About the Book

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog book cover

Courageous Gilbert the Groundhog

Get to Know Gilbert the Groundhog

Gilbert is a groundhog and the main character in this inspiring and innovative book.

He struggles with feeling and expressing his emotions, which causes him to feel disconnected from his heart and anxious in his body.

Through a wise, old oak tree, Gilbert learns how to breathe deeply.

If It Were Only That Simple . . .

Once he knows how to calm his system, he must also equip himself with tools he can use on the spot, when challenging situations arise in real time.

He must know how to feel and then release the anger, fear and sadness because if unacknowledged these denied emotions easily take up residence in his mind and body, provoking him for years, even decades.

He also learns the power of practicing these skills to be prepared because no real change happens overnight.

Gilbert then realizes that the only way he can feel complete, authentic, and peaceful is to breathe, be present and then take action, in a healthy and purposeful way.

An Essential Tool for Parents and Educators

This award-winning book 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
  • 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.

When a child feels threatened, their reptilian brain takes over the central nervous system and they go into fight or flight mode. If really scared they may go into the freeze mode.

Discharging this energy is necessary to prevent trauma responses later in life. Stomping one’s feet, yelling into a pillow, and marching around are somatic releases that help a child stay out of the freeze mode, keeping them present and engaged instead of in a dissociated state.

When children learn these skills from Gilbert the Groundhog, they can be used for years to come, and can lead to a happier, healthier, more authentic life.

  • "Psychotherapist Regina E. 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
  • 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
  • "As breathing is the access point to emotions, this book is a great introduction to breathing for healing and wholeness. Regina teaches children of all ages the importance of using their breath to slow down, stay connected to themselves, and know how to respond to life’s circumstances. "