who’s saying what


Dear Susan,

I just wanted to write a quick note to say how much we appreciated “Don’t Think About Purple Elephants.” We recently had our Stage Two camp and for many of our Year Three students it was their first time away from home. In leading up to our camp experience we read and discussed your delightful book. During the camp we placed laminated cut outs of purple elephants on the walls of cabins of some of our children to help them with their anxiety at night. It was wonderful to have a common language to talk about feeling worried and a strategy to aid the children.

Thanks Again,
Amy Bibby, Director of Junior Primary
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College


SBS, April 2016

Susan Whelan features in a SBS piece on Anxiety Disorders in Kids, a key concept explored in Don’t Think About Purple Elephants.  









Sydney Morning Herald, December 2015

“an unexpected and valuable lesson in dealing with anxiety”

Exisle Publishing EK BOOKS Sydney Morning Herald Purple Elephants


Red Reading Hub UK – Jill Bennett reviews Children’s Books

“From the safe place of a story world youngsters can explore ideas and find solutions: the inherent humour of Susan Whelan’s narrative and Gwynneth Jones’ detailed, slightly whimsical illustrations offer one such. Jones portrays how those worries of Sophie’s take hold: as the worries come, the colours drain away, the scenes becoming almost black and white, with just the particular worry colourfully highlighted. Watch that mischievous moggie too.  All in all, a super book for home, early years settings and primary schools.”

Exisle EK Books Publishing don't think about purple elephants


Carousel UK Magazine, December 2015

“offers a genuine solution for children who feel anxious at night.”

Exisle publishing EK Books Don't think about purple elephants


Word Mothers, November 2015

Check out this great interview with author Susan Whelan!

Exisle Publishing Dont think about purple elephants word mothers


The School Librarian Journal UK, November 2015

Gentle reassuring story which makes clever use of colour to contrast negative thoughts with more positive ones . . . the story might give a reader the confidence to talk about their own (possibly greater) concerns.”

Exisle Publishing School Librarian Journal UK EK Books don't think about purple elephants


The Star, October 2015

“Lake Macquarie Libraries will also host special story times throughout October where children will have the opportunity to … hear Susan Whelan share her book, Don’t Think About Purple Elephants.”

Exisle Publishing EK Books The Star Purple Elephants


School Days, September 2015

This book is filled with lovely illustrations that children will relate to and sure to enjoy looking at while reading of Sophie’s predicament and the the solution to no more worrying, thanks to purple elephants…”

Exisle Publishing School Days Purple Elephants EK Books


Swings and Roundabouts, September 2015

…offers young readers and possibly the adults in their lives a new antidote for anxious kids…a great addition to any centre’s library…”

Peas in a Pod Swings and Roundabouts Exisle Publishing EK Books


Creative Kids Tales, August 2015

Susan Whelan addresses those little worries thoughtfully with a message guaranteed to resonate with parents coping with children with anxiety issues. I was excited to see Creative Kids Tales emerging illustrator, Gwynneth Jones’s illustrations. The bursts of colour and then dark and white images helps with the natural flow of the story. Beautifully expressing Sophie’s changing body language when those troublesome thoughts take over. From to the concerned look as she gently returns her sister’s teddy to Sophie’s twisted figure standing in the river of spilled milk. Gwynneth Jones whimsical illustrations compliment Susan’s caring subtle message.”

Click here to read the whole review!

Jigsaw, August 2015

discussing Sophie’s worries and what she does to ease them, it is easy to bring up with the children ideas to help them their won worries. I would recommend this book.”

Exisle Publishing Creative Kids Tales Jigsaw Purple Elephants

Mums Delivery, August 2015

My daughter (7yrs) often had nightmares and got scared by a number of things throughout the night that would keep her awake. After reading Don’t Think about Purple Elephants to her, I am happy to say that each night she asks me to come up with a new coloured animal not to think about and sleeps peacefully throughout the night. She has read and re-read the book and while she has really enjoyed it; I have found it very helpful in creating a fun, happy way to avoid the nightmares.

Mums Delivery Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing


‘Life as it is’ Blog, July 2015

Based on the experience the author had with her own seven-year-old daughter, this book has resonated with me. As a child, I was worried about all sorts at night. … I also love that the mum in this book is the hero! I like the humour and honesty in this story. I love that it is a true story and consequently a realistic one. I also love that it will potentially help many children and parents alike as they grow together.”

Click here to read the full review!

Littlebooktastic Blog: “This would be a great book to use in schools too – sadly with things like SATs, kids are all too aware of feeling anxious these days. Young people need guidance about dealing with fears and worries, and I think this is a great book to choose.”

Click here to read the full review!


Mother and Baby, August 2015

Sophie is a little girl who worries, especially at night, so her mum comes up with a unique, whimsical solution involving little purple elephants

Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants Mother and Baby Susan Whelan

Little Hands in the Hunter, August 2015

“Whimsical and humourous

Exisle Publishing Little Hands in the Hunter

The Bookchook, August 2015

Jones provides lots to think about in her illustrations. I like the way she used a different palette on the worry pages, and showed us the way anxiety seemed to twist Sophie into knots.”

Book Chook Purple Elephants Susan Whelan Gwynneth Jones Exisle Publishing


The Herald on Sunday, July 2015

“if you have an anxious child who worries about the little things then Don’t Think About Purple Elephants is a picture book that can open up discussions about how to push those fears to one side. It might even remind anxious parents to do the same.”

Exisle Publishing Herald on Sunday Don't Think About Purple Elephants


Newcastle Herald, July 2015

“help(s) children feel less alone while dealing with their anxiety”

Exisle Publishing Don't THink About Purple Elephants Susan Whelan Newcastle Herald


Little Angel, June 2015

“a great read for everyone, with beautiful illustrations”

Exisle Publishing Don't Think About Purple Elephants Little Angel

Reading Time (Children’s Book Council of Australia), June 2015

“This story could be particularly helpful to share with anxious children or to read to any child to enjoy the antics of the cat and the elephants.”

