“Tuesday Tucks Me In” Awarded Best Amazon KidLit

tuesday tucks me inNov. 11, 2019 Update: This Veteran’s Day I found a resource list called “Operation We Are Here” with kidlit books, educational explainers and resources specifically supporting military families and veterans everywhere. PTSD is a very significant recurring theme in many returning veterans and helpful media including “V-Ret” virtual reality exposure therapy and virtual healing via wellness programs like  video game therapy as well as books like the one below on canine companions contribute to a greater understanding for us all.

Nov. 10, 2014 Woof! Amazon has just released their Best Children’s Books list in time for Veteran’s Day and this  poignant PTSD story told from the lens of a canine companion has been awarded one of the coveted slots.

Sometimes a tale needs told with a tail and a wag of a dog life’s narrative to bring humor, insight, and empathy without heavy handedness, and this book powerfully achieves just that!

Tuesday Tucks Me In by Luis Carlos Montalván with Bret Witter tells an uplifting buddy tale of mutual service in an age-appropriate way for wee ones, with a loving depiction of a golden retriever helping a retired Army Captain returning from duty with his own impairments. (K-3 reading level)

With slurps, cuddles and dog breath in the face normalcy, Montalván is able to educate children about tough topics like post-traumatic stress disorder while focusing on the positive lens of a golden retriever’s capacity to inspire rolling out of bed to face another day, rather than pulling up the covers. From subways and taxi cabs to amusement parks and crowded urban streets, Tuesday’s tale is told with a much brighter lens of companionship and triumph over adversity, rather than a media portrayal of PTSD’s invisible wounds carrying a burden of scary stigma. Paws up!

until tuesdayMontalván’s Tuesday Tucks Me In follows up on his New York Times bestseller “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him”  in a lovely children’s rendition that imparts a message that’s ‘not too dark, not too tough, but juuuuuuust right’ in eluding to PTSD’s nightmarish circumstances which can trigger an upset just by navigating everyday life. (Great visuals in this post from one of my favorite indie book vendors, The Tattered Cover in Denver, CO showing kids in a reading circle with Montalván and Tuesday the golden retriever. More Awwww inducing warmth and adorable pairings via the visuals at MacMillan’s Children’s Publishing Group)

This is SUCH important work connecting the dots with first-person nonfiction storytelling that kids can relate to as “the real deal” while instilling empathy, resilience and coping skills applicable to ANY life adversity.

As I wrote in ACES Wild, Flipping the Brain Script on Adverse Childhood Experiences we need EVERY media tool we can to reframe storytelling outcomes with hope and promise for children who are hurting, from bullying, sexual assault, violence in the streets/family, to general feeling unsafe in the world.

Tuesday Tucks Me In reading cornerI’m sure this book will escalate quickly into the sweet spot of public health educators everywhere for its huge positive psychological spillover effect for kids suffering from a wide array of ACEs. (see AceStudy.org)

Moreover, the ability to “StartEmpathy” early on in childhood with understanding of different life experiences merits a place in EVERY home.

Books like this that instill wisdom with profound, subtle touch points that can apply to varied and vast circumstances can help us ALL be more human and interconnected.

Tuesday Tattered Cover DenverFor me, growing up as a child in a military family with all the battle scars and pride that comes with ‘invisible service’ makes a book like Tuesday Tucks Me In a positive pick for the permanent “gift” shelf.

Others in my kid lit/early reader social emotional learning library that particularly resonate with Veteran’s Day?

Trudy Ludwig’s The Invisible Boy about positive upstanding and inclusion, which definitely fits into my “new kid” dynamic bouncing around as a global citizen, and also, her newest truthful tale about a soldier’s empathy with a child “Gifts from the Enemy.” There’s also the visceral wince from the “war play dilemma” of a militainment media culture which is beautifully depicted in a picture book about a child’s PTSD called Playing War by Kathy Beckwith from our friends at the peace and social justice children’s publisher Reach and Teach.com.

Veteran’s Day 2014 PTSD in the Media


tuesday tucks me in precious pairingIn related media news this Veteran’s Day, service animals of both the two and four legged kind seem to be finally getting a spotlight salute with a PTSD focus, from tomorrow’s launch of an A&E Reality TV show, “Dogs of War” about the role service/shelter animals play in PTSD to the news that hero dogs who have repeatedly served their country as canines will be honored for the first time with their own float in the Veteran’s Day Parade.

