Indie book a month - Actually, I can

29 July 2013 / 2 comments

Actually, I can is Nicky Johnston’s third book that helps children deal with anxiety, following on from Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! and Happythoughts are everywhere ….  Nicky is the author and illustrator and self-published the first two books, but this new picture book Actually, I can has been published by Melbourne small press Rough Draft.

Nicky’s son had signs of anxiety when he was young, so she initially wrote the first book to help her son and other young children experiencing these types of difficulties. There is now a theatre production of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! touring schools.

Having two young children myself, one who is three and does seem to fret a bit when things don’t go quite right, I was quite keen to see how Nicky tackled this problem of anxiety in children. Actually, I can is a sweet story about two children, one Amelia, who is happy and carefree, and the other is Connor who is cautious about everything and a ‘worry bunny’. The story is told sensitively and imaginatively, with a nice twist at the end that shows Connor that actually, he can.

I read the book to my daughter who is nearly six and asked her afterwards what she understood it was about, and she knew right away that it was about a boy who was afraid and worried about things, but just needed a bit of help to not be so worried anymore. So I think that Nicky has done a really good job communicating this idea to children.

I must admit that I’m perhaps wary of some of the things that Connor is wary of … like my garden shed, I can’t stand the place, I think it’s full of spiders, I can hardly look around in there. So if my kids were to go near it, I’d probably be telling them to be careful and to watch out. So this book reminded me not to project my own fears on my children and to encourage them to be adventurous, like Amelia.


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  2. This story has advantages for children who face many anxieties in their life. Nicky Johnston’s third book writes for their own children, which face an anxieties situation in their life. The book is very good for all the children who want to live happy in life click site and see this more story about the child.


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