Steyning author works magic with children’s book on worrying

Author Dawn McNiff wears a worry wig to launch her new book, Worry Magic
Author Dawn McNiff wears a worry wig to launch her new book, Worry Magic

A new children’s book by Steyning author Dawn McNiff has been praised for its topical theme of worrying.

Dawn, who was brought up in the South Downs town, feels worrying affects many primary school children.

She said: “This theme of worry seems to interest schools I have gone into for author visits. They say that so many of their children are worriers. I was a big worrier myself.

“This story is about a girl who worries a lot – and invents a game she calls The Worry Wig Game to try to contain her worrying.”

Dawn secured a three-book deal with Hot Key Books in 2013 and Worry Magic, for nine to 11 year olds, follows her debut book, Little Celeste, which was published last year.

Olivia Mead, sales and marketing assistant, said: “It’s a gorgeous story, full of humour and heart, that at its core has a helpful message to reassure little worriers that sharing a problem by talking can help hugely and ensure that it doesn’t grow into a bigger one.

“In light of the recent inaugural Children’s Mental Health Week, as endorsed by the Duchess of Cambridge, Dawn’s approach to children and worry seems particularly relevant.”

Dawn’s past experience as a bookseller and work as a bereavement counsellor influences her writing.

“I was a worrier as a child, and now, and as a counsellor I am interested in the psychology of worry.

“I liked exploring the workings of worry via the book, because I think there can be some ‘magical thinking’ attached to worrying – the idea that if you worry about something enough, it’s somehow less likely to happen.”

Worry Magic is the story of Courtney, a young girl who worries about everything, and what happens when she starts thinking that magic is fixing her problems.

Heartfelt and funny with family at its core, it is a comforting story is for anyone who just cannot help worrying.

Dawn has incorporated ways of managing worrying, based on therapeutic techniques, and hopes it will help children to realise talking about the things that worry them is the best solution.