Introducing My Big Notebook

Welcome to My Big Notebook, an interactive Children’s workbook. Hear from JC, junior editor and the subject of the book, about why it’s important to kids and how to use it!

My Big Notebook

Authors: JC & Carla Carlisle
Released: November 2021

Are you a parent, caregiver, social worker or loved one of an elementary school aged child dealing with:

  • toxic stress
  • anxiety
  • trauma
  • loneliness
  • isolation
  • illness
  • missing loved ones

My Big Notebook includes:

  • real stories
  • healthy coping mechanisms
  • positive affirmations
  • coloring & journaling pages
  • resources for kids
  • techniques to help children express their feelings in a positive way

For parents:

  • letter to parents from a child and adolescent psychiatrist
  • support for parents

This book has been such a labor of love. To partner with my son and loved ones to put together a notebook for children is a dream come true. I so appreciate the journey.

Note: A “parent” is someone who is in the role of parent, whether temporary (like a foster parent) or permanent (like adoptive parent or parent with custody).

Authors: JC & Carla Carlisle @carlaacarlisle
Illustrator: Quadasia Prescod @q_kindainspires
Publisher: Spark Publications 

Bulk Sales: Contact Carla via email or click here to text us!

Donate My Big Notebook 

I’m super excited to be able to offer my big notebook free of charge to children who could use a buddy in a book!

We are now accepting tax deductible donations (to provide books to kids for free).

Praise for My Big Notebook:

Phenomenal book!

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This is the first of its kind, amazing book for young kids. It helps our youth start their mental health journey from a place of structure and stability. This workbook is really informative and inspiring. So many of our families and children go years without addressing mental health matters. This book helps start the conversation, foster a positive learning environment, and helps to establish a great foundation. An amazing investment!

– Jon

Fantastic book

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This is a great read for children. It will be very helpful for the you youth and it’s an easy read for them. The work book was great as well it will really help a child out.

– Brandon

It’s a great tool!

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I just wanted to follow up with you and let you know that my son enjoyed using your workbook and thought it was useful to discuss things with his counselor. You’ve created a great tool for children and I have no doubt that you will have much success!

– Fatima L.

This book is needed…

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As a person who has written about the trials and triumphs of youth, this book is needed more than ever for young people. And as a father in today’s world, I’m excited that Carla has decided to continue to bring life to her personal story, through the gift of her creative expression.

– Glenn Thomas, Chief Heart Officer, Heart Work Enterprises

Frequently Asked Questions
about My Big Notebook:

Why did the author write the book?

The author, Carla Carlisle, found great benefit in focusing on the mental health of her son early in life, especially due to early traumatic events that occurred in their lives. She saw the benefit of therapy and recognized a gap – that many children may not be able to go to therapy, but they could use a “buddy” to help them work through tough times.

My Big Notebook is not meant to replace therapy but can be used in conjunction with therapy. In cases where the child does not get therapy, the book is helpful in learning how to feel and express feelings in a constructive way. Carla did not see any kind of book like My Big Notebook in the marketplace. Most of the books were journals for teens or books children could read, but not interact with.

Carla also saw how the pandemic, social injustice and other major events impacted our community and especially our children. She wanted to do something that helped caregivers start the focus on mental health in children early in their lives. My Big Notebook is an interactive notebook that helps normalize mental health in children. Mental health is health.

What is the age range for the book?

The age range for the book is 5-10 (elementary school age), however, we’ve received feedback that the book is useful to older children (such as teens) with developmental delays as well adults who have worked through the book with their children.  We’ve seen middle school age children excited about the book and the tools & techniques it provides.  The character of JC in the book is 10-11 years old, yet the lessons are strategies are timeless, meaning that everyone can benefit from My Big Notebook.

Can the child use it alone or with an adult?
The interactive notebook can be used by children on their own, with a trusted adult (or caregiver) or in a group setting, like a classroom. It is really about what is most comfortable to the child. The book was designed to resemble a composition notebook so that the child can keep it nearby with as much discretion as they feel comfortable.
Can they use it more than once?
My Big Notebook can be used over and over again. There are coloring and journaling pages that can be used over time. The stories can be read and reread. The affirmations can be updated. There are tons of options for the child to reuse the book as they see fit.
Can they use it with a therapist or counselor?

Yes the child can use the book with a therapist or counselor. It is a complimentary tool to therapy, but can be used without it. In fact, JC and his mom (Carla Carlisle) developed the book with input from multiple therapists and proven evidence-based techniques and strategies.

Everything in the book should be familiar to the child’s service provider(s). The great thing is that, since all children don’t get to go to therapy, they can still use the book to learn some basic coping skills and positive ways to express their feelings. The more our children develop their social emotional skills, the better!

How does the book support the cognitive triangle?

My Big Notebook introduces the concept of the cognitive triangle – thoughts, feelings and actions, that we learned through trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). We had a certified TF-CBT therapist we worked with through Alexander Youth Network in Charlotte, NC.  The process was exceptional; there were components for the child only, for the parent only, and for both of us together.  You can learn more about TF-CBT, which is one type of therapy for children with a trauma history.

Why should a caregiver consider using this book with their child?

Our intention was to provide a book that a child could use on their own or with support. The book was written with guided bubbles of information. The approach was to provide the knowledge and then bring the child along. An example would be with affirmations, the guided bubble defines affirmations and then JC shares his affirmations and asks the reader to write their own.

What are the benefits for caregivers?

The book is a great refresher for adults, it reinforces concepts we may forget in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. One parent caregiver said it best, “this book can also be quite helpful for adults.  As much as we try to show others that ‘we have it all together’, I believe that most of us (including those of us with extensive emotional intelligence and lots of therapy) are still very emotionally immature and regularly revert back to core feelings of anger and fear without even realizing it!”

Are there other resources for caregivers and children in the book?
In addition to the coping skills and other tips, there are helpful website and telephone numbers from the author (Carla Carlisle) and the JR editor (JC) in the back of the book. There is space for the child to capture important numbers as well.

Learn from your buddy, JC…

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