The Wolf Was Not Sleeping

The Wolf was Not Sleeping is a heart-warming bedtime story specially written by Avril McDonald to soothe the anxiety of children whose parents work as first responders and to help initiate emotional wellbeing conversations.  This special UK police edition has been written and designed in collaboration with Police Care UK as part of our offer to support families of serving police personnel.

Police Care UK is a charity which supports members of the police family who have been harmed as a result of policing, including the children of officers and staff. We understand that some children of police families may feel anxious when their parents are at work and we want to help allay those concerns. The book also reinforces the pride felt by having a first responder in the family and helps strengthen the connections between our families and the teams we work with.

The story

Wolfgang’s dad works as a helper: when the wolves sound the alarm, he has to leave to help the other creatures in the forest. Each night Wolfgang worries about what might happen if his dad gets the call. His worries are so bad that they keep him awake, and he is falling asleep in the daytime instead!

Spider leaves a note for Big Dad Wolf to show him how worried Wolfgang is. Big Dad Wolf realises he needs to sit down with Wolfgang to reassure him, and tell him about what happens when he goes to help in the forest. Wolfgang learns that things aren’t always as bad as they seem.

There are lots of ways in which we can tell or show people how we are feeling – and if we can name a feeling, then we can tame a feeling. The Wolf Was Not Sleeping is a great bedtime read for young children whose parents work within UK policing.

We are giving away a free copy of this unique book in return for some input from you. We intend to conduct a couple of short surveys with all those who agree to participate; one prior to the book’s publication, and one after you have had a chance to read it with your child.

We hope that your valuable input will support our thinking that this book will help to soothe the anxiety of children whose parents work within UK policing and to encourage conversations which help them manage trauma. We will then consider adding this book to our toolkit of resources available for families of UK police personnel.

The book will be available in the Autumn and a copy will be sent to all those who have confirmed they would like to support us with the project. We will then ask you to read the book with your child and complete our survey to let us know your feedback and help us to demonstrate the impact it has on supporting children of serving UK police personnel.


Can you help us?

At the moment, we’re looking for anyone interested in participating in these surveys. You don’t have to commit and you can change your mind nearer the time when we are ready to launch.

  • You must have a member of your household who is serving personnel within UK policing (this includes all staff, officer and volunteer roles).
  • You must have children aged 3-7 years*

In a few months time when our book is in print we will send you a short survey with a few initial questions to answer.

Once we receive your responses we will provide you with a copy of the finished book, to keep, free of charge. We anticipate this happening in October 2021. We ask you to read this book to your child, or children, within the age range and give us some feedback in our closing survey. This should be in November 2021.

The surveys will be conducted online in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, and will involve handful of questions which will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Your personal details will be kept confidential and your data will be anonymised and secure.


*The book is suitable for all ages and will be available for purchase through Crown House Publishing or our Police Care UK online shop (coming soon).


Please visit The Wolf Was Not Sleeping – Police Care UK to register and help with the project