I thought this week I would write a few thoughts on a book I just came across about childhood trauma called:  Once I Was Very Very Scared by Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D. and Erich Ippen, Jr.

This is a picture story book that tells the story of several young animals who were scared by acute or chronic trauma and show reactions ranging from aggressive barking (dog) to hiding (turtle) or feeling ashamed (elephant). Guided by a wise porcupine, the animals learn how to talk about what they have been through, how to understand their feelings and how to find ways to feel better. The book has been featured by:

The book is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish. Free pdf versions in English and Spanish are available at www.piploproductions.com. Also available on the website are worksheets in English and Spanish for helping children understand their own feelings and choose healing activities. The worksheets ask, for example, “What happened to squirrel?” and “What can help elephant?”

Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D. is Associate Director of the Child Trauma Research Program at UCSF and the Director of Dissemination and Implementation for Child- Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). She has co-authored over 20 publications related to trauma and diversity-informed practice including the book Don’t Hit My Mommy, which is the manual for Child-Parent Psychotherapy. She has over 15 years of experience conducting trainings nationally and internationally. Her husband Erich Ippen, Jr., a digital artist and technical director at Industrial Light and Magic, has created visual effects for movies like Rango, Harry Potter, The Avengers and Star Wars and many others. Together they have developed this book to help children whose lives have been affected by trauma or adversity.”

 I wanted to share a few of the things I found as I was looking through their website: www.piploproductions.com.

  • The resources section has many downloadable pages for working with children that have experienced trauma as they read the book.
  • The policies section of the site allows many uses of the material as long as you follow the guidelines in this section.
  • The “our stories” section has 5 or 6 stories in a children’s series that deal with physical disasters such as tornados, floods, or fire.

I hope you find this a helpful resource and as always please visit the other resources found on the Center’s website.

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