Reviewed by By Charlotte Gatehouse
OCD is an anxiety disorder, the condition effects as many as 12 in 1000 people (ocduk.org) many of those people are young children and these anxieties and obsessive behaviours have increased over the pandemic for many children.
I received 2 children’s books- Hank the Hungry Monster and Trixie the Treat Monster written by Julie Derrick to raise awareness of OCD.
I was interested to read the books and see what they offered as a resource, I work with children and am always pleased to have more tools at hand for support with mental health.
Hank the Hungry Monster is the tale of a power hungry mind monster who controls a girl called Annabelle by putting worrying thoughts in her head and making her follow commands or obsessive behaviour (in this case washing her face 3 times) to make her feel better only the behaviour then becomes repetitive. Annabelle’s teacher identifies the behaviour and teaches her how to drown out Hank’s voice in her head.
Trixie the Treat Monster is the second story in the Mind Monsters series. Trixie is Hank’s opposite, she is a good monster that changes thought patterns. This story focuses on a boy called Leo who obsessively counts when playing football to ensure he plays well. Trixie uses positive thoughts to replace the negative ones and the book highlights the importance of talking to someone about your anxieties and the effectiveness of using treats to reinforce positive behaviours which in this case was going for pizza if Leo didn’t obsessively count.
The books are beautifully illustrated by Glen Holman the pictures are vibrant and the monsters are imaginative. The stories themselves do an excellent job of explaining OCD in a way a child can understand and hopefully help provide the tools to manage these behaviours, at the very least it’s a great resource to start the conversation and open the door to getting more help.
It’s very commendable that 50% of the proceeds are donated to The Community Intensive Therapy Team- a specialist team within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, a very worthy and relevant cause.
This book would be a brilliant addition to any school library and a wonderful read for families going through OCD to create an openness and understanding around the condition. The books are aimed at Primary School aged children and do a fantastic job at explaining OCD and how to squash behaviours at the most basic level. The writer clearly has a good understanding and experience with the topic in hand and that really shines through with the sensitivity of the writing and empathy she has for the characters.
Hank the Hungry Monster is available to buy from Amazon for £6.99 and Trixie the Treat Monster for £9.99 I’m not sure why they are different prices as they are both of the same size and quality. I would say £6.99 would be a fair price. The books themselves are paperback and are decent quality they are also available to purchase on a kindle.
RRP: £6.99 (Hank the Hungry Monster) and £9.99 (Trixie the Treat Monster)