DANIEL’S DREAMS:MONSTER MOUNTAIN

Daniel is a young boy from a ‘normal’ family. He is shy, quiet and worries about things in life. Unlike his sister Darcie, who is outgoing, loud, and confident. Daniel loves bedtime because his imagination, through his dreams, takes him on adventures, where he meets new people and visits new places. His journeys are always something he enjoys. One night, a monster appears in his bedroom, who takes him on an adventure to Monster Mountain. Daniel has always thought monsters were scary, but tonight he learns that they are just like humans; they have feelings and they too worry about things in their lives. When Daniel arrives in Monster Mountain, he is over awed by how beautiful and unique it is. Dex introduces Daniel to his monster friends. Daniel quickly notices that each monster is individual and unique. Whilst at Monster Mountain, Daniel helps one of the monsters, Shelley, who is really struggling with anxiety. This is something Daniel relates to as he too is worrying about something at school. Daniel teaches Shelley different ways to cope with her anxiety. He, too, must use these skills to get over his own worries about school. Can he overcome his worries and apply the strategies to cope?

Genre: Children book/Mental Health

Age appropriate: 5+

Number of Pages: 76 pages

Date of Publication: 07/01/2021

Author/Illustrator/Publisher:

The author of this book is Leanne Brown, who is a qualified secondary school teacher, who has specialised in special educational needs, and is now focusing on writing children’s books based on mental health issues that arise in children. The illustrations were created by Yogesh Mahajan

Rating: 5/5

Review:  

I was absolutely blown away by this book. Mental Health is a very important topic and having a book for children than explores subjects like anxiety, sadness and worry in such a way that children can understand and relate to is just amazing.

The story centres on a boy call Daniel who is feeling anxious about an assembly that is going to take place at his school and where he is going to speak in front of a big audience. The night before he is looking forward to going to sleep as he loves dreaming and having new adventures. This time he visits Monster Mountain where he meets some monsters that are not so different from him and who are meeting in an assembly to share their feelings and what they are up to.

This is just the perfect story for children with beautiful, fun and colourful illustrations. There is so much wisdom in this book, from accepting people for who they are and their qualities, never judging anyone just because of how they look, to being yourself and to learn to cope with your anxieties. Everyone has their own personality and it is important to accept them for who they are and this is a lesson that children need to hear. It is important for children to understand that is ok to be happy sometimes and sad others and this story shows them just that and also reassures them that it is ok to share their feelings with the people that care for them like family and friends and that sharing your feelings is a great way to feel better.

Friendship is another topic that this book focuses on and how friends should always support each other especially when they are not feeling great. I feel that being kind and supporting others is emphasised strongly with younger children but as they develop and their education becomes more academic and less social this is often lost.  Children are really smart and they often support and reassure each other naturally but it is something that should keep being reinforced through their development. 

I loved how great the parallel used by the author between climbing the monster mountain and overcoming your own problems was and it is something that really stands out from the story.

I highly recommend this book for any children, parents and teeachers.

Availability: The book is available on www.dreambelieveread.com

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