Solving the Mystery of Why You Sometimes Lose Your Mind

Illustrated by ESTHER HERNANDO


Give Kids the Tools They Need to Control Their Emotions

Allison Edwards’ How to Crack Your Peanut helps kids understand why they sometimes lose control and make bad decisions. When kids learn how the brain works, they can begin to listen to their bodies and control their emotions.

Diego doesn’t understand why he always seems to lose his temper and lash out at people. He begins to feel like something is wrong with him and wonders if he is a bad kid. With the help of his counselor, Dr. B, Diego learns that the reason he acts the way he does is because of a peanut-shaped part of his brain called the amygdala.

Once he discovers how his brain works, Diego understands why his body feels out of control when he is angry or overwhelmed. Will the three tricks he learns from Dr. B help him keep his peanut calm, cool, and collected?

This gentle introduction to emotion regulation will help children realize they are not bad kids who make bad choices. They are good kids who can learn to control their emotions and make better choices, no matter the situation.


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This book is also available as an E-Book!

Want to dive deeper?

Check out the How to Crack Your Peanut Resource Bundle that allows you to take the explore the lessons taught in the picture book further. The downloadable Resource Bundle includes:

  • The Flood Zone Coloring Worksheet
  • The Flood Zone Worksheet
  • Be the Captain of Your Red Army: BREATHE
  • Be the Captain of Your Red Army: RELAX
  • Be the Captain of Your Red Army: IMAGINE
  • Stress Ball Squeeze Craftivity
  • Coloring pages from the book


Oh my, is this book relatable for all kids, especially in these pandemic times when emotions and stress are running so high! I absolutely love everything about this book. The way it normalizes Diego’s feelings and experiences, explains the brain in a kid-friendly way, and offers practical tools to cope, make it a must-have for your school counselor library. It would be great for classroom lessons and counseling sessions on self-control, the brain, and behavior.

Laura Oathout
School Counselor

The whole world could use this book right now. I think it applies to all of us and the loss of control we have been experiencing the last few years. Our emotions get the best of us sometimes, but being able to understand our brain and how it works is so helpful. I love the way the author uses everyday experiences and gives us examples of how to calm down. Emotional regulation is so important! 

Stephanie Holloway
Social Worker

“How to Crack Your Peanut” by Allison Edwards is a wonderful book and resource to help kids better understand what happens when they get angry, upset, or overwhelmed. It helps show those students who find themselves losing their temper or lashing out that it is completely normal and doesn’t make them a “bad kid”. This book also offers calm down strategies! This book would be perfect for any classroom calm down corner or library. 

Stephanie Stauble


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. 

Click here to see more books by Allison Edwards.