Marvin and Me: How a Girl and a Mouse Beat Anxiety Together


Must read 🏆

The beautifully drawn picture book gives children the courage to speak up and face their fears, thanks to a courageous girl, Pippa.

You don't often see a "foreword" in a picture book; however, I think it fits perfectly with the topic. Dr. Sylwia Fowler confirms what most every adult knows, anxiety, like the common cold, can affect anyone at any time regardless of age, gender, and academic or financial status. She states that people often wait years to get help. In waiting, negative thoughts and feelings start to compound, affecting your health and way of life. Marvin and Me: How a Girl and a Mouse Beat Anxiety aims to help children who are beginning to exhibit signs of anxiety; it helps them learn how to cope with unwelcomed feelings. The mental health crisis is not restricted to adults. That's why this book is so important. We must teach our children it's okay to talk about their feelings, support one another, and reach out for help. 

After Dr. Sylwia Fowler's lovely introduction, we dive straight into the picture book where children will meet Pippa. Pippa loves visiting her grandma and picking flowers on her farm. Today though, Pippa's mind is overloaded with worries. She imagines and stresses over what could happen, such as what if her mom forgot to turn off the stove or her brother fell off his bike. She can't find the off switch to the scary thoughts and wonders what is wrong with her. Through her grandma's guidance, the next time fear and anxiety bubbled up to the surface, she remembered, "Tackling scary thoughts can take time." Grandma said the more attention you give the scary thoughts, the more they'll pop up and the more frightening they'll be. Very true. 

Bojana Milojkovic's story is a children's picture book with pop-up boxes for parents/caregivers. For instance, they suggested encouraging your child to imagine their worries as something external, whether a small animal, clouds in the sky, or ripples in the stream. This act helps to externalize anxiety as something separate from themselves. Every tip and every reassuring word will help parents help their children, which is the ultimate goal. 

With time and bravery, Pippa could take back the power her fear and scary thoughts had over her. She even made friends with Marvin, the mouse. She's a perfect role model for young children who are struggling mentally. 

I recommend reading this story with your family. Hopefully, it will prompt a discussion about mental health and give your child the courage to speak up if they face scary thoughts like Pippa.

Reviewed by

I've been constructing reviews for over a decade and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I will share some of the books I read through this site on my blog, Pinterest, and Twitter. #KamsPlace Don't forget to tip your waitress! :D


“Marvin and Me: How a Girl and a Mouse Beat Anxiety Together” seeks to help young children who are exhibiting signs of anxiety disorders. Pippa is a young girl struggling with intrusive and unpleasant thoughts. “What if my brother falls off his bike?” “What if Mom didn’t turn the stove off?” She seeks help from her beloved grandmother, who devises a clever scheme to help her master her anxiety by imagining her scary thoughts are a little mouse named Marvin.

The reader follows Pippa’s journey towards acceptance of her own thoughts and feelings. Above all else, “Marvin and Me” is a tool for helping young children learn the basics of mindfulness — by learning that scary thoughts are normal, that talking helps, and to trust in their own ability to do hard things. A board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in OCD and anxiety was a consultant for the book.

About the author

I am a thirty-something Serbian-American foreign affairs professional living in Washington, DC. I love dogs, especially my Golden Retriever named Winston, and am a life-long lover of writing. view profile

Published on August 16, 2023

Published by

0-1000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Children's

Reviewed by