Pets and Puppets – My sister and I wrote book for kids!
Guess what? In between performing, writing new material for shows and other business stuff I wrote a book for children with my sister Marybeth Haines who is an author, speaker and grief specialist. We often explain to our mom that she has cat, a dog and puppets for grandkids and she likes that a lot! My Dad would have loved this new book too. A while ago my sister found my Dad’s pen he used to write with before he passed on and she sent the pen to me. Marybeth lives in Ontario and I live in Vancouver so the pen crossed the country and is on my piano now. My sister thought I would like to have it for inspiration.
Our Dad Ralph Haines II always wanted to write a book. He left way too early so we picked up where he left off. My sister has already written two books: The Power of Pets – 7 Effective Tools to Heal from Pet Loss and From Empty to Empowered – A Journey to Healing from Unexpected Pets Loss. She is also an accomplished speaker and is certified in Pet Loss and Grief Companioning. The funny things is, she has gone from a teenager who was too scared to talk in front of her class to doing speaking engagements all over the place. I’ll laugh when I ask my brother Rafe if he’s spoken to Marybeth and he’ll say, “I think she’s in Virginia or somewhere doing a talk” or “MB just did a conference call to South Africa or India.”
Last summer we came together for our brother’s wedding to Clare, and as we often do in between family gatherings my sister and I got to work. She asked me to brainstorm with her on a children’s book. We wrote notes on pieces of paper and drew pictures, and after she went home to Ontario, we kept talking and sharing ideas until I Miss My Furry Friend – My Feel Better Book with Kamilla and Magrau was finished. From both of our perspectives we found that growing up together as a family and talking openly about our feelings after we lost our many pets really helped us as adults. My sister Marybeth and I have always wanted to help kids heal from whatever problems they may have, so why not start with a book about healing from the loss of a furry friend? (Or a fishy, or scaly friend?)
Marybeth wanted to write a book to help children express and process their feelings and actively mourn their pet through the interaction with my puppets Magrau and Kamilla. This colourful activity book helps kids share how they are feeling and assist them in dealing with any type of loss. We wanted to bring both child and grown-up together to help everyone feel better. I Miss My Furry Friend is full of colour and fun exercises that spark creative expression. Magrau the bird and Kamilla the frog are very proud to be featured in this book and they are bouncing around right now with our new copy. Put down the book and stop jumping on the sofa Magrau!
Next up is something my brilliant sister has been working on called Kids and Puppets Connection Kit. When complete, this kit will contain a DVD with the puppets and myself that accompany our new book to help kids heal from loss. I’ll be e mailing everyone who has signed up for my newsletter with more information and will be giving out some free copies of our book in contests!