Bibliotherapy is a Powerful Tool for Children: Spotlight and Giveaway!

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I’m sure many of you have seen past posts of one of my favorite teams creating children’s literature, Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher. This dynamic duo has published some incredible books that resonate deeply with children who are coping with separation, loss, relocation and finding resiliency. They are always willing to share their support and resources by donating books to programs and children in need.

They also love child life specialists and want to celebrate our work all year long (not just the month of March)! They are giving away one free paperback copy of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs to any hospital’s child life department. All you have to do is email with “Child Life Offer” in the subject line. That is it! Don’t miss out on this fantastic resource!

Susan and Courtenay aren’t done celebrating child life specialists. They are giving away a set of all three of their hardcover picture books signed by them, as well as a signed advanced review copy of Susan’s novel INSPIRED.

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Choose one or more ways to enter the giveaway:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at and leave a comment on this post.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.
  3. Facebook: Follow Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs and leave a comment on their page.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @SusanBernardo
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy & @Sunkissessmoonhugs, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good luck, the winner will be chosen 4/10/18.

Click here to learn more about their books

Helping Kids Cope with Trauma, Loss and Separation: Spotlight and Giveaway on Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

I’m ecstatic to share a new resource that will help kids cope with grief, loss, separation and trauma. These two beautifully written and illustrated books are a must for any hospital playroom, school, home, or setting that works with children.


Guest Blogger, Susan Bernardo

My picture book Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was born in 2012, when I was going through a painful divorce and trying to comfort my kids (and myself!). At the same time, an artist friend of mine, Courtenay Fletcher, had just lost a dear friend to breast cancer, leaving behind a five-year-old daughter. The two of us wanted to create a book to reassure kids that love is forever and we are always connected to the people we love. Courtenay’s illustrations are colorful, soothing and inclusive – and there are hidden hearts, Xs and Os so kids can look for love on the pages! We are so honored to see the book being used in a variety of settings to help kids deal with loss, grief and separation – from hospitals to shelters to foster care and more.


In a magical turn of events, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs found its way to Le Var Burton, the actor and host of Reading Rainbow, who invited us to collaborate with him on The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, a picture book to help families cope with traumatic events. The storm provides a metaphor for the turbulent emotions that swirl through us when something bad happens. The main character, Rhino, goes on a journey to release the storm within him – and finds many helpers along the way. The book deals with difficult topics in an engaging, accessible way – and there are even discussion questions at the end so that caregivers can facilitate a healing dialogue with children after reading the book. The Rhino book has had an amazing journey since its release in 2014, appearing on Good Morning America, and being read aloud by VP Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama to military kids. It was even sent on a rocket to the International Space Station to be read by an astronaut for Storytime from Space!


Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (left) and author Susan Schaefer Bernardo first met in a Mommy and Me class 12 years ago when their kids were babies. Life led them down a new career path together: creating books to help families heal. Their third book, The Big Adventures of Tiny House, will be released in Spring 2017.


Choose one or more ways to enter to win your copy of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs or The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm

  1. Sign up for email notifications at and leave a comment on this post.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.
  3. Facebook: Follow Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs and leave a comment on their page.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @SusanBernardo
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Winner will be chosen 2/2/17

Related Articles:

“I wish that Mommy never dies.” Helping my preschooler cope with grief and loss

How we helped our kids cope with a pet loss

8 tips to help kids with separation anxiety

“Divorce is The Worst” Spotlight and Giveaway


Divorce is on the rise globally and it is having an impact on the children involved. It’s the new normal with kids being raised by single parents, blended families or having their time split between two households.

So how do we explain divorce to kids? Is there a way to validate their feelings and support them through this drastic change?

I think there is. When we talk with honesty, compassion and allow kids to express all emotions involved, it will help ease this transition. We know that talking isn’t the only way kids learn, we need to use other modalities such as play, creative arts and books.

I am ecstatic to share an amazing resource by a good friend, Anastasia Higginbotham,  the author of Divorce is The Worst.

Anastasia and her Creation

I made this book because it’s the one I want to read on the subject of divorcing or separating parents.

My parents divorced when I was 14 and said it was for the best. They told me: “Don’t let this affect you.” I saw them struggling with a choice that was obviously painful for them and though it broke my heart when my dad moved out, I did try to not let it affect me. This ensured that the heartbreak would follow me right into adulthood.

You can’t get over something you never went through in the first place. As grown-ups, we don’t want kids to be hurt by our choices. We’re reluctant to admit that our broken vows and failures cause them pain. But when parents’ lives unravel – for any reason (divorce, family illness or death, financial stress) – it affects the kids, even if no one’s throwing dishes across the room or weeping on the couch all day long. Though this may also be happening.

Other divorce books try to make kids feel better about the divorce. Mine supports kids to find out how they feel at all. The truth of their experience is the only thing that matters.

Purchase through the Feminist Press or through your local bookstore.


About the Author

Anastasia Higginbotham has worked in New York City for 20 years as a speechwriter for social justice organizations.  Her essays have appeared in Ms., Bitch, Glamour, The Sun, The Women’s Review of Books, Women’s Media Center, and in various anthologies, including Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. She is a 2015 Hedgebrook Fellow. Follow Anastasia on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.



Chose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications on and leave a comment on this post.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and leave a comment on post

3. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @OrdTerribleThings

4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @OrdinaryTerribleThings, Like and tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! The winner will be chosen on 6/11/15

Winner DITW Giveaway