Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't think about Purple Elephants” as Want to Read:
Don't think about Purple Elephants
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't think about Purple Elephants

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Sometimes Sophie worries -- not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse.

Until her mother thinks of a new approach ... that might just involve an elephant or two! But wait, don't think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical an
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by EK Books (first published February 22nd 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't think about Purple Elephants, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't think about Purple Elephants

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Don't think about Purple Elephants
Don't Think About Purple Elephants is a picture book I've been hearing about for months. Or as the case turns out, potentially an entire year since the book was actually released. It's a book I wanted to read last year, but I could never find it in stock anywhere. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover the Newcastle Writers Festival 2016 not only featured the author Susan Whelan and the illustrator Gwynneth Jones in the same session, but they had the book in stock at MacLean's pop up f ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great idea! I got this book after hearing about it on Twitter. My son is a chronic nighttime worrier. His worries are a little bit deeper (am I a good person?) but the solution has still worked. Thank you, thank you! No more midnight chats/tears because he can't sleep due to worry. *sighs in relief* ...more
Hazel Edwards
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of picture books and regard the quality writing of them as the Rolls Royce challenge.I was very impressed by the choreographing of emotions, structure and pace of 'Don't Think About Purple Elephants'. It reads well aloud and has the child-centred comfort appropriate for the audience age. Beautifully produced and illustrated with a fanciful twist. Highly recommended and think it could also make a great classroom playscript. ...more
Katrina McKelvey
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book to share with any child, especially little ones who worry. Illustrations enhance the beautiful message inside the bright covers. A must have!
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Coping skills for anxiety. Distractions. Good for group counseling.
Emma Codd
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is a charming book that tells the story of a little girl called Sophie. Sometimes Sophie worries, but not when she is busy with activities during the day, no. Sophie’s worries wait until she is lying in bed in the dark and quiet to start troubling her, robbing her of her sleep and leaving her very, very tired the next day. So, her family set about trying to find ways to help Sophie fall asleep and worry less. Will her mum’s suggestion to not thinking about purp ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sophie has no worries in the daytime when she is busy at school or with her family and friends but come nighttime....that's when worry comes to try to befriend her. Her mind gets overloaded with thoughts of:

"What if they run out of milk and she couldn't have cereal for breakfast?"

"What if her favourite shirt was still in the wash and she couldn't wear it on the weekend?"

And my most favourite...

"What if Mum cooked Brussels sprouts for dinner? (Sophie didn't like Brussels sprouts.)"

Her concerned f
Marilou George
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sophie is a child that has a lot of friends, is full of life and loves to have fun. She has one little problem, when she settles down in her bed at night to sleep, she starts to worry. She worries about all kinds of things because her mind is not busy as it always is during the day. Her mother comes up with a way to try to get her to focus on something else that’s silly and fun and it works.

I really liked this book; I wish that I would’ve had it when my son was little because he was a bedtime wo
Renee Price
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think any child (or adult!) reading this book will be able to relate in some way. A beautiful and encouraging story about childhood anxieties. The illustrations are a perfect match to this story, in particular, the sway from colour to black and white images, representing the times Sophie worries.
This is a wonderful book - my four-year-old loves it, too!
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
A great book about small worries that can seem to be big worries at night time. Sophie is a happy girl in the day time, but at bedtime all those small worries crowd in, stop her from sleeping and make her tired the next day. What if they do run out of milk or mum cooks those awful brussel sprouts again?

Fleur Ferris
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a regular request at our house. I have three children and they all love this book. My eldest child (8) is a night time worrier. This book has helped her combat her worrying thoughts. It has given her a simple strategy to try - and thankfully, for her, it works. I thank the author for writing this book.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. Delightfully told with vibrant illustrations there's a tip in there for us adults with anxiety who can't sleep. I'll be thinking of purple elephants from now on! ...more
Sarah Fairbairn
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bright, beautiful and heart warming.
Dimity Powell
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
Rosemond Cates
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A bedtime book about bedtime worries. Review can be found here: ...more
Sophie S
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't think about Purple Elephants is a book about a little girl called Sophie. Sophie is happy when she's busy during the day, but when it's time to go to sleep, she starts to worry. Her family try to help, but all their suggestions make Sophie even more worried, until one day her mum challenges her not to think about purple elephants.

