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Children's Books - 4-8 Years Parenting & Families - Parenting

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IMAGINE: An Inspirational Story of Calming Strategies for Children

ISBN: 9781643438887
Binding: Hardcover
Author: Elisa Holton Odegard
Illustrator: CA Nobens
Pages: 32
Trim: 8.5 x 11 inches
Published: 8/1/2020

Are you concerned about a child in your life who seems to be having a harder time coping with anxieties during uncertain times? Are you trying to help children deal with stressful situations or transitions and want them to find simple tools to use to self-regulate? This fun and compassionate story is specifically written for ages 3-12+ to help kids from all backgrounds learn to quiet their mind’s worries and refocus on constructive activities! 

IMAGINE is a beautifully illustrated story that features a collection of practical calming strategies for a wide range of children's anxieties. The story follows a kind young boy as he demonstrates his thoughtfulness, and his theatrical skills, to help many of his culturally-diverse classmates cope with the stresses of their school day. He gently suggests eight different calming strategies to his friends to assist them in returning to mindfulness, so they may continue with a productive day. The flustered children practice the specific body movements or stretches, while they IMAGINE the corresponding enjoyable activities that bring them peace. The students learn the importance of these self-help strategies so well that they end up offering those same techniques back to the originator in his time of need, bringing the realization that a small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone's day.

This social-emotionally themed book was written for children whose mental health is being challenged in a world that seems too difficult and stress-filled for them. Parents, educators, and counselors will find that children will easily connect with this relatable story and the simple calming strategies that can be used by children of all ages in any situation. Once the techniques are learned through the enchanting story, they can be used daily with a simple reminder of each strategies' name. Two resources are included at the conclusion of the story to help foster the continual use of the eight calming strategies: 1) a vocabulary study will help young students, and English Language Learners, to gain full understanding of the depth of each IMAGINE scene, and 2) a two-page spread helps to recap of each of the calming strategies with their names, descriptions of the actions, and picture icons to help children visualize the techniques and use them daily.

IMAGINE: An Inspirational Story of Calming Strategies for Children was honored with a book finalist award, in two categories, in the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA)! For updated, free supporting resources for this story, please visit the author’s website at


Elisa Holton Odegard has been teaching elementary school for twenty-eight years, primarily kindergarten and first grade. Her passion is to inspire children to love reading for learning and enjoyment, as well as supporting their social and emotional needs. This is her first published children's book, a lifelong dream come true. A proud Minnesotan all her life, she lives there with her devoted husband, Lance, and two endearing children, Ashley and Matthew. She is so grateful for God's many blessings in her life, including her special students.

CA Nobens has been writing, illustrating, and designing books for children for about forty years. She lives and works in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, in a ninety-year-old house, with people and cats (numbers vary).