Trinka and Sam Stories
Trinka and Sam is a coloring book series developed to help parents and children after disasters. The little mice have responded to disasters across the United States as well as in other countries, including Ecuador, Japan, Mexico and Nepal. In addition to our core team at Piplo Productions, we are fortunate to have wonderful collaborators and friends who joined our team and added their talents and expertise to the development of the Trinka and Sam series. The books are available for free download from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network website, with separate pages for the different versions (earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and COVID-19).
Trinka and Sam: Helping Families Around the World
In Ecuador after the 2016 earthquake, numerous volunteer organizations distributed over 50,000 copies of Trinka and Sam the Day the Earth. In Nepal, over 75,000 copies were distributed in collaboration with the Nepalese Ministry of Education to support communities after the 2015 earthquake.
History of the Stories
We developed the first Trinka and Sam story shortly after Hurricane Katrina. We realized that in the aftermath of a large disaster, there are typically not enough mental health professionals to meet the needs of families and communities. We also saw that many parents were looking for materials that would help them understand the impact of the disaster on their children and ways that they could help their children cope with what had happened.
So we decided to create stories that would:
- Help parents understand how their children, especially young children under age 6, might be affected by a disaster
- Serve as an activity families could do after a disaster to begin to talk about their experiences and feelings
- Be free, so families in need could access it easily and immediately
We collaborated with colleagues from the Early Trauma Treatment Network and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). The development of the stories was funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services. We continue to partner with NCTSN to ensure that these resources remain free and easily accessible to families around the world.
Each Trinka and Sam story contains:
- A short introduction to the Trinka and Sam characters, so children can begin to relate to them
- A brief description of the specific disaster and how it affected Trinka and Sam
- Ways Trinka and Sam responded after the disaster (their behaviors and fears) and how these reactions were linked to what they went through
- A description of how their parents understood their reactions and supported them
- Hope, a sense that the community and family will come together to repair the damage
- A parent guide
- Possible ways to use the story (parents may read it by themselves to understand their child or use it with their children)
- Ways to understand children's reactions to disasters and other stressful events
- Ways to help children and yourself
The parent guide is at the end of the book and offers:
Tell Us What You Think
If you are someone who has used the Trinka and Sam stories, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories or post them to our Facebook page.