FeaturedPicture Books

The Storm


Loved it! 😍

Benny braves a nasty storm and learns to cope with big feelings as he journeys through the forest to save his friendship with Sammy.

This delightful storybook about friendship in the midst of turmoil has an important message about dealing with change, loss, fear, and anxiety. It’s the perfect story for families, especially those with older and younger children. 

When a terrible storm devastates his forest home, Benny feels very anxious. His parents try to tell him not to worry, that storms happen. Then he discovers the damage the storm has created. His favorite play spot was destroyed during the storm, and so was the home of his best friend Sammy whose family had to move to the other side of the forest. Benny’s anxiety escalates until he learns from Owl of a magic tree that makes wishes come true. Of course he wishes the storm never happened so his friend would still live nearby. Now he must brave the stormy skies and venture through unfamiliar parts of the forest to find this tree. Along the way he makes friends who are dealing with the continuing thunder and lightning—and their own fears and anxieties—in different ways, which they teach to Benny. The ending includes a surprise realization that will delight younger and older readers alike. 

Beautiful and vibrant illustrations by Brigid Malloy show Benny and Sammy playing. During the storm the illustrations darken and grey dominates, evoking both stormy feelings and creating suspense as Benny, a pop of color in his bright yellow raincoat, journeys through unknown parts of forest. 

On the surface, Dr. Victoria Harris has crafted an exciting adventure story centering on friendship and loss (through a friend moving away), but on a deeper level it teaches effective coping skills to overcome fear and deal with anxious situations. This story is the perfect starting point for discussions on dealing with loss, change, and anxiety as well as modeling the coping strategies. Highly recommended. 

Reviewed by

I have two blogs; one on writing and one for children's book reviews & activities. I’m currently reviewing secular books with Catholic characters, rated to aid parents in selecting titles. I'm the author of over 30 books for children and teens and over 1500 articles. I also enjoy cooking and nature.


Join Benny on an exciting adventure that helps children navigate big feelings! When Benny's forest is devastated by a huge storm and his best friend Sammy has to move away, he fears nothing will be the same again. Not only is he scared of thunder, but his favourite play place has gone too. Then when owl tells him about a magic wishing tree, he sets off on an adventure to put things right. Little does he know that the journey is more important than the destination, and that the skills he learns along the way will help him in ways he never knew possible!

About the author

I live in Dublin, Ireland with my husband, two children, a dog, and two rabbits. I work as a psychotherapist in private practice, and I specialize in using creative techniques with children, adolescents, and adults. view profile

Published on April 08, 2022

2000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by