Astro is Down in the Dumps

Rated 4.94/5 based on 17 reviews
This fun and entertaining book, Astro is Down in the Dumps, was created to give children the skills they need to build resilience and cope with depression and anxiety.

Astro is feeling so sad and blue he can’t get out of bed. Then there’s a knock at the door… who could that be? More

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About Susan Day

Susan is an author, canine behaviourist, and a storyteller. She lives with her family and dogs, in particular, Rocky the Border collie and Stella, the blind dog. She spends her time blogging, writing and illustrating; training and counselling dogs and being bossed around by the family cat, Speed Bump Charlie and his sidekick, Furball (see Dogs in Space).

Susan travelled around the world twice before she was seven years old. It seemed only fitting that the wonderful events she experienced and the places she visited on these journeys be recorded for history. Thus, her story telling skills began. Firstly, to Rupert Bear, her lifelong companion, and then to a host of imaginary friends and finally to her pet dog once the family finally set down roots in Australia.

Susan is passionate about children's literature and wants to inspire children to be better people and encourage them to follow their dreams. She runs workshops for children teaching them how to form the wonders of their imaginations into stories.

Susan lives in a small country town where there are more kangaroos than people. She shares her country property with four dogs, three cats, three rescue guinea pigs and a very large fish and her patient husband. More about her adventures are reflected in Clarence the Snake from Dunolly.

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Review by: April Manning on Sep. 03, 2015 :
Astro is Down in the Dumps is a great way to teach kids that everyone feels low sometimes and there are ways to deal with it. Susan Day has a wonderful knack with the skill of verse and it shines through in this fun, happy story about being sad. It includes information for further study into the subject making this a perfect addition to any classroom or home!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: James Minter on May 13, 2015 :
There is a very real and worrying trend amongst young children – the rise of depression and anxiety. Equipping children from an early age with a set of strategies to ward off issues causing anxiety can only benefit them in the longer term.

The aim of the book is to provide such a set of activities so children can deal with the everyday issues confronting them in this fast paced, complex, exciting world full of opportunities, contradictions and dangers as they navigate their way to becoming responsible functioning adults.

The creativity of Susan, directed and focused on this issue, has produced a short but to the point book based around her well established Astro character and her real love of dogs.

The book is an excellent idea and a much needed addition for parents, guardians and teachers in helping children develop.

The issues of child depressions and increased anxiety are world-wide. Susan has a very laudable goal to give every school a copy. To help her succeed in getting her book into every school and library you can donate here: I wish her every good fortune in her endeavour.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: stacie on May 11, 2015 :
I think this a great book for people with kids in general. Especially all the kids who are sad or down. My kids loved it. It is well written. I love how easy it is to read and keeps the kids attention. Not too long just right.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Brenda Cheers on May 10, 2015 :
What a delightful book this is—and an important one. It is a poem told in seven chapters about Astro (doggie superhero from other books) waking up sad.
His friends: Digger, Alfie, Stella, Indy, Rocky and Dotty all come by to offer advice on how to beat the blues, including painting, talking to somebody about it, writing in a journal and dancing. This advice is contained in the first six chapters. The seventh chapter includes worksheets and helpful links.
Funds raised from the sale of the book go towards sending free copies to schools and libraries.
This is a great resource to offer young children who are feeling sad and who have not developed coping mechanisms. Highly recommended for parents, teachers and counsellors.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Nicole on March 13, 2015 :
What a great little book. This book is a different style than Astro's Adventures (of which I have read and loved), as it is written in poem format. With a great rhyming scheme making it an easier read for younger children (or a read-together book) but without segregating out older children too. This is a great read for any child who is dealing with the blues (or depression). Many people go through depression at all different stages, ages and for different reasons. This book would definitely help any child cope with sadness and come up with great solutions for overcoming it (including helpful advice and worksheets). If you feel that your child may be struggling, pick up this book for them, I am sure it will help. What a wonderful read!
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)

Review by: Anna Burke on March 06, 2015 :
It's never too soon to help kids learn to cope with a range of feelings. This little book is aimed at communicating with kids about what to do when you've got the blues. Astro, is down in the dumps, and won't get out of bed. Lucky for him he's got friends, a good first lesson in how to handle rough patches--call on your friends. Using rhyme and rhythm this little book provides lots of ideas about what to do when you're feeling blue. Each idea is brought to Astro by a different friend and each one is a tried and true strategy for managing a down day or feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Like reaching out to friends, talking to someone, doing something fun and creative, eating right, going outdoors and doing something active. All written at a level to reach young children. A great book that deals in a light handed way with a weighty subject. Five stars!
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)

Review by: Tabitha Ormiston-Smith on Feb. 25, 2015 :
Susan Day's Astro books are all charming, but this one is something special.

