"Butterflies In Me" is an original children’s illustrated book written and created for multicultural children who have been diagnosed with mental illness. Equally as important, it is a support resource for those who love them, work with them, and care for them. The book seeks to open up a path of communication between all these components of the “support village” by creating open discussion and facilitating critical thinking among all these interested parties concerning the mental health challenges minority children face.
Along with the book itself, author Denisha Seals offers herself as a critical presenter to help students learn about the meaning and importance of self-esteem. The presentation is focused on the book's theme “you’re special, strong, and you did nothing wrong”, which also includes a self-esteem activity workbook created for children that may struggle with other challenges due to home life, school, mental health, and more.
Students attending the author visit will learn the meaning of the title of the book “Butterflies In Me” and will encounter the author’s personal life story and experience as a touchstone for reflecting on their own lives and experiences.
Once completed, it is our goal to ensure that each student is able to reflect, grow, and heal through this story-telling and continue the conversation with their own copy of the book.
"Denisha Seals captures, in a truly beautiful way, her lived experience, her passion for children, and her dedication to healing in her inaugural book, The Butterflies in Me. The stories are authentic, deeply moving and hopeful. Gabhor Utomo’s artwork brings the stories to life and help to make Javier’s, Kenya’s, Abbas’ and Lulu’s memories and experiences even more compelling and engaging. The culturally-specific, deeply moving, and hopeful nature of the book should be experienced by any child who has experienced trauma and/or is living with a mental health challenge. I am so thankful to now have this resource I can share with my personal and professional network so we can add our voices to what I hope will be a growing community chorus: “You are special, strong and you did nothing wrong!”
“Butterflies in Me” shares the courageous stories of four remarkable youth who come to understand that big, scary feelings and experiences don’t have to be carried alone. Their stories are moving and emotional and all too relatable. Each child experiences pain and uncertainty that truly pulls at your heartstrings. I am inspired that the children in each story had a person they could trust to help them navigate their way to safety and understand that what has happened to each of them is not their fault. These stories capture the hope and peace that each child can experience during these scary moments, and they exemplify the importance of being an adult who listens, helps, and instills hope in children who need us. Wonderfully written and extraordinarily important stories to be told to children everywhere.