Author: Christy Monson
Release Date: August 2013
Genre: Children's Picture, Self-Help
What do you need when SCARY things happen?
This book is adorable and yet so powerful!
Cute illustrations and profound wisdom!
We all have bad things happen to us!
Find out what to do with your feelings of hurt, anger, fear, and sadness in this wonderful book!
Especially helpful for children :)
This book was written after the tragic shooting in Newton, Connecticut.
Scary things that happened in the author's family~
When I was about four I fell into a swift-moving canal that ran in front of our house. My dog Mo ran along the bank barking wildly. The cold water snatched me and swirled me around. I felt very scared. I paddled hard toward the side and grabbed a tree branch sticking out in the water. Soon my mother came and pulled me out. I lay on the bank, out of breath and dripping wet—my heart still pounding. I hugged my dog, Mo, thanking him for calling 'help' with his barks.
When we lived in California, our young son had two good friends who lived next door. One day the boys were playing with matches at the neighbor's house and accidentally lit a palm tree on fire. The fire truck came to put the blaze out; and afterwards, the fire chief gave the boys a stern talking-to. They were scared enough they never lit fires again.
How did you meet illustrator Lori? How did your collaboration work?
Lori Nawyn did the art and I wrote the script for this picture book, Love Hugs and Hope, and we are both very happy about it. However, we didn't start out to work together. Lori and I knew each other from a couple of SCBWI Conferences. We had formed a picture book critique group that met each month so we were friends. But it was the publisher that teamed us up. Lori is a darling, and I love her art. We never collaborated on the book at all. I turned in the manuscript and Lori and the publishers did the rest.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing about 7 years and loving every minute of it.
Do you have children? If so, did you draw on your own experience as a mother in writing this book?
My experience as a mom has really helped me in writing this book. Children just need to talk things out a lot of times. They want love and reassurance.
You're a retired family counselor. How did your training and/or years of practice help you with this book
I kind of had a sense about how to process with kids from being a mom, but my training as a therapist really gave me the knowledge I needed to help children heal. In my practice I saw a lot of kids that were dealing with tragedy of some kind or another. Talk therapy is good for kids, but art is a wonderful way for them to release feelings.
How long did this book take to create?
It took me about a week to write the first draft of this manuscript. I felt so sad for those who had experienced loss in the school shooting at Sandy Hook. Shortly after that a gunman shot up the Clackamas Towne Center in Oregon. Our daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters live about three miles from the center. The parents monitored the events carefully, but turned off all media to protect the kids from knowing about it. However, the next day at school the children were all talking about it, so you can't protect children from knowing about tragedies like this.
As I thought about these two catastrophes, I felt something needed to be written to help parents and children look at disasters like these, be able to share their feelings, and find hope in the world around them.
Do you have other book ideas along the lines of children's self-help/picture books?
I love writing picture books. I have many other book ideas I'm thinking about, but right now I'm focused on a series about children's feelings.
How did you find a publisher for the book?
I am so fortunate to have found my publisher, Christopher Robbins, and Familius. At LDS Storymakers Boot Camp, Rick Walton was conducting out picture book section. He began talking about Familius and what a great new company it was. When he found out I was a retired therapist, he suggested I contact Familius, and I'm so happy I did.
(A review copy was provided for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)