Designed to educate young children in defensive strategies against depression, the book follows a day in the life of Astro, a dog who has become depressed. Astro's dog friends arrive to visit him, and each one describes a technique that can be used to overcome or prevent depression.

The theory behind Astro's friends' suggestions is all very sound, and the verse format, as well as being quite delightful, will go a long way to ensure the lessons learned remain in a child's memory. The technique of 'teaching verses' is a very old one, and it's old because it is effective.

The illustrations are plentiful, suitable to the text and well done, and there is just nothing to criticise about the work, particularly when one reaches the end and finds an activity sheet that can be used by each child to reinforce what has been learned, personalise it to his own situation and create a ready-made action plan for himself to use should he ever fall prey to depression.

This is a truly wonderful resource for any parent. A gift that can help to make your child proof against one of the most frightening threats of modern life.

In the back matter, I learned that proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to fund a project to provide copies to every school and library in Australia. I hope the project succeeds, because it is a truly valuable book and should be disseminated as widely as possible.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

Review by: D.K. Cassidy on Feb. 24, 2015 :
Uplifting Children’s Book

This picture book employs a unique approach to a serious problem affecting some children. Through the use of beautiful illustrations and engaging rhymes, author Susan Day helps children suffering from depression or anxiety, discover the tools to understand and alleviate the symptoms of their condition.

This book is useful for parents, teachers, or therapists helping the young sufferers. There are worksheets and further information at the end of the book. Also, to quote the author, “Funds raised from the sale of this book go towards sending a free copy to each school and library in the country.”

Even if your child doesn’t suffer from anxiety or depression, this book would be a great way to understand and empathize with those that do.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

Review by: Annie Magee on Feb. 19, 2015 :
Astro is Down in the Dumps by Susan Day, is a lovely story to assist young children dealing with depression and anxiety. The story line gives an insight to some practical ways children can help themselves to feel happier and get back into the usual things they like to do. Depression and anxiety for a child can be quite frightening as they feel overwhelmed and out of control of their own situation. The tendency to close themselves off to the usual fun things they like to do can be very difficult to break free from. Susan has cleverly depicted an amazing support group of Astro's friends who come calling to give their advice on what to do to try and lift Astro's mood. What I love about this book, is that it not only assists a depressed or anxious child, but it also encourages children who may know someone who is feeling down, to reach out to them. This is one of the most important tools in our society today, if we are to efficiently assist those with a mental health illness. Someone with depression or anxiety often will not have the skill to reach out for help themselves...but if everyone in their friendship group and family can reach out to them, they will have a better hope of coping. I love that each of Astro's friends came to share something special and it helped Astro to feel better. The activities at the end of the book are a great idea, I can see this book being used successfully in primary schools who run resilience programs.
-Annie Magee
Author/Illustrator of children's book Incredible Intimidation
Mother of a child who struggles with severe anxiety.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: JR wirth on Feb. 18, 2015 :
Astro is Down in the Dumps is one of many in the Astro stories. This particular one deals with difficult but far too prevalent childhood affliction – depression. Whether it’s situational, trauma induced or biological, childhood mood disorders need to be treated as soon as they are recognized. This book Astro is Down in the Dumps can be a useful tool when working with younger children. The suggestions are right out of the cognitive behavioral playbook. The rhythmic tone and poetic style lend themselves to keep the attention of younger children, while the content stands on its own, perhaps for children up to age ten, depending on their developmental level, as advanced nine-and ten-year-olds might not relate. The activities and hotlines —UK-USA-Australia—provide much needed supports for the book. I would recommend this book for anyone who has a child, or that works with children in any capacity. Reviewed by JR Wirth – author and psychotherapist.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Brenda Perlin on Feb. 18, 2015 :
Astro Is Down In The Dumps by Susan Day is an adorable children's book filled with positive messages and lessons. Precious dialog, awesome rhymes, beautiful illustrations and clever ways to teach children how to deal with sadness and bad feelings.

The author makes dealing with depression a doable thing and does so with inspiring alternatives. This book cheered me up in seconds flat. Even though I am not a child I saw the wisdom in her inspiring suggestions.

I loved the questions and answers at the end. So educational and at the same time fun. I could see this book used in classrooms and libraries. Beautifully done. Loved it!

