Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! Wins Ben Franklin Award for Children's Picture Books

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The prestigious Ben Franklin Award given by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) was awarded to Smart Love Press, LLC in the category of Children’s Picture Books for Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! The award was announced at a ceremony in New York City on May 29, 2013.

The prestigious Ben Franklin Award given by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) was awarded to Smart Love Press, LLC for Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! in the category of Children’s Picture Books. The award was announced at a ceremony in New York City on May 29, 2013.

Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D., author of the book and publisher of Smart Love Press said, “It is a wonderful thing when the very first children’s book published by a small press can receive this major recognition. The publishing world is truly changing!!” In her acceptance remarks Pieper noted that the book would never have been written if her daughter, Johanna Heineman-Pieper, had not insisted that she write a book for children as well as her books for parents (Smart Love) and for adults (Addicted to Unhappiness). Pieper also recognized her illustrator, Jo Gershman, for “bringing the book to life.”

Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! has won twelve other important awards, including the IPPY award, Independent Booksellers Kids Indie Next List, the Sharp Writ Award for Best Children’s Book, the Gelett Burgess Award, the USA Book News Best Book in two categories, the Eric Hoffer Award, and Foreword finalist.

When the inevitable happens and children wake parents in the middle of the night upset by a bad dream, parents are often at a loss. They may tell their child that, “It was only a dream,” show the child that there are no scary creatures under the bed, or tell the child to try to dream a different dream. None of these strategies work because they don’t help the child understand or process the cause of the bad dream. Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! makes it possible for both children and parents to respond constructively and effectively to children’s bad dreams.

Interestingly, few children’s books specifically address this universal childhood discomfort. The books that do exist typically make light of bad dreams as not real, present the scary figures in the dreams as not truly frightening, or suggest that the child can change the dream while dreaming. None of these “solutions” are helpful. The uniqueness of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!, is that in an appealing, engaging manner it demonstrates to parents and children that bad dreams can be understood as stories children tell themselves in response to important life events. This knowledge frees children from the anxiety produced by the bad dream and also puts them in touch with the feelings the dream was meant to disguise.

Joey, a bouncy, happy kangaroo has a series of bad dreams which his parents lovingly help him to understand. When he is awakened by his last dream, Joey finds that he is able to make sense of it himself and put himself back to sleep without needing to run to his parents. The story demonstrates to children that “Dreams are stories we tell ourselves for a reason,” and helps them understand the reason.

Mommy, Daddy I Had a Bad Dream is an outgrowth of Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper’s personal and professional commitment to help children understand and learn to manage their feelings -- including the upset feelings that send children into their parents' rooms in the middle of the night. Dr. Pieper's book is the answer for all parents who want to help their child with bad dreams and also get a night's sleep for themselves.

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Martha Pieper
smartlovepress@gmail.com
312-856-0918
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