As adults, we tend to look at children and fondly think back to a time when we were carefree, without grown-up problems and worries. But all we have to do is think back to our own childhoods to realize that this isn’t always the case. Kids’ lives are often filled with fears, doubts and social problems such as fitting in, peer pressure and teasing. If these aren’t resolved during our growth years, we often drag them along into adulthood with us.
These issues can be tackled in a fun and subtle way through the use of stories the child can relate to. When the child identifies with the characters in the story that are having the same problems, many times they can figure out a solution by themselves. Just as when hospital personnel use dolls to help a child get through an illness, using characters in a fun way can help them understand and work through a problem.
Jan Krauel’s, Flying Lessons, was inspired by a trip to the mall, where she observed a bird that had gotten inside and was flying around high up in the rafters. Being afraid of heights for as long as Krauel can remember, she thought of how afraid she’d be if she were sitting up in the rafters with the bird. Krauel then wondered if there had ever been a bird that was afraid of heights, and how that would affect its life. How would that fear hold him back?
Since he can’t fly, Robbie, the young robin in the story, is sadly left behind when his family flies south for the winter. He’s left in the care of his squirrel friend, Sarah, who brings him food every day, as well as items to keep him warm in his nest. When Sarah’s mother makes her stop helping Robbie, he’s left in a predicament. Robbie is discovered by a wise, but crotchety old barn owl, who would rather be eating or sleeping than helping a young robin. By using tough love, Hoover the owl helps Robbie realized that he must face that fear and learn to fly to become the bird he was always meant to be.
Jan Krauel’s second book, The Land of Misfit Bugs, is about a grasshopper who can’t hop, so he wears jogging shoes. Jeremy, teased by his family and friends for being different, runs away from home. In his travels, he meets a worm who’s afraid of the dark and a June bug with an attitude problem. They end up in The Land of Misfit Bugs, where they learn to be proud of who they are and respectful of others who are different. They also learn the value of friendship.
Purchase: The Land of Misfit Bugs
Flying Lessons is written for children ages 9 – 12, and The Land of Misfit Bugs is for ages 8 – 10. Younger children love to have these books read to them. Adults even find the stories fun and thought-provoking. The Land of Misfit Bugs is also available for the Kindle on Amazon and the Nook at Barnes & Noble.
About the Author: Jan Krauel is the author of Flying Lessons (www.FlyingLessonsBook.com) and The Land of Misfit Bugs (www.TheLandOfMisfitBugs.com). With many more stories and articles in progress, she is also an intuitive writer, playwright, web designer and jewelry designer.