I want to very sincerely thank Kathy for having me today. She has been an amazing blog friend and her writing is always such an inspiration. If anyone knows how to take their grief and turn it into a positive force for helping other people, it is Kathy. That's exactly what I hope to be able to do with my new children's book, so I am honored that she has asked me to share the spotlight on her blog today.
Unfortunately, my inspiration for The Cookie Jar Parable came from a real life tragedy. My friend Mary Joy was in a terrible car accident with her entire family. They lost her husband and she and both of her boys were all in critical conditions, separated in different hospitals. The book is dedicated to them. They live a thousand miles away and I was unable to be with them in person. I did what I could and sent some money to try to help with medical bills, but I was just heartbroken. I was left trying to explain this terrible situation to my children, who were too young to understand.
I didn’t know what else to do, so I prayed. I asked for a way to explain it to them so that they could understand the grief I was feeling, but it would not be scary or intimidating to them. That’s when the story came to me.The Cookie Jar Parable is about a little boy named Elliot who is sad because his grandpa has just gone to Heaven. His grandma tells him a story about a jar full of cookies, which helps him feel better. This is how it is described on the back of the book:
Elliot’s grandpa is in Heaven now, and Elliot is sad. He is a little nervous to visit Grandma’s house since Grandpa won’t be there anymore. Will she be upset? Is she lonely? During their visit Grandma shares a special story with Elliot. Her story is about a jar full of cookies that have been created to be part of a great celebration. Through “The Cookie Jar Parable” Grandma is able to help Elliot understand that it is all right to be scared of death and loss, but on the other side there is a wonderful celebration waiting for us.
It is my sincere hope that The Cookie Jar Parable is able to open a dialogue between children and their parents. All children experience grief on some level, whether it is through the loss of a pet, a grandparent, or a tragedy in the news. It can be a new and unfamiliar emotion. I wrote this book to help alleviate some of the fear that often comes with the unknown. I hope that reading about Elliot can help children identify and work through their own emotions and begin the healing process.
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Stephanie Giese is a mom of three and a former elementary school teacher who lives in Pennsylvania, just outside of Amish Country. She blogs at Binkies and Briefcases and has also been featured in the Amazon best-selling humor anthologies I Just Want to Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. She is a regular contributor to Smart Magazine in York, PA and has also been featured on The Huffington Post and In The Powder Room, as well as on The Today Show’s blog. She is the founder of the BlogU Conference. The Cookie Jar Parable is her first children’s book. It is available now on Amazon and through Tate Publishing.
Stephanie is being so kind and giving one lucky reader a PDF copy of her book. I really think you and your children will love this sweet story and bold colorful illustrations. I love the way Heaven is talked about as a celebration because we always have a "Joey Party" on the crapiversary of Joey's death. We don't stop loving or thinking about the people who have died, and this is such a comforting way of seeing them. Enter through the Rafflecopter below (I've always found the easiest way to enter is by using your e-mail address), and I'll notify the winner by Tuesday, February 4th. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway