da vinci eye finalist2017 da Vinci Eye Finalist

Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the da Vinci Eye to books with superior cover artwork. Cover art is judged on both content and style. The da Vinci Eye is given in honor of the historic artist, scientist, and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. This is an additional distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella.


Eric Hoffer Award

Montaigne Medal Finalist 2017

Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the Montaigne Medal to the most thought-provoking books. These are books that either illuminate, progress, or redirect thought. The Montaigne Medal is given in honor of the great French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, who influenced people such as William Shakespeare, René Descartes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Eric Hoffer. This is an additional distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella.


independent press award for distinguished favoritesThe INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD recognized Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog, by Regina E. McCarthy in the category of Childrens: Fiction, as a distinguished favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall presentation and excellence.


finalist medal next generation indie book awardsFinalist in the CHILDREN’S/JUVENILE FICTION Category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA).

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over 70 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group.


silver medal nautlius book award

Silver Medalist in The Nautilus Awards – Better Books for a Better World

Now completing its 19th year, Nautilus Book Awards recognizes books that transcend barriers of culture, gender, race, and class, and promote conscious living & green values, spiritual growth, wellness & vitality, and positive social change. Last year, Nautilus received entries from 36 States of USA, and from 12 other nations. Dedicated to excellence and high standards of both message and presentation, the Nautilus program celebrates books that inspire and connect our lives as individuals, communities and global citizens.


Reader's Favorite Gold Medal for Gold Medal Winner in the "Children - Grade K-3rd" category for the 2016 International Book Award ContestGold Medal Winner in the “Children – Grade K-3rd” category for the 2016 International Book Award Contest

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog” by Regina E. McCarthy is a Gold Medal Winner in the Children – Grade K-3rd category in our 2016 International Book Award Contest.”


Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Best Books in the Category of Children’s Interest

“Pinnacle Awards are based on book content, quality, writing style, presentation and cover design. All of these elements are taken into consideration when the selections are made.”


Distinguished honoree of mom's choice award for Courageous Gilbert

Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award

“Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog is an essential tool for parents, educators, child and family therapists, and other caregivers of children. It is to be read time and again, and the techniques are to be put into practice. The breathing technique will help calm the nervous system, oxygenate the brain, and create a safe feeling in the body. Once the body feels safe, the whole brain can fully engage to respond in a healthy manner to situations instead of impulsively react.”

Read the full description, here.


Book Reviews


Readers’ Favorite Review

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog by Regina E. McCarthy is an adorable storybook for children. Gilbert had many interests. He was a great collector of toy cars, action figures, and lots of rocks, and he also enjoyed listening to music. There were many things Gilbert didn’t like – he did not like standing up in front of the class, he didn’t like being made fun of when he sang, and he didn’t like finding someone to sit with him for lunch. One day, while leaving school upset, he climbs an old oak tree. Readers see a friendship bond being developed between Gilbert and the old oak tree. The book conveys an excellent message to young readers and tells them the importance of deep breathing and that it is okay to express their feelings and emotions instead of hiding them.


To read the full review check out the PDF, here: Readers Favorite Book Review of Courageous Gilbert


Kirkus Reviews - Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog by Regina McCarthyKirkus Review

There’s plenty of material available out there for kids about dealing with bullies, but this title goes beyond that particular situation to offer a guide to handling uncontrollable feelings by breathing, feeling, and practicing. Such guidance offers young and middle-grade readers a fantastic resource for learning how to cope with their problems at school or at home.

Read the full review, here.


Reader’s Favorite – 5 Star Review

“The concept shared by the author is excellent as it helps build confidence in children. The illustrations are bright and lively and give a good pace and movement to the scenes and the story. The breathing techniques mentioned in the book can be practiced to ease tension and anxiety, and will help children release their emotions and fears instead of holding them inside. It’s an excellent book for interactive sessions in classrooms and school libraries, and can also be used for bedtime story-telling. Therapists, counselors, and educators can use the techniques in the book while working with kids. The book also speaks about the importance of mental health and the benefits of deep breathing.”

Full review, here.



The Children's Book Review Logo

The Children’s Book Review

“Regina E. McCarthy’s experience as a Holistic Psychotherapist shines through in this fictitious story that is designed to educate children in a safe and enjoyable way about navigating emotions and standing up to bullies.

Anyone, ages 5 and up, that has trouble with emotions or that is experiencing bullying will feel empowered by Gilbert.Through his experiences they will be able to see themselves and hopefully begin their own path to self-confidence.”

