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Lynne at her Book Launch Signing in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON.


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Lynne at a book signing in Toronto, ON





September 2010




Book Signing at Words Worth Books, a bookstore from my hometown.


I got press in The Record!
(see full article below)



Kitchener therapist finds healing in books
1
Peter Lee, Record staffSocial worker and children's book author Lynne Steffy poses with the puppets that complement her series of books for children.
September 16, 2010

From the beginning of her career as a child therapist, Lynne Steffy noticed there were few tools available for therapists or caregivers helping a child through traumatic issues such as abandonment, bullying or grief.

“These issues are hard enough for adults to deal with; a lot of parents don’t have a clue what to say,” she said. “Many people working with, and parenting children have expressed to me that there are a lack of tools out there to help kids with the most difficult issues that they face.”

Being the proactive sort, Steffy embarked on a remarkable journey to create her own series of colourful, kid-friendly books in a series she calls Felt Feelings, each book dealing with a particular issue. Her target is children with complex behavioural and emotional problems and the books are designed to be read by an adult to a child.

The recently released series published by General Store Publishing includes eight books, but she has many, many more ideas percolating in her brain.

“I worked on these for nine years,” said the Kitchener woman, who came up with the idea while working with children at kidsLink and later Mosaic Counselling and Family Services.

Her books capture a sense of adventure as the main characters work though a particular problem in a way that is engaging for the child.

“It’s fun and interesting but there’s a therapeutic message inside,” she said.

The notion that children can be healed through stories comes from the children themselves, who tend to express their lives in story rather than a series of cold, hard facts.

Steffy holds a Masters’ degree in clinical social work from Carleton University and received additional training from the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy. She works as a case manager at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Woodstock, but she is taking time off to promote her books, with designs to write a series of 40 in all.

It’s an ambitious project, but Steffy believes parents, caregivers and therapists will gravitate to the books as a useful tool in helping children comprehend their feelings.

“I didn’t use language that was above their heads,” she said. “There is a lot of text because I wanted them to get lost in the story.”

Years earlier she had met Byron Morton of Images Puppet Productions in Stoney Creek at a play therapy conference and kept his business card handy. When the books were about to be published, Steffy called the master puppet maker and asked if he would consider working with an author. A deal was struck.

Collaborating with Steffy, Morton created moulded puppets of a main character in each of the eight books, puppets used by the children to act out the story or just to cuddle for comfort.

In book entitled The Butterfly Blanket, for example, the character Michelle is losing her mother to a terminal illness. Morton created a soft, blue blanket to which he attached a number of butterfly finger puppets. In the story, Michelle is comforted when a number of butterflies appear before and after her mother’s death.

Steffy writes, “As Michelle grew older and needed to remember that her mother would be forever in her heart, she looked for the butterflies.”

The eight books in the series cover grief, dealing with family conflict, separation from a parent, expressing anger, sexual abuse, expressing feelings, bullying and dealing with illness or disability and there is obviously an appetite for such books. Steffy wrote proposals to three publishers and was surprised at the positive responses.

“I got two out of three,” she said. A year and a half later, the books, illustrated by Gary Frederick of Ottawa, hit the book store shelves and the puppets, ranging in price from $69 to $125, are available through the Images Puppet Production website.

“Everything is very deliberate in the books,” she said, noting she had other experts in the field read through the manuscripts before publication. “The child says ‘I know that book’s about me,’ they know but it’s safe.”

vhill@therecord.com

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June 2010



Attended tri-Pride, presenting my book series to families with alternative lifestyles.

May 2010





It all begins here!  Starting my journey as a published author at my Book Launch, hosted by Mosaic Counselling and Family Services in Kitchener, ON.

July 2010



Showcasing the Felt Feelings Book Series, in Thunder Beach, ON.



Radio interview with Shelley McLean for CFRA Radio. July 14th,
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