Hoppy is a young penguin who lives with both parents on two different islands. Hoppy enjoys both parents but feels especially comfortable with one over the other. They are very different and Hoppy has to learn to love them both in a way that works for Hoppy and keeps the peace. Hoppy's best friend Stitch is there to help along the way and has some excellent suggestions that become Hoppy's great solutions for navigating life with two very different parents.
I'm fundraising to help defray the cost of the illustrations.
I am an early childhood trauma therapist and work with kids ages 3-12 who are being raised by at least one parent who is personality disordered (often narcissistic). These kids are witnessing and experiencing emotional abuse as a result of watching their healthier parent succumb to the effects of gaslighting or are being gaslit themselves. I want to support these littles and their healthier parent as they figure out to how trust themselves, believe in their own thoughts and ideas, and own their feelings regardless of what the unhealthy parent may think or say.
I have lived this story and when I searched for books for my little kids, I couldn't find one. I knew then that I would write this story for other moms - and dads - who are figuring out how to live a healthy life, separate from the abuser's view of reality. I want children to see in the characters that they are not alone, that they can love both parents even if that love feels different with each. It is possible to survive gaslighting and being a narcissistic object - I hope this book will be a tool for parents with little kids.
Hoppy's story and illustrations:
This book started out small and simple and it has grown as it has come to life. I fell in love with an illustrator who showed me the characters I was imagining on his first mock-up! Len Smith is a talented and very experienced illustrator. He has worked with Disney and Pixar! His fees are more than what I had imagined paying for this book but once I saw his work and saw Hoppy come to life through his art, I knew he was the right illustrator!
The costs and fees
I'm hoping to raise money toward the illustrating fees. The total fees are $7,000. I have already paid for half and the 2nd half is due at delivery of the final product. All donations will go toward the 1st and 2nd payments.
My ultimate goal:
My big goal is to create a resource for kids and parents who are living in or getting out of an unhealthy relationship with a narcissistic or personality disordered parent/spouse. I was desperate for this tool when I went through it and I want moms and dads to have a safe way to talk to their kids about what they are already feeling but haven't yet found the words to describe it.
I hope to have this book available for purchase on Amazon by July 2021 at the latest. Len tells me it's the review process that will slow things down, not his creative flow.
I also want to reach out to some DV organizations and trauma therapists in hopes that they will enjoy the book and share it with their clients. My goal is not to make money (though that would be pretty cool) - rather, my goal is to help other kids like mine and other parents like me, know they are not alone.
- Maureen Collins
- Lauren Boyes
- Kara Moreland
- Debra Wesselmann
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