Big News for Goodbye Bad Dreams!

January 30, 2018

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for: A certified trauma treatment specialist has given Goodbye Bad Dreams an amazing review:

“Goodbye Bad Dreams is a story that will delight all children. As soon as you begin reading, you know you are being taken on many amazing journeys and each one a wonderful and exciting surprise. It is a story of hope and resiliency that challenges children in a creative way to cope with scary dreams, and a great resource for parents and counselors.” – Linda Diaz, LPC, Registered Play Therapist and Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist, and author of The Wounded Yellow Butterfly.

I see the way this book has helped my own daughter, but now I have verification from someone in the field that I can really help kids with this book!

There’s still a long way to go with my Kickstarter campaign.  I hope the next big news I’ll have to share is that I’m closer to my goal of making this book a reality.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/672914496/goodbye-bad-dreams

 

 

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Bad Bad Dream Books

January 26, 2018

I mentioned in a recent post that I wrote Goodbye Bad Dreams because I couldn’t find a single good book when my daughter began having bad dreams.  I don’t know about others, but I tend to look to books whenever my daughter is having trouble with something.  I just learned that there’s actually a term for this, bibliotherapy.  I don’t mean instructional textbooks for parents, I mean fun, kid friendly picture books to help kids deal with their problems on their level.

I have searched thoroughly, and this is all I can come up with for books that try to tackle the subject of bad dreams.  There were some others I got from the library that now I can’t find but they were equally as bad.

 

Bebe’s bad dream / G. Brian Karas

The back cover blurb of this one says it all:  Despite her mother’s reassurances, a young girl is convinced that aliens are coming to eat her, until she decides to trick them into taking her brother instead.

The Berenstain Bears and the bad dream 

My daughter and I are huge Berenstain Bears fans, but some of their books are just too scary.  This is one of those that I believe is more likely to scare young kids more than help them.  Also, the parental advice given in this book is a common one, “scary dreams aren’t real.”  The opinion these days is telling a child this makes them feel discredited.  The dream is very real to them, and they end up feeling like you just don’t believe them or understand how they feel.

Blue’s bad dream 

In this bad dream book, Blue has a bad dream while at a sleepover.  I would avoid this one only because a first sleepover is scary enough, I don’t want my daughter having something else to worry about the first time she’s away from me at night.

Cowbella and the bad dream [board book]

Of all the books on the list, this may be the best, but I think a board book misses the mark since kids typically begin having bad dreams when they feel too old for board books.  Also, this book with its low page count dwells too much on the fact that Cowbella is afraid to go to sleep, and not enough on how to fix the problem.

 There’s a monster under my bed

I love James Howe, but this is another book more likely to worsen nightmares than stop them.  A boy is sure a monster is under his bed, but he forgot to check before getting in.  He spends the majority of the book wondering what to do…if he reaches under the bed to check, the monster will bite off his hand, etc.

When writing Goodbye Bad Dreams, I also struggled with needing to describe bad dreams but wanting to make sure I didn’t scare readers.  I took my daughter’s own bad dreams and used a fun strategy that worked with her to help her get over them.  The book doesn’t focus on one bad dream, but rather each bad dream page is followed by a page in which the main character overcomes the bad dream.  In the end, readers are encouraged to try this strategy on their own.  After writing the book, my next struggle was finding an artist who could portray the bad dream scenes in such a way that wouldn’t be too scary.  The artist I am using first drew a sketch where a dinosaur looked just a bit too intimidating (in my opinion).  It is beautiful work, but I don’t want to take any chances of scaring the child I am trying to help.

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Some subtle changes and now we have a bad dream scene that I think is pretty user friendly.

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If you agree, I would love your support on my kickstarter campaign, so I can actually hire this amazing artist and make my Bad Dream book dream come true.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/672914496/goodbye-bad-dreams


Kickstarter is Live!

January 21, 2018

Woo hoo!  My Kickstarter campaign for Goodbye Bad Dreams just launched!!  Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/672914496/goodbye-bad-dreams

This project will run for 30 days, but I’d love some early pledges to get the ball rolling!

Thanks so much to everyone who has already supported me, and thanks in advance to those who will!


A Sneak Peak of My Kickstarter!

January 20, 2018

Update: As of 1/20/18, this project is submitted for review on Kickstarter, which I didn’t realize takes 3-5 days.  I’ll post again when the project is live!

Hi,

I’m probably launching my kickstarter campaign tomorrow!  Here is a sneak peak just for my followers!  It includes the final art for one of the spreads and the book title!  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/672914496/144724063?ref=429204&token=6f24347d

I will post here again once the campaign is live.  For now, enjoy this sneak peak and feel free to leave comments.


Art is in!

January 15, 2018

I want to let you all in on the art process for my latest book.

This was the first sketch, amazing, but this book is all about the dream, so we wanted it bigger.

