What does anxiety feel like to a child?

Beat, beat, thump. Beat, beat, thump. That’s the pulse of Alex’s heart as he navigates worries about school, friendship struggles, and trying new things. Sometimes the pounding of his heartbeat gets so loud that it’s all he can hear.

In this encouraging and heartwarming tale, Alex listens to the beat, beat, thump of his heart while feeling both panic and peace. When his anxiety grows, Alex uses techniques he has learned, like stomping his feet and focusing on his heartbeat, to center himself and regain his calm. When at peace, Alex can feel the steady hum of his heartbeat as he thinks about the fun things he’ll do tomorrow, the people he loves, and how his strong heart has carried him through hard things.

This book is also available as an E-Book!


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Want to dive deeper?

Check out the Beat, Beat, Thump Resource Bundle that allows you to take the explore the lessons taught in the picture book further. The downloadable Resource Bundle includes:

  • Worksheets to prompt discussion about panicked and peaceful hearts
  • Activities to work on recognizing our hearts and teaching how to calm down
  • Instructions to create your own stethoscope
  • Anxiety Journal pages
  • Coloring page from the book
  • And more!


This book has made the perfect addition to my calming corner. It has great strategies for students (and even adults) to use when they feel stressed or have feelings of panic. I highly recommend this book for your classroom! 

Stephanie Stauble


Beat, Beat, Thump is an excellent addition to any child’s library. Mental health is SO important, especially in our tiniest humans. The techniques learned in this book can easily be used at home to help children with anxiety or panic. 

Elizabeth Hatline


In this beautifully illustrated picture book the reader meets a young child who notices the beat, beat, thump of their heart when they feel nervous. However, as they begin to pay attention to and listen to their body, the sound of their heartbeat becomes a touchstone and a way of grounding. This is such a powerful tool to introduce to young people. Being able to focus on their heartbeat or breathing can give children the opportunity to self regulate. It also allow them to recognize cues that their body sends them when they are feeling certain emotions (whether it is anxiety, joy, sadness, excitement or anger). This awareness is key to being able to regulate, express and manage these feelings. I absolutely love the message that this book carries, especially because it doesn’t emphasize only using this technique when you are feeling anxiety or anger. 

Kristin Harding


This simple, yet powerful story is a must add to your classroom picture book collection to support your SEL lessons! I truly love this one! The simple story is so easy for the kids to relate to and the message it sends is so helpful for our students! 

Jeanine Schneider


Beat, Beat, Thump is an excellent story that addresses anxiety in children and what that may feel like. From explaining the symptoms that this young child feels, to when and why he may start to feel this anxiety, and finally to showing coping mechanisms, this story just outlines it all so wonderfully. As a parent and avid picture book reader I appreciated how the story went full circle: turning the Beat, Beat, Thump from a negative to a positive. A must have addition for every home library. 

Book Reviewer


ALLISON EDWARDS is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their families. She received her undergraduate degree in Education from Northwest Missouri State and a graduate degree in Counseling from Vanderbilt University. Before opening a private practice, Allison developed and maintained a play therapy program for at-risk and immigrant children in the public school system. In her current practice, she sees children of all ages, consults with parents, supervises counselors, and writes about childhood anxiety. She also serves as an Affiliate Professor at Vanderbilt University where she enjoys teaching future counselors how to work with kids. 

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