My Whirling, Twirling Motor and My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders

October is ADHD Awareness Month

ADHD Awareness Month is celebrated every October, with events and activities happening across the country and globally. AD/HD behavior can take many forms like hyperactivity or the inability to concentrate. I’ve selected two books written by Merriam Sarcia Saunders and illustrated by Tammie Lyon, to showcase the similarities and differences. Children dealing with ADHD or ADD will see themselves in the characters of the books.  Published by Magination Press in 2019 and 2020, these upbeat books are for children 4-8 years old.

My My Whirling, Twirling Motor – 2019

Synopsis: Charlie feels like he has a whirling, twirling motor running inside him…all the time!  He can’t turn it off. At school, he talks out of turn, wiggles too much, makes sounds that annoy the other kids, and forgets his snack, lunch and homework, At home he has trouble settling down for dinner, brushing his teeth and squirming in bed.  He just can’t quiet the busy motor.  When his mom talks to him at bedtime, he wonders if he’s trouble and yanks the covers over his head. Instead, she has a surprise for him. She reads him a list about all the things he accomplishes that day.

My Wandering Dreaming Mind – 2020

Synopsis: Sadie feels like her thoughts are soaring into the clouds and she can’t bring them back down to earth.  She has has trouble remembering the teacher’s instructions and does the wrong lesson. Her mind can travel so far away, that she forgets to put things away, forgets her sister’s soccer game, doesn’t finish her homework, loses her library books, and has a tough time listening to conversations with her friends.  When she asks her parents why her mind wanders and why she makes so many mistakes, they have a clever way to help Sadie remember how amazing she is.

Why I like these books:

Both of Saunders’s picture books draw readers into how Charlie and Sadie experience their worlds with their own relatable words. Readers will almost feel the the bees buzzing in Charlie’s body, making it almost impossible for him to settle down. He has to keep moving. With Sadie, they will feel how much more interesting it is to imagine ponies and fairies, than remembering to do chores. Both Charlie and Sadie feel like they are in trouble all the time, which impacts their self-esteem. Many kids will identify with Charlie and Sadie’s predicaments. I love how the author approaches both situations with their parents, who focus on what their children “can” do and point out their exceptional abilities, qualities and talents.

Tammie Lyon’s energetic and expressive illustrations beautifully compliment the stories.  You can see her lively and colorful artwork in the gorgeous covers.

Resources: Both books include a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information on ADHD, behavior management, self-esteem, and helping children focus on the positive things they do. They each have their gifts to share with others. Great discussion book that is not preachy.

Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider who works with families with AD/HD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She lives in Northern California. Visit Saunders at her website. You can follow her on twitter @ADHDchat

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

17 thoughts on “My Whirling, Twirling Motor and My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders

  1. I like how these books immerse readers in Charlie’s and Sadie’s experiences, encouraging empathy and understanding. It makes sense that these kids would often feel like they’re in trouble. Thanks for sharing these important and relatable stories.

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  2. I agree with Gabi’s comment. As someone who’s grappled with these issues as a child and as an adult, and now as a parent of a child with these issues, it can be a real struggle not to see yourself as a failure or not to be seen as someone who “could be really smart if you just paid attention.” Thanks for these recs, Patricia!

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    • Yes, all to familiar. I love to find really good books for kids so that they see themselves and are able to talk about it with family members. I certainly wished these books were available when I had children. Everything in the 80s were textbooks meant for parents and caregivers. This series emphasizes abilities!

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  3. I’ve worked with many children who have these characteristics. They can be a full time challenge but also a joy to see their progress. Thanks for reviewing these two books as they are very much needed for parents, teachers, and kids.

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    • You know, I agree. Wished I had both the books I shared when my kids were little. Kids are naturally active, and these books can be used in many ways. I have been reviewing Magination Press books for years and the past couple of years have been outstanding. They address issues head on. One of my favorite shares was “Something Happened in My Town.” Thanks for commenting.

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  4. I think there is a need for books like this, that help children recognise and give voice to their feelings and experiences. Positive ways of dealing with difference are important too.

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