Quote ~

“Now, you don’t know that at all,
Until you’ve given someone a call.
Talk to a grown up or a friend,
And this will help your sadness end.”
“Sometimes talking to someone,
Can make your day a lot less glum.
It’s like receiving a gift,
When sadness is given a lift.”
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Marybeth Jeitner on Feb. 16, 2015 :
I thoroughly enjoyed, Astro is Down in the Dumps, by Susan Day. It is an easy, fun read for kids but further, it addresses a critical issue for many children which is learning to cope with sadness. We all experience feeling down at times but to learn early in life real tools to use to feel better, would save many from therapy bills and medications later in life, I think. Through the use of poetry and rhyme, Susan teaches kids to eat well, exercise, ask for help, journal and other ways to feel better. Bravo Susan Day for a wonderful work on a crucial topic!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Catherine G. on Feb. 12, 2015 :
I got a coupon code for Smashwords to get this book for free. These are just my honest thoughts on it.

Told in rhyme, Astro is Down in the Dumps By Susan Day is a book about a dog who is feeling down. It's designed to encourage youngsters to try all sorts of new things when they're feeling upset or depressed. When Astro the dog is feeling down, he takes visits from all his friends who inform him what they do when they feel upset. By the end of the book, Astro is feeling much happier!

It's a lovely book, with beautiful illustrations. Astro's story, though a little cliche, is well told and quite inspiring. I admit, I kind of thought it was rude for the friends to all visit and tell him what to do. I know that when I'm in that kind of mood, I don't like it when people tell me that I should be doing things I don't like/ or aren't good at. However, I know they were just trying to help and I admire Astro's patience with them. I think that the main reason Astro was feeling better was just the chance to have talked to his friends.

It's quite a nice book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Victoria Zigler on Feb. 09, 2015 :
This is a fantastic book, which is well-written, and full of some excellent ideas to help children - and adults - deal with depression. The verse flows well, and is easy to read, while also being very informative.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

Review by: Theresa Jones on Feb. 09, 2015 :
Astro is feeling blue, but each one of his friends comes to visit and make suggestion, from eating fresh fruit to talking to a friend. Written in rhyme, this is a book with a good message for all children. The rhymes were well written and flowed nicely. I always want to read picture books out loud to hear how the language sounds and this one while rhyming lends itself to inserting the correct emotional tone very easily.
There are good questions at the end as well as a nice list of suggestions and resources. I applaud Susan Day for this well-written book and the goal of getting it into every school and library.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Linda Mary James on Feb. 08, 2015 :
Congratulations to Susan Day for acknowledging the too common problem of children copying with anxiety and depression, in such an easy to read and understandable way. Astro the lovable dog is the main character who is supposed by his canine friends who provide support and ideas that help Astro to get out of the dumps. With verse and gentle colour illustrations by Susan, the book flows very well. The layout is fresh and clean. I believe this book is also a help to adults, as well as children, who can take on some of the ways to lift their spirits. I could not help but smile as I read through the book. It has that ‘feel good’ feeling about it. The worksheets and contact numbers at the end of the book are helpful. Very well written and illustrated. I wish Susan Day every success in getting a free copy to each school and library in the country to help our young people who are struggling with anxiety and depression.
Reviewed by Linda James, Author and Counsellor.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)

Review by: Devi Nair on Feb. 05, 2015 :
This is a book for children with a social cause. Astro is the adorable dog in the series and he is feeling low today. With the cases of depression among kids rising so much these days, such books are required to be circulated around. The kids need to know that they are never alone and there is always a lot of people to love them unconditinally and take care of them always. They should be encouraged to talk to their friends or their parents or anyone they feel comfortable with about their feelings.

In the book, many friends of Astro’s come and visit him and tell him what they do when they are feeling down. Some talk to their friends, some paint, some eat, some exercise, the ways are many but the purpose of all is the same – to battle depression.

The book is a poem with nice rhymes. There is a happy feel even to the words and pictures of the book. The colours used are nice, bright and happy. Reading the book, for kids alone, or reading it out to them will definitely help them battle depression and remain happy.

Towards the end of the book, there are some exercises to kids on what they should do when they are feeling low. What they would like to do, who they can contact, who would listen to them when they are down, and such similar things. This book should be there with every kid across the globe. Battle with depression especially for children should be won soon. Kids should be happy and bubbly all the time and not depressed. Kudos to Susan Day for creating such a beautiful book
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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