Shona accidentally wrote some children’s books….

Some letters, notes and badly drawn pictures that Shona posted off to the children she had seen in sessions have been turned into beautiful picture books. Published by The Five mile Press the books have made their way around the world. The series has been translated into multiple languages; French, Dutch, Chinese, Hungarian, and most recently Japanese.

The Big Hug books is a series of beautifully illustrated picture books which deals with emotive issues that children face in direct and gentle terms, allowing children’s feelings and problems to be more easily shared and discussed with family and friends 

The Big Hug Books are a series of picture books designed to gently talk about topics that many find emotional. Each of the stories has grown from psychological sessions with children (and sometimes with grown ups) to help them understand and talk about complex emotional situations in simple and gentle ways. Each book includes some notes for parents or teachers that can be used to guide the ways they assist their children and students. Psychologists and students of psychology will recognise the evidence-based strategies the Big Hug Books promote

Signed copies of the Big Hug Books by Shona Innes can be purchased from our practice. Please call 0400 150 106 or by clicking on the titles below and following the prompts.

Follow the link to hear Shona chat about the Big Hug book series: Shona talks…..3 steps to get most out of a Big Hug book


Your Mind is Like a Garden (Mindfulness)  

Your mind is a bit like an amazing garden. A garden has lots of tracks and paths that lead in different directions. It has wide open spaces where we can create and play. A garden has places to grow things and do work. It has clever parts that help us to grow and learn.

Anger is Like Armour 

Anger is a strong and powerful thing. It brings us lots of energy and can tell us that something is not right or that we have a problem. Anger is one of the ways our amazing bodies can protect and take care of us. Anger is a bit like armour.



Life is like the Wind

Life is like the wind focuses on the complexities around death, loss and grief. It acknowledges the range of feelings associated with losing a loved one whether human or non-human. This book aims to help children not to be frightened of their reactions, but to explore their beliefs, acknowledge that others may have different ideas and then work out the ways they want to acknowledge their loss and their feelings.


The Playground is like a Jungle

The playground is like the jungle was written with a view to opening young minds to the rich variety of human personalities that exist in their world. Readers are encouraged to take time to observe the behaviours and moods of others and to make wise and safer choices about play mates. The strategies promoted encourage tolerance and acceptance of interpersonal different and wise choices with respect to interpersonal safety

I have put together some teachers’ notes to accompany “The Playground is Like the Jungle”. These notes were designed with the Australian Curriculum in mind, but the activities and worksheets can also be used in therapy sessions with children. I hope you and the children you share them with enjoy them! I’d love to hear about your experiences utilising the Big Hug books and these notes. 

Friendship is like a SeeSaw

Friendship is Like a seesaw explores the ups and downs that occur in friendships, or indeed, in many other kinds of relationships. This book acknowledges that even the healthiest of friendships can have their tricky moments.


The Internet is like a Puddle

The Internet is like a Puddle attends to the wonderful aspects of electronic communication as well as gently discusses some of the possible pitfalls of sharing, chatting and using data. There is a need to be mindful of those who are naive to the potential problems without denying them the wonderful opportunities. The Internet is like a Puddle describes ways to stay safe and enjoy learning and chatting time on the Internet and to keep life balanced.


A Family is like a Cake

Cakes are made from many different ingredients to create something unique, delicious and amazing. A family is a lot like a cake. Families come in all shapes and sizes. They are the people who help us feel that we belong. Families give us help, support and love… even when we are apart from them. When we are with our family, we feel like we are home.


Love is like a Tree

Love is a special and growing thing. It’s a little bit like a tree – a special magical tree – that you can climb up into, nest comfortably in its big branches, and safely watch the world go by. Love can come in different shapes and sizes. Like a tree, love can grow and grow…


Worries are like Clouds

Worries are like Clouds compares worries to the weather, acknowledging that some days are wonderful, filled with golden sunlight that calls us outside to run and jump and play with fresh air on our faces. But some days are not so wonderful and can be a bit tough.


You are like You

You are like you looks at all the different things that make up the very special person that is ‘you’. From physical attributes to feelings, thoughts and ideas, this book explores the different aspects of what it means to be a unique individual