Today’s virtual author tour is with Heidi Stacy. Heidi is a parent, grandparent, educator, former kindergarten teacher, speaker, and neuroscience researcher. She was named the Betty Brinn Children's Museum Teacher of the Year for Hands On Learning. Her first children's book, Back Rub-A-Dubs, is a hilarious romp through different kinds of back rubs we can give, all sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques." I bought five of these books and gave them to the parents of my grandchildren and "adopted" grandchildren.
Heidi likes to quote anthropologist Ashley Montagu, Ph.D, who said, "Our survival depends on touch." Heidi says, "Through many first-hand experiences, I have found that when basic needs are met, bonding, trust, good behaviors, and strong cognitive learning is born in children. Touch is one such basic need."
Heidi's newest book, Hoppy Feelings, will be out soon. She answered some questions about it (below)....
Gail: Tell us about your new book.
Heidi: Hoppy Feelings is the story of a frog hopping through his day. When he has a "not so comfortable" feeling, he tells us to "Check it out" (name the feeling) and "Work it out" (do something about it). The tale becomes a model for all of us to take care of unsettling feelings right away. Doing so can make or break our day.
Gail: Boy, do I know that. I always have trouble telling people how I feel. If it's a question of fight or flight, I usually flee.... Why did you write the book?
Heidi: I believe that strong, positive emotional health is a key to "quality" everything in life - happiness, physical health, positive relationships, self-esteem, strong cognitive development, creativity, problem solving, love, kindness and acceptance.
My book is a reminder to myself and the world: Feelings need immediate attention. When they are hidden or avoided, inside troubles brew.
Feelings are an important part of education. I know I can't solve a math problem when I am crying. My feelings need my attention first. When we feel good, we do good.
Gail: Who is your target audience?
Heidi: Every human being from the moment they can name a few feelings - probably from age two on up to age 102.
Babies cry and we try to figure out the uncomfortable feeling for them by rocking, changing them if they are wet, feeding them, and so on. At this time, as we name the feelings for them, they are at the onset of their emotional health journey.
Gail: What's next?
Heidi: My intention is to write a series of books for children and parents: little stories with BIG meanings. I'll write about crazy characters in human situations with usable solutions we all can learn from.
My dream is that children and parents will come together to read, to touch, to talk, to share the joy of a story that touches on a bit of "human beingness." The tender bond of understanding between child and parent is strengthened...and parents get some tips for happy parenting.