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New Book Helps Children Cope with Loss and Death - "Gilly and the Garden"

"In this engaging story, Dr. Housman demonstrates her expertise in dealing with early childhood social and emotional issues by taking on the difficult topic of death and loss in a highly sensitive and caring manner."

-- Stuart Murphy,  Author, I See I Learn series

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The Book

Gilly and the Garden” is Dr. Donna Housman’s debut book for children ages 4 through 7 intended to help them learn to cope with loss and death. Through the story, children will be able to learn, grow, and develop alongside our ambassadors, otter siblings Hemmy and Shemmy, as they experience the ups and downs of responsibility, and the peace that can come from learning how to manage a range of emotions, and the way joyful memories can help lessen the pain of loss and death.

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Emotional Focus

Managing big emotions is fundamental to learning and thriving. Hemmy and Shemmy will show children how to become the boss of their own feelings, both big and small.

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Tips for Readers

This book contains tips for readers when talking about loss and death with young children and over 20 guiding questions for social-emotional learning.

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Book Series

“Gilly and the Garden”, which is the first in the book series “The ECSELent Adventures of Hemmy and Shemmy,” has been selected by the Children’s Book Council as an anticipated bestseller.


Dr. Donna Housman has spent her professional career in the world of early childhood development and education. Believing that it is far easier to prevent than repair, Dr. Housman founded Housman Institute, along with its lab school and early childhood development center, based on emotional foundations of learning and cognition and informed by research in neuroscience, child development, and early education. Seizing the opportunity to inform the architecture of the brain in the earliest years, her Emotional, Cognitive, and Social Early Learning (ECSEL) approach promotes healthy brain development and a positive sense of self by fostering the building blocks of emotional intelligence starting from birth.

Dr. Housman has trained thousands of early childhood educators, children, and families in her ECSEL approach while being a consistent source of vital counsel and guidance for families and educators on young children’s social and emotional development.

Donna Headshot

Ready to Order?

"Gilly and the Garden" is now released in the marketplace. Get your copy today!

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