Oh, those early childhood memories! Like it or not, they inform who we are as adults. Stephanie Burkhart takes us back to our toddler years in her picture book Brady's Lost Blanket. I'll admit up front: yes, I had a blankie. Pale blue, like Linus'. Please excuse me while I go suck my thumb...
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Inspiration comes in small packages
By Stephanie Burkhart
One of my husband's relatives told me a story about her grandchild who was attached to his blankie. He left it behind when he was visiting relatives and was having a hard time without it. That brought back memories of the time when I was a young girl and had a blankie. My blankie was soft blue with silk blue trim. I loved to rub it against my face. It was very soothing. My blankie was my security net. It was always there for me. I could count on it to relax my ruffled feelings or frustration – until it mysteriously disappeared. One day, when I was five, my blankie turned up missing. I had no idea what happened to it. I felt "out of sorts," "uncomfortable," and "anxious." (My mother hid it on me. She decided it was time for me to learn how to get along without it.)
Those first couple of days without blankie were rough, but I soon learned other age appropriate coping stragedies. I played with Barbie and her Beach van. I picked up a book. I began coloring. I loved playing with Matchbox cars. Soon my imagination grew and I didn't need blankie anymore.
Giving up blankie was my first step to growing up.
Brady's Lost Blanket is about taking that first step. It's a great message for children. Growing up isn't easy. There are all kinds of challenges, but learning how to get along without a blankie is usually the first one a child faces. In the story, Brady has a lot of support from his parents who offer him other ways to deal with the anxiety of losing his blanket. I hope that when other children read the story they realize that while it may be upsetting at first, letting go of blankie and embracing new things can be fun and they'll be all right.
Question for you: Did you have a blankie growing up? Did you know someone who had a blankie?
COVER BLURB FOR Brady's Lost Blanket:
Brady is a sensitive young boy who takes his blankie wherever he goes. After traveling with his parents to visit his new cousin, Brady accidently leaves his blanket behind. Can Brady learn to get by without his blankie?
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