Reading Time Children's Book Council of Australia Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

Family in Focus, June 2015

Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry will resonate with children and parents everywhereClick here to see the website

Upstart, June 2015

Upstart Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Dominion Post, June 2015

Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants Dominion Post

Practical Parenting, June 2015

This whimsical book uses humorous ideas to resonate with littlies and ease their worries.”

Practical Parenting Susan Whelan Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants


Essential Kids, June 2015

“Apart from a practical approach to dealing with worries, the book gently acknowledges that anxiety is commonly experienced and that it has a detrimental impact on our daily lives if left unchecked.”

Exisle Kids Essential Publishing Purple Elephants

Good Reading – Review by Jo Burrell, June 2015

With simplicity and insight, Susan Whelan nails scenarios in which tiny concerns can turn into monsters that drive sleep away … is a must-have bedtime story – and not just for children who find it hard to banish their night-time worries. Not thinking about purple elephants – or blue monkeys – is just plain fun.” **** Jo Burrell

Exisle Good Reading Purple Elephants

Busy Mums Blog, June 2015

“resonates with children and parents everywhere.”

Exisle Busy Mums Purple Elephants

Read Plus, June 2015

“This book is a fabulous resource, for supporting children’s social and emotional wellbeing, for health practitioners, schools, kindergartens and for families to share.”

Exisle Publishing Read Plus Purple Elephants

Lambton Local, June 2015

“Whimsical and humorous”

Exisle Publishing Lambton Local Purple Elephants

Bottom Shelf, June 2015

“This is another title from this independent publisher that is not afraid to tell stories that many children resonate with and seek solace from.”

Exisle Bottom Shelf Purple Elephants Susan Whelan


New Zealand Book Lovers, May 2015

“With a strong message in mindfulness, this is a feel-good book that will be enjoyed just as much by the children being read to as by the adults doing the reading. I imagine that Don’t Think About Purple Elephants will become a bedtime favourite in many homes…and that purple elephants will not be thought about for a long time to come.”

NZ Book Lovers Blog Purple Elephants Susan Whelan Exisle Publishing


Niu FM Interview with Susan Whelan, May 2015

Space Station Kiwi Radio Interview with Susan Whelan, May 2015


“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.” ~ Hazel Edwards (author of  There is a Hippopotamus on Our Roof of My House Eating Cake)


School Days Magazine, May 2015

“If you have a child who worries about things, all sorts of things, then this delightful book may help”

School Days Magazine Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

Pinerolo Newsletter, May 2015

“A lively, engaging and colourful picture book”

Exisle Publishing Pinerolo Newsletter Purple Elephants

Sydney Morning Herald, May 2015

“This picture book offers a gentle way to ease anxiety”

Exisle Publishing Sydney Morning Herald Purple Elephants

Children’s Books Daily, May 2015

“a delightful book which deals with childhood anxiety in a light-hearted manner, without being at all dismissive”.

Exisle Publishing Children's Books Daily Purple Elephants

Babyology, May 2015

“Apart from a practical approach to dealing with worries, the book gently acknowledges that anxiety is commonly experienced and that it has a detrimental impact on our daily lives if left unchecked.”

Babyology Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

Boomerang Blog, May 2015

“Brilliant originality”

Boomerang Blog Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

ABC Mildura interview with Sheridan Stewart


Bright Start Magazine, April 2015

A very clever way of reassuring a child of findin ways to manage their worries.”

Bright Start Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Gisborne Herald, April 2015

Dive into a world of big, beautiful and colourful illustrations that take you through the thoughts of Sophie, a little girl who sometimes worries at night time … a humorous approach … easy to read and has a nice message too.”

 Gisborne Herald Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

The Mummy Project, April 2015

The illustrations are exceptionally imaginative and really bring this story to life

Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants The Mummy Project

The Picture Book Place, April 2015

“A fun read with a serious message at heart”

Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants Review Picture Book Place

Honey Bee Books, April 2015

“A beautiful and sensitive picture book about finding a way to ease a little girls worries.”
Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants Honey Bee Books Review


Mummahh Blog, April 2015

This lovely book has a subtle message for anxious kids and makes a great bedtime story

Exisle Mummahh Blog Purple Elephants

Buzzwords, April 2015

approaches the theme of worry in an imaginative and sensitive way

Exisle Buzzwords Purple Elephants

Sydney Observer, April 2015

lovely feature article interviewing the author about how her daughter’s experience with anxiety inspired the book. 

Sydney Observer Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Child Magazine, April 2015

“a wonderful story for little worries…lets the imagination run wild”

Child Magazine Exisle Purple Elephants

Janeen Brian Blog, April 2015

a truly delightful book that explodes with colour and energy and carries a wonderful subtle message for anxious kids

Janeen Brian Blog Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Kids Book Review, April 2015

packed with colour and creativity, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry is bound to become a family favourite

Kids Book Review Purple Elephants Exisle Publishing

Perth Sunday Times, April 2015

a beautiful, fun Aussie picture book to subtly help anxious kids ease their fretting

Perth Sunday Times Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Review – Author Interviewed on ABC Perth, Breakfast with Eion Cameron, March 25

Check it out here:

Review – School’s Out Magazine, April 2015

I think everyone would like to think about purple elephants. I do.

Jigsaw Magazine Exisle Publishing Purple ElephantsSchools Out Cover Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants

Review – Anita Heiss Blog, April 2015

A fabulous read. I recommend it as much for adults as kids

Anita Heiss Blog Exisle Publishing Purple Elephants