Please Explain Vaccines To Me …



This book is designed to help parents explain the importance of getting vaccinated. The first part of the book is written for children; it begins with a simple rhyming story about a girl that is terrified of getting a shot. Laurie Zelinger uses age-appropriate language to talk about how vaccines fight off harmful germs to build immunity against infectious diseases. She speaks honestly about the anxiety and fear that shots can cause, while offering powerful visual representation that can alleviate the fear of getting vaccinated. In addition to these illustrations provided by Richa Kinra, this book includes heart-felt drawings from real children.

The second section of this book is intended for adults. Dr. Zelinger provides educational information so they can answer any questions that children may ask regarding immunizations. She uses her psychology background to explain the needle related fear. By providing adults with the physical and psychological symptoms of needle phobia, parents will be able to understand their symptoms and help guide them through their anxieties. The author also uses examples of play activities that can be used to help alleviate shot related fear for children of all ages.
Seattle Book Review by: Rita Long

By addressing the child’s fear, Dr. Zelinger is also preparing the parent/caregiver by helping her interpret the intimidation of needles and playing an active role in making the medical visits comfortable and cooperative. Some of her tips are, addressing the fear rather than avoiding it, pretend play, and distraction at the time of the shot. Indeed, practical approaches.

Finally, she says that it is essential for the parent to “remain calm and reassuring.” Kids are very observant and quick to pick up cues from adults. If the parent is anxious and worried, it will further stress the child – We couldn’t agree more with this reflection!

This book harbors the secrets to change how young minds manifest words like jab and shots. It stays alongside parents and caregivers so that they can hold the hands of their little ones in a way that is informative and hopeful. No wonder we highly recommend this book for every child and adult who wants to make this journey a smooth ride.
Quotidian Tales, December 29, 2021 – CLICK HERE to read the complete review

Shots, injections, needles, and vaccines-whatever their purpose, they all hurt. More than half of children in the 6-17 year-old range report a strong fear of needles. Nearly 25% of adults do as well. This book is for those families who cringe at the thought of getting one.

For some children, getting a shot is a major ordeal. Ramped-up anxiety can lead to tantrums, meltdowns, outbursts and even fainting. That 30-second experience can be a nightmare for parents for and nursing staff alike. “Please Explain Vaccines to Me: Because I HATE SHOTS!” by Laurie Zelinger is vital resource will help to improve that dreaded scenario.

“Please Explain Vaccines to Me: Because I HATE SHOTS!” opens with an engaging story for children where rhyme, colorful illustrations and characters of diversity capture a child’s interest as they identify with a girl who has similar fears. The children’s section is followed by a comprehensive guide for parents and caregivers, based on empirical research as well as Dr. Zelinger’s decades of experience as a child psychologist, where she offers information and explicit solutions to help deal with the anxiety surrounding this common medical procedure.

Children will: Identify with the main character and her fear of shots; Enjoy the colorful illustrations and happy story ending; Learn coping mechanisms to deal with frightening situations; Feel supported by their parents who will know how to help; Reduce their anxiety and become more cooperative during medical visits. While Parents and Caregivers will: Understand the reasoning behind the fear of injections; Learn strategies to help their child before and during a medical visit; Be better able to comfort their child.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review

Dr. Laurie Zelinger has done it again with another excellent child and parent friendly book that helps to allay fears and empower families and professionals with the tools to help children develop healthy coping skills. I Hate Shots addresses the very real and all-too-common fear of injections. This book has it all: a relatable and simple yet engaging text in rhyme that is fun to read aloud, as well as colorful illustrations that provide an honest and relatable depiction of the emotions involved. It includes a detailed parent guide providing clear cut science-based strategies to assist all caregivers.

As an experienced nurse and health educator, I see I Hate Shots as a “must have” resource for all caregivers, educators and health professionals.
Darlene Glasser, RN, MSEd

This book fills a need to relieve childhood fears and anxieties before receiving a shot. Dr. Zelinger writes so children understand. The poem format for the children’s part is fun and easy to read. Her suggestions for pediatricians and parents to help reduce fear are creative and easy to do. For example, play doctor with role reversals, magnify the skin pores and compare to needle skin holes, numbing cream, and puppet play. Dr. Zelinger explains how less fear means less anxiety, which leads to less pain. A must read for parents, children and pediatricians.
Allan M. Rothenberg, MD,FAAP, Pediatrician Diplomate, American Board of Pediatrics Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Expert, Pediatrics Disability, Social Security Administration

