Maia and the Worry Bug (NZ)
This is an easily read book for children aged 6 to 10, designed to be read by parents and primary school children together. The story unfolds how anxiety, in the form of a worry bug, arrives at Maia's house and takes over. The more attention the family members give to the worry bug the larger it gets, until a young neighbour points out what is happening. The family then talk about what they can do together to manage their anxiety and take back control of their lives. This book is the second in an anxiety management resource ? the other Wishes and Worries is for classroom use. The story in this book provides a focused way to discuss anxiety that would also greatly benefit many parents, including those with limited literacy. The strength of the book is how it externalises the problem of anxiety, so family members don't feel blamed or stigmatised. It is beautifully illustrated and shows appropriate emotional expressions by the characters, so the reader can relate well to the story and the feelings that are evoked. It may be too long for most children to read at one time and is probably more suited to children experiencing anxiety triggered by natural disasters such as earthquakes. There are also eleven pages of guided exercises which provides plenty of prompts for family discussion and actions, likely to benefit families experiencing anxiety.