I like when my blog posts have a theme and in this case, I read two books about anxiety.

Also in this case, it happened naturally: I was looking for something to read and I pulled two books out of my TBR pile, and they happened to tell the stories of two people battling anxiety and how they attempted to control it.

Thunder and the Noise Storms

Thunder and the Noise Storms is by Jeffrey Ansloos and Shezza Ansloos with pictures by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley and is from Annick Press.

In this picture book, we watch as Thunder begins to feel stormy inside as the noises surrounding him – honking vehicles, the school bell ringing and kids being loud, in music class and gym –  seem to get louder and him angrier. Finally, he hid in the playground structure, covering his ears.

The principal calls his mosom, or grandpa in Cree, who  takes Thunder for a walk, sharing with him a word that helps with the noise storms: Mamaskasitawew means to listen with wonder and Mosom teaches Thunder to listen to the quiet things – like the windsong and the birds flying.

With his mosom’s help, Thunder learns how to listen to his heart when the outside noises are too much.

Thunder and the Noise Storms is a nice story and mosom’s lesson is one we can all benefit from.

Living with Viola

Living with Viola, a graphic novel by Rosena Fung and Annick Press, is a work of fiction but is inspired by the author’s journey with anxiety: at 16 she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and panic disorder. While her anxiety presented differently than Livy’s, the main character in this book, did, she also learned how to treat herself better.

“If you ever feel scared or sad, or don’t understand why you feel a certain way, talk to someone about it, like an adult your can trust,” she writes in her author’s note. “There are lots of people like you who understand how you feel and have gone through the same thing. You’re not alone!”

Rosena Fung

Livy is having trouble fitting in as the new girl in school, but Viola is making it even more difficult.

“Viola is Livy’s anxiety brought to life, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear,” and she is mean. Viola tells Livy she isn’t good enough, that everything she does is stupid, that everyone knows she is a liar.

“Livy pushes back against Viola’s judgement, but when things get complicated both at home and at school, Viola becomes impossible to ignore.”

I can’t imagine going though what Livy goes through. As a reader, I found it frustrating and upsetting so I can only imagine what it feels like for Livy. I loved the ending and how Livy learns to live with Viola and not give her power.

Thunder and the Noise Storms and Living with Viola
are from Annick Press for an honest review. The opinions are my own.