Dr. Zelinger wrote a much needed, timely book for children who hate shots and their parents who have to handle their reactions. She is very adept at explaining difficult concepts to kids with caring, warmth and humor. The appealing story and colorful pictures blend together in a child-friendly scenario that enables children to address and conquer their fears. The Parent/Caregiver guide carefully explains common terms, the prevalence of needle-related fears, heritability, and temperament issues. Dr. Zelinger’s recommendations for parents are extremely helpful and creative, providing them with very useful tools to address specific fears. I look forward to using her book with both patients and family members.
Gale Grobstein, Ph.D Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Laurie Zelinger’s “Please Explain Vaccines to Me because I HATE SHOTS!” is absolutely brilliant. I would highly recommend that children and their parents read it prior to appointments with their physicians and dentists. As a pediatric dentist, I have seen so many of the techniques that Dr. Zelinger describes work well for my patients. I have often wished for a book like this for patients that have come ill prepared for injections. I am so glad that now there is such a book, and I will certainly be recommending it to my patients and their parents.

Brittany Schorr DDS
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

“I HATE SHOTS” is a book that every parent will want to read to their child before getting a shot.  It demystifies vaccinations with language that a child will both understand and want to question further.  “I HATE SHOTS” also gives both children and parents the language they need to express their anxiety about the process and the tools to lessen that anxiety.  I look forward to recommending this book in my practice as well as reading it to my own children. It gets 5 stars!
Yael Kula, MSW, LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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Please Explain “Alzheimer’s Disease” to Me



Please Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Me – A Children’s Story and Parent Handbook About Dementia introduces the condition to children in a colorful, sensitive and gentle story, followed by a parent/caregiver section that supplies comprehensive information that adults can use to understand and plan for the course of the disease affecting their loved one.

Dr. Zelinger, a board-certified psychologist for children, presents the situation to children in a warm, developmentally appropriate way using appealing characters of diversity, child friendly language and familiar scenes they can relate to, as well as scripts that parents can use when speaking to their child. This book is more than a helpful guide-it’s the only book you will need if you have a child who is asking, “What’s wrong with grandpa?”

Below: Laurie and her Dad (at age 101)

Children will:

  • Enjoy the story and illustrations and will identify with the main characters
  • Get answers to their questions
  • Grasp the nature and reason for a grandparent’s changes
  • Learn basic biological information about brain function
  • Understand why a grandparent will require more care
  • Feel empowered and find ways they can be helpful

Parents and caregivers will:

  • Have word-for-word scripts available to answer their child’s questions
  • Learn about the progression of the disease
  • Understand their role and the nature of care that is required
  • Gain information for decision-making in areas of medical, emotional and daily care
  • Know they are not alone in this difficult journey


Excerpt from Five Towns : “Cedarhurst Psychologist Writes ‘Please Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Me'” (July 15, 2021)
Read the entire article

Casey O’Brien Martin, a school adjustment counselor, found the book to be a great resource to offer parents who come to her for help explaining a grandparent’s Alzheimer’s to their children.

“I feel like I have a go-to book on that,” Martin said. “So many times with kids, if they see their difficult experiences in a book it’s just so validating for them. I love that it talks about the changes and all the changes for the kid that are kind of hard to adjust to … it made it really simple for a child to understand.”

The second half of the book features information for parents including facts about Alzheimer’s, tips for dealing with loved ones with the disease, and a question and answer section on how to address a child’s questions.

Zelinger stressed that parental teaching is important to help a child’s understanding and development. “I want parents also to get information,” she said. “I want them to better understand the disease and know how to address the child’s questions at the child’s developmental level so that the child gains understanding and is satisfied with the answers that they get.”

Guest Blog Post

Whole Child Counseling – How to Explain Alzheimer’s Disease to Children


This book will help families proficiently manage – when they have to engage with kids about questions regarding Alzheimer’s disease. You can only imagine how confusing and scary it can become for young children, especially if someone very close to the family is diagnosed with the disease. Little kids are often confused about the behavior of their elder ones. It is difficult for parents to find pertinent knowledge and aid to explain it to the kids. That is when “Please Explain ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’ to Me” emerges as the sole supporting pillar!
— Joyeeta Mukherjee for Quotidian Tales, May 5, 2022  – CLICK HERE  to read the complete review

“Dr. Zelinger has provided an engaging book that presents important information in a user-friendly format and offers adults the foundation for easily engaging children in what may initially seem like a very difficult discussion. I will be sure to recommend this resource to everyone I know in the ‘sandwich generation.'”
— Shane S. Bush, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Geropsychology, President, American Board of Geropsychology

“Dr. Zelinger’s book helps take the mystery out of a truly mystifying disease. The children’s story will help reduce the anxiety and fear a child may have when faced with one suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the adult portion of this book gives practical examples to help guide the adult when questions arise. A truly informative and inspired book.”
— Marilyn Cherney, occupational therapist; grandmother

“…A very much needed book to explain a very difficult topic to our children and ourselves. Dr. Zelinger’s warmth, insight and clinical judgment shine through her every page! This is a superlative book that will get front row billing on my office bookshelf. “
–Deborah Lief-Dienstag MD, FAAP, pediatrician

“Dr. Zelinger takes a painful topic for both children and parents alike and turns it into a beautiful story and a detailed handbook that gives us the tools we need to broach a topic we all hope to never have to face. This book is a must-read for families facing the challenges that come along with a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s disease.”
— Avi Satt, president, Allegria Senior Living

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Please Explain “Time Out” to Me!


