Brave Bart Activity

Posted on November 10, 2013, in Grief and Trauma

Required book for this activity: The book “Brave Bart: A Story for Traumatized and Grieving Children” by Caroline H. Sheppard, © 1998

“Brave Bart” is written for pre-school and elementary school age children. The book contains 33 full-color pages,each page is beautifully illustrated by John Manikoff. Click to order from the TLC online bookstore for $15.

“Brave Bart” is a book designed to help young children cope with trauma and its connected grief reactions.The book can provide an opportunity for the child to identify with a very non-threatening character, who survives a trauma. The story is written in a child's language, and can be used by caretakers, parents, therapists, counselors or educators. The story can help to open the door to communication and education. It can also normalize the feelings of traumatized children.

Read the book to your traumatized child. Afterwards you can ask your child these questions:

  • What do you think happened to Brave Bart?
  • Have you ever had something very bad, sad, or scary happen to you: Do you want to tell me what happened?
  • What are some feelings you have had that are like the ones that Brave Bart had?
  • Brave Bart and Helping Hannah came up with a list of ways to feel better. Can you think of some ways to help yourself feel better when you are feeling sad, mad or nervous?
  • Who can you talk to when you are feeling sad, lonely or mad?

The following is an excerpt from "Brave Bart"

My name is Bart. I am a small black kitten who had something very bad, sad, and scary happen, just like the scary and sad things that happened to you. Even though it has been very hard for me, I have learned a lot because of what happened.

Let me tell you my story…

After the very bad, sad, and scary thing happened, many things changed in my life—especially my feelings and how I acted. At first, I thought I was the only one who ever had something this bad happen to them. I also thought that my feelings were weird and stupid. My feelings sometimes scared me. I thought nobody could possibly feel the way I did. I had feelings that I did not want to tell anyone. I tried very hard to keep my feelings to myself. But, even though I kept my feelings inside, I started to act differently.

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