Wholeness Healing Today

Book Review Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog

I recently had the opportunity to read a great little book for children, Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog by Regina McCarthy. This is McCarthy’s first book and is a nice read to guide children through owning their emotions and empowering them to set some boundaries.

Gilbert struggled in front of his class, sitting at lunch, usually alone, and was made fun of when he sang. Most kids can identify with these situations or similar ones. After one upsetting incident, he sought solace outside the classroom, by the Old Oak Tree. The Tree listened to him and helped him practice something new: breathing.

With a great little poem about breathing, Old Tree guided Gilbert into trying again, which he did the next day. He was disappointed as he still had a physical reaction and returned to consult the Old Oak Tree. This time the Tree helped him identify feelings he was having, as well as where those feelings exist within his body.

Gilbert continued to do the work with his feelings, allowing guidance and then practicing the release and expression of those feelings. He continued to also practice breathing, and he began practicing saying aloud what he needed,
finding the courage to set boundaries with those who were not being nice to him. He began implementing those strategies in life, at school, with friends, empowering himself.

McCarthy’s poem about breathing will help kids easily get into controlling and calming, while the practice of expressing feelings can only open up a dialogue allowing permission to express those feelings. It would be a nice addition to classroom reading or for grandparents to curl up and read to visiting grandchildren.

Works Cited:

McCarthy, Regina. (2015).Courageous gilbert the groundhog. Blue House Healing Books. Elgin, IL.

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  • Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist

  • Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.


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