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Elephant's Big Climb

Hedgehog and her pals eagerly await their turn to conquer the gym rope, but when it's Elephant's chance, fear sends her running. After Elephant’s fears resurface on the soccer field, Hedgehog sets out on a journey to help her friend calm the butterflies in her stomach and the worries in her head.


Elephant's Big Climb is a touching tale of resilience, empathy, and the power of friendship that will inspire children to conquer their own fears and reach for the sky. Perfect for parents and educators, this book initiates meaningful conversations with children, all while offering a delightful and engaging story.

A Message from Andrea

The premise of this book is that everyone feels anxious and worried sometimes and through the practice of calming techniques and support from our friends, we can make it through. This perspective gains a deeper layer of meaning when I reflect on Bradley. He too grappled with anxiety and found solace through the practice of mindfulness, meditation and other relaxation methods. Just like Hedgehog and the other animal friends in this story, Bradley had an innate ability to empathize and in no small part because of his ability to truly understand and relate to the struggles of others. His enduring legacy continues to be the fuel behind my activism, driving me to instigate the change we so urgently need.

Panda's Helping Paw

When a game of soccer turns into an unexpected accident, everyone in the neighborhood comes together to help Elephant feel better. But when Panda discovers that his friend Bunny is hurting too, only on the inside, he sets out to rally their circle of friends to shower Bunny with the love and support he needs.

Panda's Helping Paw is a beautifully illustrated children's book that shines a light on mental health and well-being. With lovable characters and easy-to-understand explanations, this book is the perfect tool for parents and educators to spark meaningful conversations with kids and introduce complex concepts in a fun and engaging way.

A Message from Andrea

The premise of this book that everyone needs a helping hand is particularly apt when remembering Bradley. He was preternaturally sensitive to the needs of others, with a special ability to get people to open up and share their personal anxieties. He always listened patiently and offered up helpful advice. He was always there with his helping hand. I wish with all my heart that Bradley were still here with us. But the truth is that he is with me every day, in every moment. Not only is Bradley the inspiration for my advocacy, but he is my trusted partner as we together work to make a difference.

What People Are Saying...

"A warm, thoughtful and caring book that teaches children about the power of empathy. helping our next generation deal with the realities of mental health issues in an open way, free of stigma and judgment."

- Beth A. Becker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist

"Anyone can be 'hurt on the inside,' whether you lose someone you love, move to a new place, or have trouble fitting in. Sonnenberg beautifully captures the mental health struggles young kids face while crafting a story with universal appeal."  

– Bree Barton, author of Zia Erases the World

"A gentle and accessible story that starts the conversation about mental health. This book is a great step to normalizing discussing mental health with children from a young age."

- Caitlin Cooke, Librarian, Erie Community Library

"Andrea Sonnenberg’s personal experience with her son’s mental health challenges has given her first-hand insights into how our society responds to the needs of that community.  Over the years she has obtained the unique level of understanding that comes from both direct personal involvement as well as a commitment to gaining the broader perspectives of an advocate.  This book represents the integration of those perspectives into a unique resource for parents and children seeking to understand the complexities of mental health and the meaningful ways that we can all be allies along side those seeking wellness."

-Ron Stern, Rabbi and Director of Center for Social Justice at Stephen Wise Temple

“In Panda’s Helping Paw, Andrea Sonnenberg has provided educators with an outstanding resource for social-emotional conversations.  This book has a gentle story with a powerful message, and the questions at the end offer a wonderful engagement opportunity for work with young students.  I highly recommend your school counselors and primary teachers have a copy of this on their bookshelf.”

- Tami Weiser,  Head of School, Stephen Wise Temple

"I absolutely love this book! It has such an important message that is presented in a very appropriate way for young readers. As adults, we often forget that even our little ones have the same big emotions that we have, and I think it is important to catch these children from a young age. This book also does an excellent job of showing how to be a great friend without overstepping or getting overly involved. I love that this book shows more than just one side of each situation but it's not too heavy for young children to read and understand. I also love the additional message and questions at the end that a teacher or parent could decide to read, as well, if they felt it was appropriate for their audience. Great illustrations and a great message!"

- Jarrika Coutchure, Head of School, Marvin Academy

"This book will help many children to explore their emotions in a developmentally appropriate and safe way. Sometimes, it is hard for kids to put into words exactly how they are feeling. This book is a great tool to teach children the vocabulary they need to express when they are "hurting on the inside." 

- Darcy Anderson, Third Grade Teacher

"Elephant's Big Climb is an engaging children's story about how to notice, talk about, and help a friend experiencing anxiety. It reassures children that it is normal to have big feelings and encourages open communication with trusted adults and friends. This book is a great resource for parents introducing the big feeling of anxiety through story-telling, insightful questions, and practical tools."

- Dr. Yasmin Taban, Psy.D. 

Donate Books

Your donation of $100 will provide 20 books to any school or youth organization of your choice. 

Click the link below. When completing the form, please list the name of the organization, contact person, full address, and phone number. 

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