The word that kept coming to my mind whilst I was reading this book was 'delightful.' That may seem like a 'strange and curious' word to describe a book about trauma, however, the book really is a delight to read. The eye-catching cover design and quirky illustrations by Emmi Smid and the carefully considered layout of the book complements a very skilled explanation of what we have learnt about how our bodies react to trauma.

Sally Donovan has woven key elements of neuroscience, attachment theory and trauma informed care into an easily understandable and fun to read book. She uses playful storytelling to explain to her readers what occurs in the brain and body when a person experiences threats to their survival.

Whilst the book is aimed at children aged 8 -12 years, my daughter who is an older teenager enjoyed reading it. She feels the book simplifies the impact of trauma in a way which allows a younger audience to understand it. She enjoyed the metaphors and comparisons used, as it explained to her what trauma is, and what trauma responses could look like.

As I was reading this book, I wished it was published when I first started learning about attachment and trauma! Whilst it is aimed at children, it gives such clear explanations, which I think many adults could use as an introduction to learning about attachment and trauma. As a social worker and trainee counsellor, this book will be a valuable resource to me in educating others about the impact of trauma. 

I hope this book will become a trusted companion for anyone caring for and working with children and for children themselves. I certainly will be adding this to my toolkit and to our resources library at Caldecott Fostering.

Jackie Neil, Registered Manager, Caldecott Fostering

The Strange and Curious Guide to Trauma, Sally Donovan/Emmi Smid (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) 2022

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