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Free disaster resource developed jointly with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

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Developed to help young children and their families begin to talk about feelings and worries they may have after they have experienced a large-scale fire, like a wildfire.

The fire was over,

 but life was not the same yet. 

Trinka and Sam, two small mice, become scared and worried after they experience a severe fire and witness damage to their community. The story describes their reactions and shows how their parents help them to express their feelings and feel safer.

A companion parent guide suggests ways that parents can use the story with their children.

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Free PDF Version

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Share this story with others by sharing the link to this page as we may update the PDF and develop new resources. Downloading the PDF means you agree to follow the copyright and Use Guidelines.

Free Video Version

The development of the video version of the story was coordinated and facilitated by Hawaii Youth Services Network for the Hawai'i Children and Youth Summit. You may share this version in trainings, provided you follow the Use Guidelines.

COVID Considerations

Families who are evacuating face threat not only from fires but from COVID. As they talk to their children and use the book, it may be helpful to use the pages from the book Fighting the Big Virus: Trinka, Sam and Littletown Work Together, to draw masks on the characters and think about ways that they keep themselves safe while in shelter or out of their homes.

Free Postcards

We designed free postcards/flyers to support the dissemination of the stories. Download, print, and share the postcards. We recommend printing bilingual postcards (one side in English and one in Spanish).

Free Feeling Poster

A free feeling poster, developed for the book "Fighting the Big Virus: Trinka, Sam, and Littletown Work Together." Downloading means you agree to the Use Guidelines.

More Trinka and Sam Stories

to Support Families After Other Types of Disasters

Click on the image to learn more about the different Trinka and Sam story versions.

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TrinkaandSam tornado eng cover color scaled

Other Piplo Books to Start Conversations About . . .

Difficult experiences
and feeling scared
Challenging separations
Feelings of anger and sadness
Family member mental health or addiction challenges

Available Languages

 Click on the image to access the different language versions




Click to see which versions are in process and to request to translate.

Your Feedback Helps . . .

  • People know if the stories are useful
  • Us know if we should continue to make resources like this and learn ways to improve them.
  • Foundations decide whether to support the dissemination of the stories. The stories are free, but foundations often pay for photocopies and personnel to spread the share the stories across communities. They need data and your stories.


Our children were given one of your books after we lost our home in the Tubbs fire in October. First when I read the book it was so real that I couldn’t finish it. I set it aside, and wasn’t planning on reading it to our kids, but my son saw it and wanted to read it - so we did. Our kids love this book. They can’t get enough of it. We read it weekly - right after the fires it was even daily. They were drawn to it more than any other method we had to help them with their loss. Thanks for making such a wonderful tool.


/Mom of Ian, age 6, & Robyn, age 3

Parent who received Trinka and sam: The big fire after the tubbs fire in california


Every single human (and pets and pet parents) has appreciated this information. One of the most touching interactions were: Pair of 20 year old parents, their 5 smalls and a young gramma, a Dad and 2 kids, and 2 parents and 2 kids that spoke Spanish. The relief on their faces to have something to help them share truth with their kids was inspiring. Their gratitude was reflected in the tears welling up in their eyes.

The children got permission to do their whirling and twirling when they saw a "coloring book" of Trinka and Sam (I brought crayons to give out too) and their caregivers looked relieved to have them have something to do while much needed forms could be filled, and follow ups for housing, food, supplies, etc. could be found.

Thank you for pursuing your passion so that I may also continue mine. This is an awesome example of the village coming together to help members heal.

Audrey Cordova ACSW 



One of the most effective tools which made the play bag such a unique and highly effective tool was the inclusion of Therapeutic Story/activity book “Trinka and Sam: The Big Fire”. It was written by Dr Chandra Michiko Ghosh Ippen a clinical psychologist at the National Centre for child traumatic stress in the US. The story was developed to help young children and their families begin to talk about feelings and worries they may have after they have experienced fire.

be center report, Australia

Click on the report to the right to see the interim report from the Be Centre

Some of the Organizations Recommending this Story

These are some of the organizations recommending our book on their websites. We share them because people often want to know if individuals and organizations have found our books to be useful. Community organizations, school districts, health organizations, government organizations, and national organizations are sharing and recommending our book.