TimeOut600pxTime Out is a dignified and effective method of discipline, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. This book, written by parenting experts, explains the Time Out process and provides step-by-step instructions for its proper and effective use. Please Explain “Time Out” To Me is two books in one: an engaging story with colorful illustrations and a parent section which describes the Time Out process in detail, as well as the advantages and pitfalls of other methods of discipline.

Children will:

  • Enjoy the story and illustrations
  • Understand how Time Out works
  • Empathize with the characters in the book
  • Be treated respectfully when given a consequence
  • Experience the benefits of Time Out as a mechanism of behavior change

Parents and caregivers will:

  • Develop a plan for supplying responses to their child’s unacceptable behavior
  • Understand the rationale behind Time Out as a management technique
  • Learn how to use Time Out effectively
  • Better handle behavioral issues wherever they occur
  • Learn that physical forms of punishment do not work


Drs. Zelinger book is clearly informed by literature and both clinical and personal experience. Its simplicity and ease-of-use and understanding allows for broad reach to all parents that face the normal challenges in raising children. The story to help the child understand makes this book unique, as well as the “fixer box” concept. Behavioral difficulties often stem from struggles around feeling in control. This book gives a concrete, more adaptive path for both parents and child to feel in control.
— David Salsberg, PsyD, DABPS Clinical Neuropsychologist; Director, Pediatric Assessment, Learning & Support (PALS), New York, NY.

In Please explain “Time Out” To Me, Drs. Laurie and Fred Zelinger offer a clear, concise and insightful look at the often misunderstood and misinterpreted concept of time out. Combining colorful illustrations and story line for children and step-by-step guidelines and principles for parents and adults, the book has unique appeal to both. I highly recommend this book, particularly to parents foraging through the tangled, complicated and sometimes scary web called parenthood.
— Iris Ackerman, LCSW, PhD, Clinical Social Worker

As a child psychiatrist, finding parenting books that are straightforward, helpful, and concise is a rare find indeed. Drs. Laurie and Fred Zelinger offer just that in Please Explain “Time Out To Me”. In its pages, they harness their expert clinical experience and judgment and offer it in a relatable, engaging, and entertaining way. I highly recommend this book to families who are struggling with the difficult journey of growing up and managing problem behaviors along the way.
— Stephen Perret, MD., Child Psychiatrist

Thumbs up for Drs. Zelinger’s book on explaining time out to kids. As a busy working mom with six children, I have used time out effectively. I would recommend reading this book to help understand the benefits of time out for both parents and children, and the effectiveness of time out as a learning tool. Drs. Zelinger’s thought out story will be a helpful, useful contribution for kids, parents and teachers.
— Chani Jacobowitz, LCSW; Mother of 6

From the Please Explain To Me… series
From Loving Healing Press

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Please Explain Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy to Me


Nearly 500,000 adenotonsillectomies will be performed on children this year. Will you be ready?

The new 3rd Edition of this bestselling book helps parents understand and organize the necessary medical and emotional components that accompany their child’s surgery. In an easy to follow timeline for events prior to and following a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, the authors provide reassuring and accurate guidance that eases the process for the patient and family. As caregivers, you will: Continue reading

Please Explain “Terrorism” To Me


From Little Lady Plays website


Podcast : Dr. Laurie Zelinger and Illustrator Ann Israeli stop by #ConversationsLIVE (September, 2017)

How To Talk About The Ariana Grande Concert Attack With Young Girls & Boys
By Jon Hecht – May 23, 2017 – Bustle (website)

Manchester Attack: Explaining Terrorism to Children
Sara Miller Llana – May 23, 2017 – Christian Science Monitor

Ariana Grande Concert Attack: Helping Kids Cope With the News
Beth Whitehouse – May 23, 2017 – Newsday

How do I stop my kids worrying about the big bad world?
Tanith Carey – 27 April, 2017 – The London Telegraph

Jak rozmawiać z dzieckiem o terroryzmie? – Gazeta Wyborcza (interview with Monika Rebala in Poland)

Calm in the face of terror – Irish Independent Newspaper (interview with Kathy Donaghy)


Read what Goodreads has to say …

Beck Valley Books & More Blogspot. Sharon Martin – Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books (2017, May 18)

homeschoolbookreviewblog. “Please Explain Terrorism to Me” by Wayne S. Walker (2017, Feb 7)

