By Leslie Lindsay
***Be sure to see the end of this post for details to WIN a FREE copy of Perry Passyflyer!!***
I am happy to share with you three very fun and proactive mommas who have penned a book about the ever-lasting–or is it–pacifier, in the May 2012 release Perry Passyflyer from AuthorsHouse.
You know it is a Nuk, a binky, a passy…but whatever the case, it’s probably been a staple around your home, especially if you have kids (and if you don’t, well…I don’t know what to tell ya)! If your kids who have fallen in love with their pacifer, you know the relationship can’t last forever. At one time or another, we all need to say “bye-bye, binky.” Yet there are varied ways to go about this. Here’s the take from co-authors, Katie, Liddy, and Danielle:
L4K: Let’s start with introductions. Can you give us a brief run-down of who you are–your backgrounds, your families and your “day job?”
- Katie: My day job is a delightful combination of being a stay-at-home mom to my three daughters and a private practice music therapist working with children with special needs. I have always dreamt of approaching the transitions of early childhood through both music and children’s literature as I remember each of these stages vividly and how music and humor facilitated development for both mom and child.
- Liddy: Professionally, I am an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Kean University. I have been a nurse for over 12 years, recently graduating with a Master’s Degree in Nursing and slowly returning to school to pursue my doctoral degree. I have been married to a wonderfully supportive man for the past six years and we have a three-year old son named Graeme. It was Graeme’s obsession with his binkie that served as the catalyst for collaborating with my sister and best friend to write Perry Passyflyer.
- Danielle: I am a licensed clinical social worker and have worked with children ranging in age from 4 to 21 with social and/or emotional disturbances. I am married with one child, and have eleven nieces/nephews ranging in age from infant to 18 years of age. Needless to say, at family gatherings there is alway a binky to be found on the floor or in a couch and perhaps an argument amongst cousins as to whom the binky belongs.
L4K: Can you tell us how the idea of Perry Passyflyer came to be? Who is the brainchild behind the book?
Liddy says, “the concept for Perry Passyflyer came out of a moment of desperation as my son was over 2 1/2 and was addicted to his binkies. In fact, he would sleep with five at a time and would keep one (or two) in his mouth while holding the others. While we were able to help him limit his use, when it came to bedtime and nap time, we were stuck! It was around Christmas when I developed the idea for Perry as I considered the power of the imagination and positive reinforcement coupled together to help us win the “binkie battle.” We collected all of the binkies in the house, 15 in total, and left them out night after night for Perry to pick up and when Graeme awoke, there would be a trinket in it’s place. One the last night, he left his binkie without a second thought and has not used on since!
Katie says, “I remember Liddy calling with the idea and immediately it went into the planning stage. It took two of my daughters until the age of four to relinquish the bink!”
Liddy says, “we discussed the Passyfler concept for weeks over many long distance phone calls between New Jersey and Pennsylvania but when we came together to write the manuscript, it came together rather quickly – thanks is part to my sister (Katie) and her rhyming skills.”
Danielle says, “The book was the collaboration of three moms who have spent the majority of their lives together. Since kindergarten, we have been supporting each other throughout our lives . It is only natural that we spent the night giggling, singing, and eating junk food like we were teenagers.”
Katie says, “Once we made a blue print for the story, the rhyming scheme came fairly easily. We really had a wonderful time collaborating but we often did have to re-group after the numerous tangents that occur when three woman who have shared their lives are finally in the same room after many years!”
In terms of publishing. Liddy says “Since we were first time authors, we did not know what to expect from the world of publishing. So after researching and talking with others trying to break into publishing, we decided to go with self-publishing. After researching several companies, we found one that gave us the control we desired in regard to the format and illustrations.”
Katie says, “patience is not my strong suit so when the book was finished I could not imagine the “waiting and wishing” that goes along with unsolicited manuscripts and publishing houses. When Liddy mentioned the idea of self publishing I jumped at the idea.”
L4K: And what about finding an illustrator? Was that hard, easy? The illustrations are so fun, whimsical…and can totally capture a child’s attention. I am sure this was an imporant decision in your search for a suitable illustrator.
Liddy says, “As part of the self publishing process, an illustrator is chosen for you. However, we had ultimate control over what we wanted the illustrations to look like and in my head I had already illustrated Perry Passyflyer. Therefore, I was able to articulate in specific detail what I wanted each illustration to look like and then sketches were sent for our approval.”
L4K: Can you share a funny story of your own child’s battle with the binky?
Liddy says, “Wow! It is hard to choose just one! But, at my son’s two year check up I told the physician that we had limited his binker use to bed time, Graeme reached in my purse, grabbed two binkies, and proceeded to put them in his mouth. I was embarrassed to say the least.”
Katie says, “I was worried one of my daughters may eventually walk down the aisle with her binker!”
L4K: What advice would you give to parents about helping their child let go of their pacifier? After all, parents often become just as reliant on the paci as their child. It can be quite a loss during the transition from pacifier to no pacifier.
(image retrieved from Mommy Speech Therapy.com on 7.10.12)
Katie says, “I think the word ‘transition’ can strike fear and anxiety into the most patient of nurtures and that is exactly what we are addressing with Perry Passyflyer – transition. So I would encourage parents to find strength in one another as sometimes leaving the paci can be a tearful experience for our kiddos. In addition, give your child some choices in regard to where to leave the bink for Perry and perhaps a note of where he/she hopes Perry will bring the binker. We encourage parents to leave a small trinket for the child to find the next morning to signal that the bink has arrived safety at its destination. Read Perry Passyflyer several nights in a row before the “big day” and due to the rhyme scheme your child will be able to “read along” as well. But above all, be patient with yourself as a parent and with your child.
L4K: Finally, what are some other coping skills kids can develop after the pacifier has been sent away to Passyland?
Danielle says, “I have come to realize through my work that most everyone has a transitional object they have held onto for security for one reason or another. This book offers not only families, but day care facilities, foster care homes, schools, and other community organizations the opportunity to make the learning process involved in transition less daunting and certainly more fun!
Katie says, “Our babies are born with an instinctual need for sucking and the binker provides one of the ways in which that oral need is met. But, as the time for the bink comes to an end our children continue to develop the skills for self soothing that eases the road to becoming more independent as they enter the preschool years.”
L4K: And I have to ask…what’s next for you ladies? More music? Other transitional objects you’re planning to write about? Loveys, perhaps?
Katie says ,” Our goal is to continue to address early childhood transitions with humor and heart in upcoming children’s books. We are in the process of seeking a literary agent for our second literary endeavor that deals with the sometimes perplexing world of potty training. I (Katie) also hope to continue to work on DVDs that combine music and speech therapy techniques in order to facilitate language development in a fun, systematic, and success – oriented manner for our kiddos.”
Thanks for the opportunity, all!!
***And now for the give-a-way!!***The co-authors of Perry Passyflyer would like to award one lucky reader a complimentary signed copy of the book. Here’s what you need to do: Pick one…1) Make a comment on how you got your kid to give up the binky, or 2) tell us how this book could help your family, or 3) Post a blurb about the book on your Facebook page. YOU MUST COMMENT ON THE BLOG to be considered in the give-a-way. You have till Friday, July 13th at noon to enter. A winner will be drawn at random. You will be notified by email if you won. Thanks and good luck!!