Shona’s letters to children become beautiful picture books to share….

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.

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 psychology 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 talk with their children and students. 

Psychologists and students of psychology will recognise the evidence-based strategies the Big Hug Books promote.

Anger is Like Armour. Anger is an emotion that lets us know that things are not how they should be. Rather than getting rid of anger, the focus needs to be on listening to, or being aware of, our anger so that we can use the angry feelings as a cue for appropriate action.

Anger is a bit like Armour

People use armour to protect themselves from getting hurt…..

We need to listen to how our anger is warning us that there is trouble, then try to work out a good way to fix the trouble…


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Your Mind is Like a Garden Learning to be more mindful, to pay attention to how we feel in a given moment and to the thoughts, feelings and sensations in our body is very beneficial. Mindfulness, if mastered, can help us re-boot when we are overwhelmed, to be able to focus and flow from one task to another and allows us to interact more compassionately with others

Our mind is like a garden

It has clever parts that help us to grow and learn

It has places where we can create and have fun

It has places to keep and remember things…..

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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.

Some days are so wonderful we wish we could just bottle them

But other days we don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Worries are like clouds that float in and take the shine out of the day.

Moving worries away can make even the toughest day feel better….

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You are Like You looks at all the different things that make up the very special person that is ‘You’.

You are the only you there is.

There are many amazing and special parts that go into making you who YOU are.

Your amazing body has many parts that you can move and feel and see, and even more parts deep inside where you can’t see

All these parts – the big ones and the little ones – all work together to make the amazing unique person that is YOU…

You are like You_COVER

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Life is Like the Wind is a book about grief and loss.

Life is a little bit like the wind.

When the wind leaves, kites stop soaring, fur stops flying and trees stop fluttering.

But where does the wind go?

And where does life go when it leaves the body…..

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Friendship is Like a See Saw is a book about friends and relationships.

Friendship is a little bit like a seesaw.

When a seesaw is even on both sides, it is balanced.

But sometimes you might feel up in the air

when your friend feels low.

Other times, you might feel low when your friend is up.

So how is it possible to get a balanced friendship….


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The Playground is Like the Jungle is about making safe friendship choices in the playground.  Teachers’ notes for The Playground is Like the Jungle are available here.

Playgrounds are a little bit like a jungle.

When lots of different creatures come together in one place, things can get really wild and adventurous.

The playground can teach us how to get along with others and learn how to be ourselves….

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The Internet is Like a Puddle is a book about playing safely on the internet.

The internet can be an amazing tool and a fun place to be.

But the internet can be a bit like a great big puddle.

Some puddles look shallow on top, but they are actually really deep underneath.

We need to make sure we play safely in the internet puddle.

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Love is Like a Tree is for children and parents who are managing life in a separated family.

Love is a special and growing thing.

It is 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….


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A Family is Like a Cake celebrates families in all of their different shapes and forms and speaks to the importance of safety, love, discipline and support.

Families come in all shapes and sizes.

They are the people who help us feel like 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.

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