises will these zoo animals learn they're perfect just as they are?

When tiger announces the swap shop has arrived the animals rush to have their wishes granted. However, they soon find out that what they desire comes with unexpected consequences. Will zebra ever get his stripes back? And can warthog convince the animals that not every wish needs to come true?

Sometimes we should be careful what we wish for and learn to love ourselves.…


Book cover of Eddie The World's Greatest Creature

Dawn Doig Why did I love this book?

A delightful rhyming book that starts off with a dog, Kenny, asking his master, “Eddie, if you could be any animal, what would you be?” Children will thoroughly enjoy following along as Eddie acquires the features of different animals and morphs into a very magnificent, but strange creature. The author has deliberately changed the colour of the font and text to highlight the features that have been adopted from different animals as well as some of the actions that go along with them. An interesting touch that is effective as it will draw a child’s attention to the words! The illustrations are vibrant and really help bring each animal and the ‘new’ creature to life.    

By Kayleigh Mackie, Fx and Color Studio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eddie The World's Greatest Creature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award Winning Picture Book.In his quest to become the world's greatest creature, can Eddie learn to be himself? A charming picture book with an important message, full of fun rhymes and delightful illustrations. You'll be following Eddie swooping and looping, stumbling and tumbling, and splashing and dashing as he attempts to become the world's greatest creature. Can Eddie be the greatest? Who does he choose to be in the end?


Book cover of I Am Purpose

Dawn Doig Why did I love this book?

Cute story about a little seed named Purpose who wants to be a tree. I love the picture where he looks so tiny next to the flower and he is holding a leaf in each hand with a sprout coming out of his head. He is oblivious to the fact that what he longs for is already growing inside him. The author has done a wonderful job incorporating the special “talents” of nature to counsel Purpose about the true potential that dwells within him. A great story for children who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. This story would also be great for adults who doubt their abilities or question their potential. A source of inspiration for all ages

By Icia Ragsdale, Zsade Fleming (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Purpose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I am Purpose is a fictional children's book that uses nature to share in the journey of a seed, Purpose, in hopes of becoming a tree. Purpose must navigate his way, while expressing emotions in a manner that teaches children to do the same. In addition to helping children develop and expand their emotional vocabulary, I am Purpose illustrates how to persevere until the end.


Book cover of Inspiring Children to Never Give Up

Dawn Doig Why did I love this book?

Beautiful story. I loved the ‘real’ letters from children around the world to little Julia. Children with any kind of ‘different ability’ need these kinds of stories to inspire and encourage them. A positive self-image goes a long way toward loving oneself. Children who are self-conscious because of how they look or because of a visible physical disability/challenge need to be reassured that there are things they can do and challenges they can overcome.  

By Argyro Graphy, Michael Reyes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inspiring Children to Never Give Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We are pleased to announce that the NEW upgraded version of our 5-book series is now available. 

On this adventure Bentley and his friends meet children that have special needs. Listening to them talk about their own struggles, Bentley and the others reveal that they too have challenges. The children are all surprised. Looking out through a hospital room window is Julia, a sad little girl having treatment and wishing she could be outside with her friends. Bentley spots her and comes up with a plan to cheer her up

A heart-warming story of resilience, friendship, strength, and love

Children…


Book cover of Who are You?

Dawn Doig Why did I love this book?

An oldie but a goodie. This is a lovely book about every child being unique and interesting. It builds in that each child is special and only that child can live the life they are given – nobody else. It involves school, names, playing, food, as well as self-image. A great book for younger children with a fantastic message.

By Joan and Roger Bradfield, Melanie Fitch (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who are You? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

Book cover of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Antonieta Contreras Author Of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a trauma therapist and dedicated researcher, I love uncovering valuable insights within lesser-known books. There are hidden gems, free from the pressure of commercial success, crafted by authors deeply committed to research, understanding, and the art of writing itself. Their dedication resonates with me, as I believe in the profound value of information and the power of critical thinking. Through my own book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath, I aim to emphasize that psychological concepts often lose their depth in translation and my mission is spreading awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of trauma and its intricate facets. With that idea in mind, I chose these five titles. 

Antonieta's book list on uncovering the human experience and exploring the depths of trauma

What is my book about?

A fresh take on the difference between trauma and hardship in order to help accurately spot the difference and avoid over-generalizations.

The book integrates the latest findings in brain science, child development, psycho-social context, theory, and clinical experiences to make the case that trauma is much more than a cluster of symptoms to be tamed, but instead best understood as development gone off course, away from growth and towards (only) survival.

This book prompts a profound shift in perception, inviting to view trauma as an intricate and diverse experience, a point of view that ultimately leads to sharper treatment and, hopefully, more healing. It encourages a transition from asking, "What happened to you?" to the deeper question, "What is your relationship with what happened to you?"

Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

What is this book about?

The book is comprehensive, bold, and practical-a much-needed resource for the assessment and treatment of trauma. Instead of the traditional focus on the overall importance of healing, Traumatization and its Aftermath decodes why some people don't heal as easily as others, analyzes the various failures of diagnosis, and explains how to make therapeutic interventions truly effective.

This book offers a systemic deep dive into traumatization that clarifies myths and misinformation about the entire spectrum of trauma and provides both clinicians and non-clinicians with the right level of validation, preventive measures, conceptualization methodology, assessment tools, and healing facts that have not…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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