As I wrote in Virtual Healing: War Torn Teens Face Reality Post Iraq Duty media has been used multiple ways to try to get inside the heads of returning soldiers and survivors battling PTSD on the home front, it services us all to use various media tools to “Teach Empathy” remove mental health stigma at every age and stage, and work towards combating PTSD stereotypes and politicizing public health problems that impact everyone.

With that in mind, one more media film I just caught wind of via Voice of America is this new “I was there” project using hands-on storytelling, produced and acted by soldiers themselves, as firsthand film from the front lines of adversity.

And a reminder for all families (especially educators teaching kids with deployed parents) Sesame Street Workshop has long offered families tools and initiatives to help with healing, trauma, and PTSD. Their Talk, Listen and Connect program has soothed souls with figuring out ‘the new normal’ adapting to changes with resilience and helpful coping skills for years. (see 20pp pdf toolkit overview) 

If you know of more PTSD focused media used as healing work, please leave links in the comment section.

Meanwhile, salute a dog, hug a veteran, or vice-versa…

Better yet, do BOTH this Veteran’s Day…And far beyond.

tuesday tucks me in fb coverHere’s a Vimeo clip of the former Captain speaking about The war after the war” with PTSD and the positive impact of animals on those with disabilities, encouraging not just veterans, but civilians with all types of trauma inside and out to  reach out, get help.

ATC Segment: New York Times Best Selling Author & War Veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan from WBRW TV on Vimeo.

More Related Resources for Familiestlc_elmo_and_rosita_long.jpg

Sesame Workshop’s TLC: Talk, Listen, Connect

Sesame Workshop’s Deployment, Homecoming, Changes
(videos, downloads, music, and materials on a wide range of topics, from prosthetics, wheelchairs and adjustments to the ‘new normal’ to behavioral angst and reuniting traumas)

Sesame Street Workshop: Talking to Kids About War and Elmo Helps Kids Deal With War

Politically Tickled Pink: Puppets Take on the Harsh Realities of War

Post Deployment Stress: What Families Should Know, What Families Can Do

Mental Health & Cognitive Needs of America’s Returning Veterans

How Online Gaming Could Help Neuroscientists Research Most Troubling Brain Disorders (UCSF) 

Can Video Games Help PTSD? (Military Pathways)

Using War Games to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Science Daily)

Using Virtual Reality Video Games to Treat PTSD

Donna Musil’s documentary‘Brats, Our Journey Home’

Cornell University: Program for Anxiety & Trauma Stress Studies

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy: WTC Report (7 pp. pdf)

Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, Virtual Healing, Designing Reality Paper

Center for Really Neat Research (medicine meets VR for kids w/disabilities)

Related Veteran’s Day Posts by Amy Jussel on Shaping Youth

War Games Blitz the Homefront: Halo4, Call of Duty Livestream

Veteran’s Day/Girls Inc: Kids Speak About Military Family Life

The War Play Dilemma (& Online Gaming Stats)

Shouldn’t Veterans Day Be Only For Veterans?

Virtual Healing: War Torn Teens Face Reality Post Iraq Duty

MyVetwork: Connecting the Digital Dots (for veterans globally!)

Veterans Day/Memorial Day Are Not Mattress Sales

Narada Michael Walden: Grammy Winner Uses Music to Uplift the Heart

Women & the Military: MyVetwork for Service/Support

Celebrity Starpower to Benefit Urban Battlefields

Resources on War/Peace/Play & Educators on Tough Subjects

New! Kidlutions Rscs: Supporting Infants/Toddlers Deployment

The War Play Dilemma: What Every Parent & Teacher Needs to Know by Diane Levin, Nancy Carlsson-Paige

War and superhero play: 5 pp pdf: “Meeting children’s needs in violent times” (Lion & Lamb.org)

Reach and Teach: Peace/social justice: games, books, activities


Marketing and Media Violence: CCFC Fact Sheet

Looking at The War Through A Media Lens (Media Literacy Clearinghouse)

Talking With Kids About Tough Subjects

Returning Fire: Interventions in VideoGame Culture (MediaEd.org)

Militainment, Inc: Militarism & Pop Culture (MediaEd.org)


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