Ari The Brave: Spotlight and Giveaway

Guest Blogger, Krystal Wallick, Author of Ari The Brave

About The Book

Ari overcomes his hospital stay.

When a little boy is hospital-bound, he gets through the scary time with his adventurous spirit and wild imagination. A hospital turns into a jungle with young Ari battling rhinos and octopuses in this wonderful tale of courage and empowerment.

The Inspiration Behind the Book

In June 2020, I had my third child, right at the height of COVID. Things were scary already, my older daughters were home from school and I was laid off from my job. Then my son’s lungs collapsed during his delivery. We almost lost him. It was the scariest time of my life. I wasn’t allowed to hold him or touch him, so I sat at his bedside daydreaming. At one point I took out my phone and began writing imaginary stories of my son being on adventures, instead of being in the hospital. Some days he was doing ok and having fun and other days, he battling something really scary. After 14 days in the NICU, we were discharged with a healthy boy. I realized how therapeutic the writing had been for me and that these stories of bravery could help other families going through similar challenges. I set out to publish the children’s books and released the first one this past August. Since then, we have sold over 300 books and donated over 125 books to children’s hospitals and NICUs all over the world!

While Ari’s story takes place in the hospital, challenges come in all different shapes and sizes. Nightmares, social anxiety, bumps, and bruises can seem almost insurmountable when viewed from their perspective. With imagination and bravery, any battle can be won. That is the message that children will get from the Ari the Brave books. This book is perfect for NICU families, medically fragile families, pediatric healthcare professionals/ child life specialists, or anybody preparing for an upcoming surgery or hospital stay. I received feedback that moms were even reading this to their children to prepare for regular doctor visits, blood draws and getting stitches.

Where to Purchase

You can purchase the books www.arithebrave.com. For the month of October, you can receive 10% off any of your orders, by using code CHILDLIFEMOMMY. All books will be personally signed by the author!

Be sure to follow Krystal on Instagram and Facebook as she continues to expand her library of resources for children and families.

We will be giving away 1 signed book to one lucky Child Life Mommy fan AND donating 1 to a children’s hospital of the winner’s choice.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  3. Facebook: Follow Krystal Wallick Author and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @Krystal_Wallick_Author tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 10/9/21. Open to U.S. residents.

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Teaching Social and Emotional Learning Through Games: Spotlight and Giveaway with Game On Family

It’s important to educate children about social and emotional skills at a young age. It can provide a foundation for understanding self-regulation, empathy for others, and how to express feelings in a healthy way. As children grow to become teenagers and young adults, they have to continue to strengthen these skills.

As a child life specialist supporting children and teens coping with life’s challenges, I utilize play, art, games, and books to strengthen coping skills. I have been using Game On Family’s resources and love them.

Game On Family creates family-friendly, educational games and books that support mental health & connection. They believe that learning happens best through play. They thrive on producing fun products that aid parents, teachers, and mental health professionals. Together you can build our kids’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and improve life outcomes through play! Find their products at Amazon.com/GameOnFamily

Click here to get a 20% discount on your purchase until 10/7/21


We will be giving away a SEL bundle of Game On Family products to 2 winners.

It will include:

  • 1 Feelings and Dealings game
  • 1 Shined Mind game
  • 1 Feelings and Dealings Coloring Book
  • 1 Feelings and Dealings Storybook.
Click here to enter the GIVEAWAY

For an additional entry choose below:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  3. Facebook: Follow Game On Family and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @GameOnFamilyCom tag two friends in the post.

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 10/3/21. Open to U.S. residents.

Families Facing Cancer: Spotlight and Giveaway on Mighty + Bright

When Sara Olsher was diagnosed with cancer at age 34, her first thought was her 6-year-old daughter. As a single mom, the two were incredibly close, and Sara was deeply worried about her daughter’s mental health.

“I worried a lot about whether I would be okay, of course, but it was all about how cancer would impact my daughter,” Sara said. “I know I can deal with almost anything, but I wasn’t sure if my daughter could.”

Sara’s first order of business was to find a children’s book to explain her diagnosis. Unfortunately, what she was looking for — a book that explained the actual science of cancer in an age-appropriate, non-scary way — didn’t exist.

As an illustrator, Sara had enough experience to put together a book on the topic, which she published through her company Mighty + Bright. The book is called What Happens When Someone I Love Has Cancer and now has well over a hundred five-star ratings on Amazon and is used in hospitals across the United States.

As it turns out, this book was just the beginning.

Throughout her treatment, Sara desperately wished for some way to make cancer easier. Her explanation took the fear out of cancer for her daughter but did nothing to manage the chaos and stress of long-term cancer treatment. Sara relied on her “village” to help with school drop-offs and pickups, meals, and more, and her daughter was often confused about who would be in the house each day. She worried that someone would forget to pick her up at school.

Sara also struggled to come up with ways to stay emotionally connected to her daughter. Games of tag and play dates in the park were now replaced with long stretches of time where Sara was too exhausted to even come up with activities to do from the couch.

Sara’s solution was a visual calendar, which helped her daughter easily see what she could expect each day. Would mom be extra tired from chemo? Or would it be a “good day,” closer to the end of the cycle? The calendar also had low-key activities the two could do together. Sara’s daughter picked out the activities and chose the day they’d do them, giving the pair something to look forward to.

Since Sara’s diagnosis in 2017, she has continued to build her company to help with a number of difficult life circumstances. She now has book and calendar sets for everyday use in addition to special sets for kids facing parental divorce, their own pediatric cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a parent or sibling. Through her nonprofit organization, Resilience Campaign, Sara is seeking funding to provide these resources to pediatric cancer patients and their siblings.

Using these books and calendars, Sara found a way to take things that are incredibly complicated and make them simple and easy to understand.

“These tools brought both of us security and peace,” Sara says. “Every day, my daughter could check the calendar to see – where in the chemo cycle is mom? When will she start to feel better? What activity can I choose for us to do together? This calendar was a gift. It was the gift of being able to connect with my child, even when I was exhausted.”

Through her experience with cancer, Sara learned a lesson so deeply that it has become a core part of who she is. And that lesson is this: Making life more simple makes space for the things that really matter.

It makes space so your brain isn’t preoccupied with keeping track of everything under the sun, and for connection with the people, we love.

Learn more about Sara and how to purchase her amazing resources at MightyandBright.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

We will be giving away a children’s book and calendar kit of your choice to one lucky winner.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  3. Facebook: Follow Mighty + Bright Co and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @MightyandBrightCo tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 9/4/21. Open to U.S. residents.

Related Articles

The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer

How to Help Kids Cope with their Mom’s Breast Cancer