My daughter loves everything Halloween. She is known to go up to the scariest, grossest display in a store and hug it. But I hear from a lot of parents this time of year that they are scared to go out with their kids. Even a trip to the toy store can go downhill quick with all the scary witches, goblins, and skeletons.
While I never had this problem with my daughter, she does, funny enough, suffer from bad dreams. I should say she suffered…she hasn’t had a bad dream in a long time, and I am humbled to think it is because of the book I wrote for her. Goodbye Bad Dreams is really helping kids with their bad dreams and scary thoughts. A few months ago, I had my book launch, and words can’t describe how I felt as kids listened intently to the reading, participated each time I asked for ideas on turning around a bad dream in the story, and then . . . they made the books their own with their amazing artwork! Two year olds drew stick figures with crying faces and smiley faces. Older kids drew detailed dragons and dinosaurs, either on their own or with the help of stencils. One child even drew her own image of a house on fire because this was her worst nightmare. I started to give her some ideas of how she could change this dream, but she interrupted me with her own solution. Goodbye Bad Dreams shows kids how to resolve their own nightmares, and this girl, after drawing the scary image, suddenly said, “Maybe it starts snowing, and that puts out the fire, and we can then play in the snow.”
I love books that are both fun and help kids. Here are a few others I’ve come across in the past months that I’ve added to my book database.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. My daughter read this at her school library and liked it so much she asked me to get it for her. It is a well written, fun story in itself, but I saw a message here that could be helpful to kids and parents. Chrysanthemum is the main character’s name, and she loves her name until she begins school. Kids make fun of her, and suddenly Chrysanthemum doesn’t like her name anymore. I’m not sure how I feel about the resolution to this story: There’s a teacher the kids all love, and she says she likes the name. Suddenly the kids all like the name also, and Chrysanthemum is happy. I would have preferred if she decided on her own to continue to love her name despite what others thought, but parents can discuss this element of the story with their kids. When she begins to dislike her name after years of loving it, parents can ask their kids what they think of this, etc. Peer pressure is something else, isn’t it!
And on a more serious note:
Daddy and Emma Face Cancer Together by Lindsey Coker Luckey is a beautifully written book written by a nurse, and unfortunately inspired by her own loss. I was nervous at first to see that the book is written in rhyme; this usually indicates a silly story, but the rhyme here works to create a calm, soothing, rhythmic feel to this story about a difficult topic. The book covers a father’s cancer from the moment he gets a tummyache, and describes his going to the doctor and coming home with a scary diagnosis. Key moments for me were the mentioning that Emma could ask anything she needed to, that Dad still loves her even though he can’t play like he used to, and they are fighting this together as a family. It discusses how Dad is going to feel and be affected, losing his hair, etc. The book ends with dad fighting the cancer. This book is a great conversation starter for a child who has a family member with this terrible diagnosis.
That’s all for now.
Happy Halloween! And if it’s not so happy for you because your kids are scared, check out Goodbye Bad Dreams. I hope it helps!