My Thoughts Have Wings

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Feb. 2024. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063214583.
K-Gr 3–In this relatable story, a young girl is trying to fall asleep but can’t because of all her worries and what-ifs. Her mother gives her some excellent advice—that it’s understandable that thoughts would want to stick around in her beautiful mind, but that she’ll want to leave room for good thoughts, too—that helps her envision happy, calming moments that “nest” in her mind. Smith has created a wonderful tale that mimics a very real problem that many children (and adults) face: anxiety. Even though this topic can be complicated, Smith has simplified it to an understandable story and metaphor perfect for young readers. The text is clear against the page, the vocabulary is simple, and the concept is one that children will not only understand, but will probably use in their own lives. Hatch’s child-friendly, sweet illustrations really show how a child experiences the world. From the fears that race through the girl’s head to the birds that are her racing thoughts to the happy moments that form her safe place, Hatch shows them all. This is a generous tale that is also an excellent tool to give to children and psychologists.
VERDICT For the SEL shelves, a solid, engaging story about how to handle anxiety.

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