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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Let's get on board Ethan's Healthy Mind Express in the book Ethan's Healthy Mind Express: A Children's First Mental Health Primer by Emily Lane Waszak, Erik Bean, and Gail Gorske. Though some tracks are bumpy, smooth, narrow, or wide, they all end up on a fantastic ride. Dads, moms, brothers, sisters, and all young readers are welcome to travel on the 403 and the Healthy Mind Conductor guides them toward a better day. The ride is exciting and the passengers inside can explore their inner feelings and make new friends. Help comes in the form of friends, doctors, counselors, policemen, leaders of faith, and nurses. The bump in the track is caused by the dark web where everyone needs to be beware of the unsafe things there. Everyone needs to move forward and it is not about the train, it is about the track. The goal is about changing the tracks to meet everyone's needs.
The story, the concept, and the message are all wonderful and it is a good way to help children be open for support and kindness, especially the ones who really need it. The approach to the topic is refreshingly original, innovative, and unique, and encourages awareness in readers about the importance of mental health and wellness. Gail Gorske's beautiful illustrations breathe life into the characters and the scenes and add to the clarity of the concept and message. Ethan's Healthy Mind Express is a good book to use at home and in schools for storytelling sessions to introduce children to the idea of seeking help when dealing with their thoughts and feelings, how to accept and handle their daily challenges and obstacles, and to be careful of the internet.