Click here to listen to the podcast

with book reviewer Ken Williams from

 'Reading with a Chance of Tacos'

Here's what readers had to say . . .

Brain Tricks is invaluable for supporting children who hurt deeply from major change in their lives.  Learning a little about the science behind physical and emotional pain gives children understanding of their own pain and enables them to develop some control over their reactions.  Brain Tricks is beautifully illustrated and easy to read for even very young readers and allows for deeper discussion for the older child.  Brain Tricks will be a great resource for the Seasons for Growth programme.

Sue Devereux - Master Trainer, Seasons for Growth, Aotearoa - New Zealand

It is a great insight to our brain, it has also talked about loops that I need help with.

I think I will need to use some of the ideas that they have written about. 

Declan - is a 14 year old with autism and uses a letter board to communicate

I read the book at dinner to the whole family and the kids (aged 6, 8 and 10) listened intently the whole way through.  We went around the table and all of us (kids and parents) identified which of the unhelpful options each of us uses in order to avoid our pain.  It was one of those fabulous family discussions in which people were being real, realising things about themselves and listening to each other.

The humour makes the book so appealing to kids; the words and illustrations match each other marvellously and the truth contained in it is so important for us all to grasp.

E. H - Parent

We all experience pain. It comes in all sorts of forms, both physical, (skinned knees, hands or

bumps and bruises), and emotional (embarrassment, sadness, worry, or fear – just to name a few).

It’s this emotional pain that is sometimes the hardest to deal with, but your brain can do tricks

to help you.  Brain Tricks stresses that we are all different and we deal with the many types of pain

we experience, in different ways.  But dealing with it is the most important thing.  Don’t hide it.

Ask for help with it.  Brain Tricks shows children how to deal with painful feelings and

the solutions provided are plenty, simple and easy for all ages to grasp.

There is sure to be something in here for everyone.  A wonderful resource for home and school.

Adele Broadbent -

‘Brain Tricks’ uses simple and relatable scenarios to help children understand what is

happening in their brains and bodies when they experience emotional pain.

The book unpacks the emotions of sadness, disappointment, anger and embarrassment for a junior audience, making it a useful resource for reassuring children as they navigate intense feelings.

The illustrations by Lisa Allen cleverly reinforce the concepts of how our thinking forms.

Both children and adults will identify with the humorous drawings that show the way our

brain uses tricks and cover-ups to keep us from pain. Using even ‘trickier tricks’,

readers can learn other ways to respond when emotions begin to take over. 

This is book ideal for reading alongside primary school children and will be popular

with parents, teachers, librarians and counsellors. 

Michele Coombridge - Library Manager, Pinehurst School, Auckland