Don’t Think About Purple Elephants

USD $4.99USD $17.99 Tax Included


Out of stock in USA and UK. More stock available in September 2018.

Sometimes Sophie worries — not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach … that might just involve an elephant or two!

But wait, don’t think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry resonates with children and parents everywhere. Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is an excellent resource for social and emotional learning for parents and teachers.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback/Paperback | 245 x 255 mm / 9 ½ x 10 Inches | Colour Illustrations | 32 Pages |

Susan Whelan is a writer, editor, mother, and passionate advocate for children’s literacy. She’s also the Managing Editor of highly respected children’s literature website Kids’ Book Review.

Gwynneth Jones drew all through her maths book at school, so left to study art at TAFE and then majored in Plant and Wildlife Illustration at the University of Newcastle. Since then, Gwynneth has been imagining, drawing, exhibiting and holding market stalls. Gwynneth is also studying to be an art therapist.

Booksellers NZ, May 2017
“This is an enjoyable picture book to read together for children up to 8 or 9 years old, regardless of whether or not the child worries – but it would be a particularly good book to read with a child who is suffering from anxiety, it might just do the trick.”

Sydney Morning Herald, December 2015
“an unexpected and valuable lesson in dealing with anxiety”

Kids Book Review, April 2015
“packed with colour and creativity, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry is bound to become a family favourite”

Red Reading Hub UK – Jill Bennett reviews Children’s Books
“From the safe place of a story world youngsters can explore ideas and find solutions: the inherent humour of Susan Whelan’s narrative and Gwynneth Jones’ detailed, slightly whimsical illustrations offer one such. Jones portrays how those worries of Sophie’s take hold: as the worries come, the colours drain away, the scenes becoming almost black and white, with just the particular worry colourfully highlighted. Watch that mischievous moggie too.  All in all, a super book for home, early years settings and primary schools.”

Carousel UK Magazine, December 2015
“offers a genuine solution for children who feel anxious at night.” 

The School Librarian Journal UK, November 2015
Gentle reassuring story which makes clever use of colour to contrast negative thoughts with more positive ones . . . the story might give a reader the confidence to talk about their own (possibly greater) concerns.”

Kiss the Book Blog US
“This is a wonderful book for students that are worriers and would make a great addition to the school library collection to be used by the school counsellor as needed. It would also make a perfect gift for a parent or child experiencing this issue.”

‘Life as it is’ Blog
Based on the experience the author had with her own seven-year-old daughter, this book has resonated with me. As a child, I was worried about all sorts at night. … I also love that the mum in this book is the hero! I like the humour and honesty in this story. I love that it is a true story and consequently a realistic one. I also love that it will potentially help many children and parents alike as they grow together.”

Click here to read the full review!

Littlebooktastic Blog
“This would be a great book to use in schools too – sadly with things like SATs, kids are all too aware of feeling anxious these days. Young people need guidance about dealing with fears and worries, and I think this is a great book to choose.”

Click here to read the full review!

Parents in Touch
“Sensitively told, with a real insight into fears that can seem unfounded to others but that are very real to children. There’s plenty of humour too and the superb illustrations with their monotone background and colour highlights to show Sophie’s fears are really effective. This is what picture books should be all about – gentle, reassuring, humorous and confidence-building”

Parenting without Tears
“Harriet loves this book – and the idea of purple elephants. The illustrations by Gwyneth Jones are perfectly charming and offer lots of topics for discussion as well as reinforcing the ideas of the narrative. Susan Whelan has taken a common problem experienced by children and has given it a gentle twist for a humorous resolution. Might help a few worried parents as well.”

Books in My House
“If you don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy it. But if you do worry, this is a good book to have around. We’ve taken to saying things like ‘I certainly won’t be thinking about green hedgehogs’ when I tuck the kids up at night. The idea has definitely caught on.”

Additional information

Book Type

eBook ePub, eBook Mobi, Hardback + eBook ePub, Paperback + eBook ePub, Paperback, Hardback

Speech Pathology Australia, Book of the Year 2016
Don’t Think About Purple Elephants was shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year 2016. Congratulations to author and illustrator Susan Whelan and Gwynneth Jones!!
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Lynn Jenkins, clinical psychologist and author of Lessons of a Lac, School Start and Best Start
“Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is a story about a little ‘night-time worrier’. For children (and adult) worriers, night time offers minimal to no distractions, so worries are free to roam. The story acknowledges the typical help offered and ends with a lovely, simple strategy that adds a bit of creative quirkiness to the bedtime routine. Lovely story, beautiful illustrations!”

Nicky Johnston, author and illustrator of Go Away, Mr Worry Thoughts!
“Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is a beautiful children’s book and a must have for every bookshelf. Susan Whelan writes with a deep understanding of what it feels like to be a child who worries, highlighting how easily negative thoughts can fill a child’s mind. Gwynneth Jones’ beautiful illustrations are full of emotion and compassion, complementing the text perfectly. Don’t Think About Purple Elephants will resonate with all young children and be especially important for those who are little worriers.”