Read the full review here.

News Stories/Media Mentions


WTTW Chicago LogoLocal Author Helps Kids Find Voice, Courage to Stand Up to Bullies

October is national bullying prevention month, and one local author wants to help children of all ages find their voice and the courage to stand up to bullying.

Author and holistic psychotherapist Regina E. McCarthy was inspired by her own experiences growing up when she wrote “Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog.”

“I’d say that Gilbert is pretty much me,” McCarthy said. “As a kid, I had a hard time in fourth grade giving my book report to the class. I was certainly bullied and making friends was hard.”

Read the full story by clicking here.


“You and Me in the Morning” on WCIU

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog’s first television appearance!! Thanks Jinnie for bringing Gilbert to “You and Me in the Morning” on WCIU this morning.

And for the beautiful description of Courageous Gilbert as a tool for identifying Trauma and releasing Shock for children and adults.







Daily_Herald_(Chicagoland)_logoDaily Herald – Sleepy Hollow resident integrates deep breathing, therapy techniques into children’s book

Regina McCarthy didn’t set out to write a children’s book.

As a trained holistic psychotherapist, McCarthy, 54, has spent her career in the social work field, helping people of all ages heal and work through tragedy. In the early 2000s, she opened her own practice, Blue Stone Healing Center in Elgin, where she blends traditional and innovative methods that focus on her clients’ mind, body, emotions and spirit.

For years, McCarthy’s husband would tell her, “You’ve got a story in you.” But the Sleepy Hollow resident never truly considered becoming an author until she woke up in the middle of the night with an idea.

“I’ve never had that happen to me before,” McCarthy said. “So I got up, got my laptop and started writing. I wrote all night long. I didn’t have the details. I just had the idea for the story.”

Read the full story, here.


Courageous Gilbert BookGilbert the Courageous Groundhog Releases During Bullying Awareness Prevention Month

Blue Stone Healing Books launches its first title in the Gilbert the Groundhog series by Regina E. McCarthy

Elgin, Illinois, October 15, 2105 – Gilbert is a groundhog with stage fright, no friends, and a bully out to get him. He meets an Old Oak Tree who teaches him a deep breathing technique to calm his anxious body. By practicing what he has learned, Gilbert can confidently present his rock collection to the after-school club, make a new friend, and stand up to the bully.

October is Bullying Awareness Prevention month, and thousands of schools, communities, organizations, and individuals have come together to release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at raising awareness for bullying prevention. Since it began in October 2006, the event has grown to an entire month of education and awareness activities, and is being recognized by schools and communities throughout the world. Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog is proud to be a part of this community.

Delightful and wise!  This book is a true gift and blessing for children and their parents. It will serve readers into adulthood as self-soothing tools are learned from Gilbert’s experience  — transforming energies that could have limited his future success and enjoyment of living. A warm, heart-opening, inspired book. –Nancy Ging, LCSW, Holistic Psychotherapist, Columnist and author of Simplifying the Road to Wholeness

Psychotherapist Regina McCarthy has written an amazing book to inspire children and adults with the wisdom of breath, awareness and self expression – an absolute gem which provides a practical solution for even minor P.T.S.D. –Leighton Clark, L.C.S.W., Trauma & Body Psychotherapist, Creative Transitions, Ltd. & The Midwest Institute for Somatic Psychotherapy

Author Regina McCarthy is president and owner of Blue Stone Healing Center outside of Chicago, Illinois. She works with clients at the holistic level, helping them to heal at their deepest level. Regina is passionate about the work she does and feels extremely honored to be part of her clients healing journey.

For more on Regina E. McCarthy, visit

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog
By Regina E. McCarthy
Illustrations by Sue Dettman
Published by Blue Stone Healing Books
Juvenile Fiction
8 x 10 hardcover
Full-color illustrations
32 pages

Download the Cover Image / Download the Author Photo

Fact Sheet

Title: Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog

Author: Regina E. McCarthy

Illustrator: Sue Dettman

Category: Juvenile Fiction

BISAC Code: JUV039050 / Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings

Format: 8 x 10

Full-color illustrations

Pages: 32

Price: $18.95

Binding: Hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-9862304-1-7

LCCN: 2015901729

Publisher Contact

Blue Stone Healing Books

545 Tollgate Road, Suite B

Elgin, Illinois 60123


Publicity Contact

Gail M. Kearns

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