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Final sketch: Bigger dream and a slightly “friendlier” scary dinosaur!final sketch for page 2

And somehow this sketch turns into amazing, beautiful, stunning art!  (I can say this with modesty since I had nothing to do with it!  Gaurav Bhatnagar of ePublishing eXperts is behind this work of art.)  We have one more revision to this first piece, which I’ll reveal as the cover for my kick starter campaign.  More about that later.  The size here doesn’t do the art justice.  Zoom in if you can to take a closer look at the detail on the doll house.  I am so excited to share this with you!

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Announcing my newest project!

January 5, 2018

Hi everyone,

My newest picture book is written (still in editing stage, but written), and I have an illustrator working on first sketches!  I’m not disclosing too much yet, but the goal of the book is to help kids with bad dreams.  In preparation and celebration of this new project, I’m doing a series of blog posts about bad dreams.  I’m not going to promise weekly posts, but I’ll post whenever I have something worth posting.  🙂  I hope to have guest posts from experts as well as my own experiences with my daughter’s bad dreams.  If you want to be sure to see these posts, please “follow” this blog to receive an email with each new post.

This is my first time using a professional illustrator since my other books used mostly photo images that I was able to place and design myself.  I am very excited about this.  I’ve seen a rough first sketch, and it’s amazing seeing my words and ideas come to life in art form!

I want to include you all in this process so I’ll also be posting with updates on art.  I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve seen from this amazing illustrator!

To start this off, I’m posting a poem I wrote more than a year ago the morning after my daughter had her first bad dream.  Until I stumbled across this poem the other day, I had almost forgotten how upsetting it was that night when she woke up terrified of something that had happened in her mind, and I’ll never know what it was that scared her that night.

 

Bad Dream

My daughter woke up crying

And had no words to tell me what was wrong.

She could only lift up her arms and whimper

While I tried to calm her with a song.

 

My daughter woke up crying

So I carried her to our favorite chair.

She snuggled in the crook of my arm

And fell asleep while I held her there.

 

My daughter woke up crying

This hasn’t happened in so long.

She’s almost 3 now and can talk,

But couldn’t tell me what was wrong.

 

My daughter woke up crying

I think she had her first nightmare.

How can I protect her from what’s in her own mind?

And will I ever know what gave her this scare?

 

My daughter woke up crying

Part of her innocence is gone.

I’m not sure what to say or do.

For now, I’ll just hold her until dawn.


DIY Halloween and Cat toys

October 6, 2017

I’m combining Halloween and cats in this post for one reason, and it’s not because I think cats are scary!  Two of my favorite holidays are coming up: National Cat Day (10/29) and Halloween!

I’m not a big do-it-yourselfer, so for this post, I enlisted the help of friends, Pinterest, and Halloween craft books to include a few of my favorites that are so simple even I could do it.  Maybe try some of these on the upcoming rainy Columbus day when the kiddos are off from school.

Halloween

Clementine Pumpkins: I love these and they are so easy to make, even young kids can get involved and help.  Simply peel the mandarin/clementine/tangerine, etc. and pop a piece of cut up celery in the top.  Just be careful not to push the celery in too far or the orange will split.  Also be sure to find easy to peel oranges.  I love that this is a fun, healthy snack for a holiday that is so candy-central.

orange pumpkin

Here is a link to my online teacher store where I incorporate this activity into Halloween lesson plans: Halloween plans and activities

Paper bag jack o’ lanterns: I actually bought these years ago before realizing how easy they were to make.  Take any paper bag, cut through one or both sides with any design, and pop a battery operated tea light in the bottom.  Warning: your toddler will love turning the lights on and off, on and off, and on and off, to see the face lighting up!20171005_203848

Paper towel roll puppet/mask:  Those of you who know my picture book What Do You Do with a Doodleloo? know that doodleloos (paper towel rolls) make great megaphones.  I saw a craft book take this one step further to make a Halloween puppet of sorts.  You cut out a face (bat, pumpkin, ghost, witch, etc) from a paper plate with a hole for the mouth that matches the shape and size of the opening in the paper towel roll.  Decorate/color in the plate to complete the look of the face, and glue it to one end of the roll.  When you talk into the other end you can make your puppet face sound spooky!

Cardboard jack o’ lantern / treat bag:  My husband came up with this and made it with my daughter the other night, and both my daughter and cat love how it spins around on the string.  Cut out 2 matching pumpkin shapes from a sheet of cardboard and cut out matching faces on each.  Cut a long thin piece of cardboard and tape it to the edge of both pumpkins to make the bottom.  Use tape or another cardboard strip for the handle.  Attach string to the handle to hang on a curtain rod, etc.  Add a battery operated tea light inside.

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If I am so inspired, I may try another one of these as a trick or treat bag, potentially in the shape of a castle to match our Frozen costume theme.  Rather than just put the treats in the top, the castle could even have windows or a door.  This could also be done with a milk carton or other type of cardboard container.

Cat toys

Don’t forget your cat this national cat day!  As I mention in my book, doodleloos are not only a child’s toy.  There are a few great cat toys that can be made from used up paper towel rolls.  My cat loves swatting these around, so I just have to take a roll and toss it across the room, and she’s happy.  Here is one other great idea I found online.  We just can’t get enough of doodleloos at my house!

Have a happy Halloween and cat day!


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