Just Reviews. “Please Explain Terrorism to Me” by Fran Lewis (2017, Jan 30)

Nassau Herald. “Educating kids about terrorism using ‘P-E-A-R-L-S’” by Diana Colapietro (2016, Sept 7)

MomZette. ‘Please Explain Terrorism to Me’ offers kids wisdom, reassurance, conversation by Deirdre Reilly (2016, Sept 6)


Newsday, Wednesday November 2, 2016 (Click on image for a larger view)

This book provides the ‘PEARLS’ of wisdom for parents and children to discuss a scary topic like terrorism in ways that promote healthy and authentic parent-child conversations that yield to mutual respect and bonding.
Marc A. Brackett, PhD.
Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

In her captivating new book, Dr. Laurie Zelinger, a leading expert in child psychology, explores the troubled realm of terrorism from a child’s perspective. Deep and yet accessible, her remarkable deciphering of the psychological factors that hinder the free communication between parents and children on terrorism is compelling. It deals with an intrusive scourge, which stands in a blatant contradiction to the rather radiant child’s universe. This fascinating guide amounts to a riveting lesson of clarity and to a masterpiece in bridging the unbridgeable.
Honorable Yehuda Lancry
Former Ambassador of Israel to the United Nations

This forthright and calming story clarifies the nature of terrorism for children ages 7 to 11. An afterword for parents offers guidelines for parents about how to dialogue with their children on this important topic. Highly recommended!
Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D., RPT-S
Co-Founder and Director Emeritus, The Association for Play Therapy

As a parent, it can be challenging and overwhelming to find the words to talk with your child about frightening and potentially traumatic events such as acts of terrorism. “Please Explain Terrorism to Me” meets this need and is likely to become an invaluable resource for parents and other caregivers to help guide these critical conversations.
Christina Laitner, Ph.D.
The Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center

“Please Explain ‘Terrorism’ to Me” is a straightforward and down-to-earth treatment of a difficult subject. Dr. Zelinger uses common sense, a simple clarification of the basic issues, and reassurance to provide a deeper understanding of terrorism for kids—without a corresponding rise in anxiety.
Tomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
Psychologist/Author “1-2-3 Magic!”

Dr. Zelinger provides caregivers with “P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom” in her honest, developmentally appropriate approach to a terrifying topic. This book is an essential resource to ensure that children are provided straightforward information in a sensitive fashion to an issue, all too often ignored.
Sarah Valley-Gray, Psy.D., ABPP
President, American Academy of School Psychology

Dr. Zelinger opens up the Pandora box of ‘Terrorism’ delicately and with great sensitivity as she brings awareness, tools and answers to children growing up in our ever changing world today. Dr. Zelinger’s book magically fosters, promotes and encourages conversation and social skills. This is a powerful and valuable book for children and adults.
Penny Ellis
LIVE! Regis & Kelly ~ Second annual Top Teacher winner, 2011

With bombings and shootings so frequently in the news, Dr. Zelinger’s book is a timely source of guidance to parents on the importance of explaining terrorism to their children. It’s full of great advice on listening thoughtfully and understanding your child’s perspective.
Dewey Cornell, Ph.D.
Director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project

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Please Explain “Anxiety” To Me

Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents
2nd Edition


LaurieandJordan     book-anxietybookfrontcover311px

Note to parents:


Click for a larger view

Fear, worry, and anxiety are normal occurrences within the life of a child. Helping children to understand and process these emotions often falls in the hands of parents, who by their own admission often feel painfully concerned, overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with these kinds of feelings. Continue reading

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself
— even on the bad days

the secrets to trusting yourself, being your best & never letting the bad days bring you down

AmericanGirl195pxFrom the back cover: Has a bad day got you down? Is your self-esteem making you feel blue? In a smart girl’s guide to liking herself–even on the bad days, you’ll learn how having high self-esteem can turn a good day into a great day, while having low self-esteem can turn a bad day into a nightmare. You’ll learn tips for trusting yourself, ideas for boosting your self-esteem (or for keeping it up), and how to feel your best in all kinds of situations. You are perfect just as you are, and this book will help you believe that to be true!

by Dr. Laurie Zelinger ~ illustrated by Jennifer Kalis
editorial development: Carrie Anton

Published by American Girl Publishing, 2012 Continue reading

Contributions to Other Books


Dr. Zelinger worked with the editors on the following eight books by American Girl Publishing, where she reviewed the storyboard and developed the “For Parents” pages that follow each story. The prefix page in each book reads, “Special thanks to Dr. Laurie Zelinger, consultant, child psychologist and registered play therapist. Dr. Zelinger reviewed and helped shape the “For Parents” section, which was written by editorial staff.” Continue reading