Praise for Celia and the Little Boy

This is not a children’s book. It’s a human’s book.
Dr. Kittie Weber

Associate Professor, Psychology, New England College

Irene Buchine tackles the difficult topic of childhood depression in her children’s book, “Celia and the Little Boy”. In “Celia and the Little Boy,” a young girl faces a bewildering dilemma when she discovers a little boy hiding in the darkness beneath her porch. As her efforts to help the little boy fail, the two children become trapped in the darkness together.

“Celia and the Little Boy should be required reading in every grade school in America. The simple yet powerful story it tells opens the door to feelings and empathy that are increasingly cast aside in our virtual world. Data and information are invaluable but emotional wellbeing is essential to a fulfilling life. Irene’s wonderful book will aid that journey by both inspiring and touching children.”


Retired NH Supreme Court Justice John Broderick

Senior Director of External Affairs, Mental Health Advocate, Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital

This is a good and important book about childhood depression and survival.

Mark Vonnegut, MD

MVP Pediatrics

Your story and drawings will help a child who feels sad and isolated, and also guide others who are trying to help this child. Your book is helpful because the story and drawings provide a series of metaphors. As the child and caregiver experience each metaphor, they are stimulated to have a particular body experience. In psychotherapy
the issue of body experiences a person has is receiving a lot of attention because they influence what a person feels and thinks.

As I read your story and look at your drawings, I experience the following metaphors. In general all of the metaphors convey that if you
keep trying, you will eventually find a way out of the black hole you are in and find sunshine.

Dr. Sebastiano Santostefano

PHD Clinical Psychologist

This book is remarkable. In a short story, Irene brought such wonder and hope and it’s relevant on so many levels. On a macro level, the world needs hope in these times. On a micro level, so many of us can relate. By including material from this book in schools, in therapist offices and in treatment facilities, children could benefit.
Carol Bickelman

Retired CEO, Desert Hills Youth and Family Centered Services

I certainly did read your book, and also read it to 90 eighth graders. I had each class sit in a circle and I read the book to them. They were mesmerized and were allowed to be young again and have someone else read a book to them. We discussed it and they came up with the following messages.

1. You do not need to be someone’s best friend to show that you care.

2. Keep trying to help a person, even if they feel hopeless.

3. Keep moving towards the light even if it is a glimmer.

4. Show that you care by staying and allowing the person to develop a little trust.

Thank you for sharing your book with me. I will also read this to my seventh graders. I so enjoyed meeting you and am touched by your bravery and your journey of writing a book to help others!

Holly Pirtle

NH Health Educator

I love how the author presented this book’s relatable theme and characters. The drawings weren’t colorful like in most children’s books, but the simple sketches that evoke emotions were exhibited very well. I think the illustrations gave additional layer to a wonderful story that teaches empathy and perseverance.

I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a beautiful story that builds up a strong message to never give up trying to see that the world is a beautiful place. I highly recommend this to children of all ages.

Herzie Santos

Writer & Editor, Shey Saints

This unique and insightful book speaks directly to the isolation of depressed children. It will also help the parents struggling to get through to them.
Arlene B. Ginsburg, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

This gem will generate many very important conversations among generations as well as within them. I believe that a copy should be given to all new parents and that they should read it with their children, to every person who feels there is nothing to live for, and to every health professional.

It’s thoughtful and wise simplicity is brilliant.

Elizabeth Milligan

writer & mother

This short and simple book portrays a message of hope for all people, not just children. As someone dealing with (and overcoming) mental illness, the little boy seems to be in a very familiar place. A place of fear and loneliness, and a feeling that the alternative to this dark isolation does not seem to be much better. On top of that, the overwhelming feeling that comes with realizing the world is scary and never fair is a very human feeling that I am sure everyone, not just one with a mental illness, has had. Seeing the little boy gain hope in something as small as a little worm, and finding the light with the help of someone as naive and kindhearted as Celia, made my heart smile.

Celia and the Little Boy, taught me that if you search for a message of hope when you are feeling alone, you will find one… I also took the message that, no matter how comfortable you become in the isolation you’ve created, there is always someone that wants to help. Someone that loves you, or someone that just wants to see you smile, that help is always there, and accepting it is one step out of the isolation and negative thinking.

A book for all ages, this story reminds us that no matter how alone we feel, we never truly are alone. Buchine tells a simplistic story of struggle and pain that can resonate in all of us.


Reader, Age 18

I believe that the book, Celia and the Little Boy, teaches readers that it’s OK to be afraid. 

You can see that it teaches this because the little boy in the story was afraid of the world and showing his true colors. He was not thinking about what he could do to make himself feel better or try to forget his mistakes. The boy felt too sad for words. The author really showed the boys emotions so you could see that he was upset and frightened. If the author had told the story differently, it would be hard to tell what the boy was feeling. The author allows me to understand that, as tough as sadness can be, one can still come out of the dark with the help of a caring soul.

Phoebe B.

Reader, Age 9

My mother and father have both read your book since we last spoke, and like me, they were moved to tears by it (in the BEST way imaginable)

College Student