Summer Macon

Age range: Preschool through 2nd grade.
Recommended for: This book is the only one that I’ve found that specifically addresses intrusive thoughts, which some children experience as their primary symptom of OCD (as in “Pure O” OCD). Using a visual metaphor of thoughts as different colored balloons, it validates how ineffective it is to try avoid an unwanted thought, and it encourages children to look directly at a thought in order to recognize that perhaps it’s not as big as a child feared. It veers from there to encouraging a child to “catch” other types of thoughts instead (lovely thoughts, calm thoughts, true thoughts). I have a few reservations about the way that the book talks about these thoughts (they’re labeled “good thoughts”), but with a thoughtful discussion, this book presents a helpful exercise to take the fear out of intrusive thoughts and to help a child to practice a mindfulness exercise of choosing which thoughts to catch and which to let go.