Dr Catherine Hart, Clinical Psychologist, BSc (Hons), MSc, PGDip, DClinPsy
With many cultures currently appearing to be neglecting the emotional awareness and development of our children, Alison has written an excellent book which enables children to better understand, label and talk about their emotions. Ollie and His Superpowers provides a great framework for encouraging discussions with children about their emotional regulation in a fun and understandable way.
S. Herbert, Police Officer
The Ollie and His Superpowers series is a great vehicle to use to educate, empower and challenge both young and old to think about difficult issues, including bullying, anxiety and other associated concerns. As a Police Officer working in schools, this book has been an invaluable resource to use to develop emotional intelligence, improve self esteem and to assist young people to develop confidence in themselves. Alison Knowles offers a simple approach to dealing with what, at times, can be complex issues, in a well written story.
School Library Journal
This British import, written by a cognitive therapist, is centered on seven-year-old Ollie, who faces daily bullying from kids at school. After two larger boys take his sneakers (called 'trainers'-just one of the many Briticisms throughout), the distraught Ollie confides in an elderly friend, who encourages him to use his superpowers (his emotions) to deal with the problem. Soon enough, Ollie is able to call upon Bravery, Strength, and Calm to help him get his sneakers back-much to the surprise of the bullies. Throughout the book, the emotions are personified as little versions of ourselves that live within us. Nervousness, Shock, Silliness, and Confidence are just a few of the ones readers meet. Helping us control our emotions is the Captain. Meanwhile, our Librarian (bow-tied and bespectacled) works at night to keep our ideas sorted properly. While this book attempts to help children understand and deal with their emotions, it lacks the plot and charm of Pixar's similarly structured Inside Out. VERDICT A purposeful work that children are unlikely to self-select. Consider only where social-skill building and antibullying topics are needed.
Red Reading Hub, Jillrbennet's Reviews of Children's Books
What a good example of the importance of using positive language to encourage, and/or reinforce, positive behaviours.
This is a unique approach to learning how to cope with strong and difficult emotions, but Ms Knowles has used it successfully with parents, children, schools, and even the police.