Gilly the Giraffe Self-Esteem Activity Book
Dr Karen Treisman, illustrated by Sarah Peacock
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This large format paperback is both a therapeutic story and a creative activity book for primary aged children, developed by specialist clinical psychologist, Dr Karen Treisman.
It begins with a story about Gilly the Giraffe to be shared with children. Gilly has much in her world to be happy about but she struggles with self-confidence on account of her height, her long black tongue and her colourful mosaic patches; and worse, some of the other animals make unkind remarks about these aspects of her appearance.
However, thanks to kindly Loren the lioness pointing out that being different makes Gilly exciting, beautiful and cool;
it’s all a matter of how you look at something. “We’re all precious and deserve to be appreciated.” So says Loren and thereafter not only Gilly but her classmates start to become more appreciative about one another.
A great confidence-boosting tale after which might come discussions on some of the story’s key themes.
Thereafter the book offers a wealth of creative ideas through which these themes can be further explored. These are divided into two parts, the first being ‘fun activities and crafts with Gilly’ and comprises such things as mindful colouring, a word search, a quiz, questions to consider, a ‘make your own Gilly the Giraffe, a wonderful positivity wordlist, a positivity acronym using a person’s name(s) and more.
Part 2 contains over 25 further suggestions (that can be used in school or at home) for boosting self-esteem, confidence, positive thinking and self-belief,
each of which is clearly explained and where appropriate, space is provided in the book for writing, drawing or whatever is apt by way of a response.
With its integrated approach, this book is ideal for using in PSHE sessions and concludes with an excellent explanatory guide for adults; much of what is said herein, especially in the ‘practical strategies, tips and ways of being for building self-esteem’ should be read and acted upon by all who have dealings with children in whatever context.
Wearing my teacher/consultant hat, I whole-heartedly recommend this book.