This book could be used in Early Years and KS1. It shows that it is ok to feel anxious or worried at night, and encourages talking about ways to make you feel be
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A helpful picture book for helping to explore clinical anxiety in primary school aged children (i.e. when the level of anxiety feels uncontrollable and impacts on their day to day life). This is a fairly gentle approach with only one CBT method suggested but it's good way of helping kids feel that they are not alone.

Miss 5 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for
Sophie has trouble sleeping at night due to a propensity to worry about all the things that could go wrong in her life. She has no worries while at school or while awake when she's home. Her family try all sorts of solutions from warm milk with honey to little sister loaning big sister her teddy bear. Finally Mom has a great idea: don't think about purple elephants! When Sophie lays down to go to sleep, as hard as she tries, she can't stop thinking of purple elephants. The elephants are so perva ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book has been in high rotation recently. We are talking a lot about emotions with Mr 3 and he has also begun having fear of monsters under the bed. Whether it's coincidence or what have you, he seems to be having fewer night time issues since we begun reading this book. I didn't pick it up from the library because of the anxiety element but I'm glad I did pick it up because it seems to have helped regardless! ...more
Bryanna Rorie
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-5
I absolutely fell in love with this book. It is great for those that feel constant worry and gives a little trick to help with those said worries. This would be a great book for a class read aloud and even just for a library book to help kids know that it’s okay to worry, but here’s something to help you deal with that worry. It’s great for multi-age audiences and has that humor that is great for the age group for when you are dealing with the darker feelings, but don’t want to scare them.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sophie enjoyed her days but at night she worried about so many things. She worried so much she couldn't go to sleep. Her mom helped her by telling her not to think about purple elephants. And, of course, that's all she could think about. It calmed her worries and she was able to sleep.
Use to offer support for a child who is struggling with worries.
Melissa Hicks
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Many of us face the dread on not being able to shut our brains off at night when we are trying to go to sleep. This story models how thinking about something else and getting your mind into a more positive thought can change your worries and provide calm. The illustrations are vibrant with a double page spread and symbolize imagination within the readers of this wonderful picture book.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book (in my opinion) starts to tackle the ideas of anxiety by having Sophie worry about the many things that could come later down the road. This book is a very nice book and I highly recommend it!
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Cute and colorful

Cute characters and colorful illustrations. A good book to read if your little one has trouble falling asleep. "Don't think about purple elephants"... what clever advice!
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiera-books
I wish there were about 2 more pages of elephants, and 2 fewer of things to worry about at night.
Siân PJ
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
A perfect book for people who worry at bedtime.

Don't think about the purple elephants. No cute little purple elephants, no big purple elephants at the circus. No purple elephants at all.
Children's Literature Centre at FSU
An excellent book how to deal with worries
FM Family
I guess I'm in the minority here big time but I found this book to be only ok. The illustration style is not really for me, so that was a part of it, I wasn't drawn into it. I appreciated having a book about anxiety, and the specificity of it being a child who just has nighttime anxiety rather than chronic. I'd love to know (and will read through other reviews) to get a sense of whether this approach would actually work for anxiety, but I couldn't help thinking that if it didn't work, the book d ...more
Rebecca Chew
rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2016
Alissa Patrick
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Circle
  • Dragons Love Tacos
  • Mixed: A Colorful Story
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy
  • I Like Myself!
  • Aliens Love Underpants
  • A Child of Books
  • When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry
  • Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice
  • They All Saw A Cat
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
  • David Gets in Trouble
  • A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue
  • The Very Last Castle
  • Strictly No Elephants
  • LEGO City: All Hands on Deck! (Level 1)
  • Listen to My Trumpet! (Elephant & Piggie, #17)
  • I Just Don't Like the Sound of No!: My Story about Accepting 'No' for an Answer and Disagreeing...the Right Way!
See similar books…
My first two picture books, 'Don't Think About Purple Elephants' and 'The Great Sock Secret' were published as Susan Whelan. My latest picture book, 'Grace & Katie' was published as Susanne Merritt. ...more

News & Interviews

Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
46 likes · 13 comments