Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: Healing Stories is for parents of all kinds (for example, birth parents, adoptive parents, stepparents, foster parents) and for all other adults who have children in their work or personal lives: friends; grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives; teachers; school counselors and psychologists; child care providers; child therapists; pediatric health care professionals; children’s librarians; and anyone else who might want to share a book with a child.

Q: What is the book about?
A: Healing Stories is a guide for adults to more than 500 picture books that can help support children as they face new or challenging experiences. Each of the 34 chapters includes a list of picture books about a specific childhood concern – everything from daily trials (worries at bedtime, learning how to make friends, having a bad day), to new experiences (starting school, losing a baby tooth, having a new baby sister or brother), to more emotionally stressful events (divorce, serious illness, death). Lifelong coping resources are also addressed (a sense of security in relationship, a resilient sense of self, imagination, and emotional awareness). The annotations for each entry empower you to select the books that best match the child and the situation you’re concerned about. Healing Stories also includes an introduction that discusses ways to use books with children who are experiencing life changes or stress.

Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: In my practice as a psychologist, I work extensively with children who have had many different kinds of stressful experiences, as well as dealing with the everyday changes that all children face. This experience, combined with my education and training in the psychology of childhood, contributed to my selection of recommended picture books. I also hold an appointment as Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, am a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and have published over 100 articles in the scientific and professional literature on topics such as depression, trauma, and cultural issues in mental health.

Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: Most other books that recommend children’s books to parents use only the child’s age and literary quality as their criteria for selection. Healing Stories primarily considers picture books’ usefulness in helping children cope with specific concerns (although suggested age ranges are given for each picture book). Healing Stories is the only book that brings a psychologist’s knowledge and experience to this task and in a format and style that are user-friendly for parents.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: William Sears, M.D., author of more than 30 parenting books and medical and parenting consultant to Baby Talk and Parenting magazines, called Healing Stories “a valuable family resource for healing and helping children through transitions in life.”

Melanie Lawrence of Parents’ Press said, “Parents who love and reread children’s books will enjoy Healing Stories, and almost certainly find help within its pages for their children’s tribulations, whether big, small, or in between… Within each category are dozens of marvelous books, intelligently summarized… this is an exceptional look at two generations of books that can both entertain our children and soothe them in time of need.”

According to Kari Ramstrom, M.L.I.S., writing in Library Journal, “Healing Stories empowers parents to promote development and healing in children through books in a fun, helpful manner. The quality of her selections is excellent.”

Mary Ruth Cross, M.S., M.F.T., of Play Therapy Magazine called Healing Stories a “comprehensive, easy-to-use guide …

[w]ritten in a warm, engaging style that is accessible to parents… Healing Stories is an essential resource for every adult who cares about young children.”

Jerome L. Singer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Child Study at Yale University and author of Make-Believe: Games and Activities for Imaginative Play, wrote, “Dr. Golding has provided an invaluable tool for parents and other caregivers … In a time of national concern about school readiness and literacy this is a great way to introduce children to the pleasures and values of reading.”

Alvin Poussaint, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Raising Black Children, hailed Healing Stories as “a unique resource for guidance in sorting through the wealth of children’s picture books addressing psychosocial issues. Golding is especially sensitive to questions of inclusiveness, cultural context, and age appropriateness. This is an important book for parents.”

Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, author of How To Help Children With Common Problems, and editor of Handbook of Play Therapy, described Healing Stories as “A practical sourcebook of stories to help children (ages 1 to 12) cope with the difficult challenges of life. Highly recommended!!”

More information about Healing Stories is available at