Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Must Read Story About Selective Mutism

Authors: Joni Klein-Higger & Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D.
Illustrator: Eileen Goldenberg
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Published: January 2016
Print ISBN: 9781611337285
eBook ISBN: 9781616337292

I HAVE A VOICE is a wonderful children’s picture book which fills an important void in the information available regarding Selective Mutism and gives a voice to all those struggling to do so themselves.  I HAVE A VOICE explores the life of a child, Jamie, who suffers from Selective Mutism, an anxiety disorder characterized by difficulty speaking in social situations.

Joni Klein-Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg use simple and easily relatable language to explain Jamie’s life and feelings as she struggles with her fear to speak and works with her “feelings” doctor in preparation for the start of Kindergarten.  This is a terrific book that parents can use to help kids understand when “talking is scary,” either for themselves or others they know.

Ms. Goldenberg’s wonderful illustrations are bright and vivid and really bring Jamie’s story to life.

I applaud Ms. Klein-Higger and Dr. Zaken-Greenberg for their open and relatable story and giving a voice to those in need.  It will help many children, families, teachers and others who suffer from, or know others suffering from, Selective Mutism.  I look forward to using and recommending this book in my Speech/Language Pathology practice.  Well done!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.  This review consists of my honest opinions, not influenced in any way by the author or publisher.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Renewed Energy

Last weekend was our regional SCBWI Dakotas conference.  Terrific speakers, networking with other authors and illustrators from our region and hearing from others about their writing lives has brought renewed energy and focus to my own writing life.  I'm excited to embark on the edits necessary with my current WIPs as well as start the new stories rolling around in my brain begging to be written.

I have seen this wonderful quote before but saw it again recently post-conference.  It just re-affirmed why I do what I do.  As many of you know, many believe writing for kids is a piece of cake because it can't possibly be hard to write such short books for kids.  HA! As many of you also know, it is very hard to write tight, short books that kids will love to read over and over again and parents will agree to read to kids over and over again.  That is why reading quotes like Ms. L'Engle's is always so affirming.

I would love to hear your stories about those you've encountered who think writing for kids is something anyone can do and how you handle those sentiments when they do arise should you be willing to share.