The ‘Get to Know Me’ series is made up of resources aimed at children with additional needs. Developed by child psychologist Dr Louise Lightfoot and illustrated by Catherine Hicks, the series includes activities specific to anxiety, depression and OCD. This book, Draw Along With Silver Matilda, is an activity-based picture book story, in which individual children are encouraged to interact with the story in a creative way – through writing, drawing, scrap booking, collage, activities etc.
Active engagement helps children to understand and process information, and aids long-term recall. It has been designed to support the individual child and encourage an empathetic and inclusive environment. In this book, we meet Silver Matilda, a bird with silver feathers known for her beauty and graceful flight. The story follows Matilda as she loses her bright feathers and ashamed, hides away from the world until one day an owl comes and sits with her. The owl shows Matilda empathy and stays with her whilst she recovers and watches as she becomes stronger through her experience.
This book was written with children with depression in mind, providing an opportunity to relate to Matilda’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours and experiences. However, children with a range of needs may benefit from the story. The book is written in a narrative style, so it does not use diagnostic labels and is not intended for this purpose. Instead the focus is on creating a common language which children can understand and use to make sense of how they are feeling.