Has your peaceful bedtime routine become a battleground because your child is afraid of the dark? Does your child cry at bedtime, refuse to get into bed, or crawl into your bed during the night? If you would like to see those nighttime tears and fears turned into nighttime fun, Uncle Lightfoot, Flip That Switch may be just the book for your family. Uncle Lightfoot, Flip That Switch is a lively, entertaining, interactive book to help children, ages 5-8, overcome fear of the dark through a fictional story woven around fun games. The book uses a cognitive-behavioral approach. Independent researchers found that the earlier research edition of Uncle Lightfoot was helpful in reducing fear of the dark in children in the study when compared to a control group. Michael is afraid of the dark, and his friend, Jerome, calls him a scaredy cat. Uncle Lightfoot, a retired professor, lives on a farm and is a modern-day Creek Indian who knows games that can help Michael overcome his fear. Michael’s parents and a young blind neighbor, Elizabeth (Little Otter) want to help. Even the farm dog, Lady, is willing to help Michael play the games! The book contains 18 short chapters, with over 90 illustrations, including some that are in color. The illustrations are playfully child-pleasing and often humorous. The Parent Guidebook is included at the back of the book, with helpful information on fear of the dark and on how to use the book and games. Many children describe fear of the dark as their worst fear. Can overcoming fear of the dark be exciting and fun? The author and the illustrator make a convincing case that it can be as they seek to turn a child’s nighttime experiences from fear to fun.
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Mary Coffman is a licensed counselor who believes that children can have fun while overcoming problems. When medical problems forced her into her retirement, she returned to her first love: helping children and their parents through books. Earlier in her career she had written an unpublished research version of Uncle Lightfoot (the precursor to Uncle Lightfoot, Flip That Switch). After learning that independent researchers had found the earlier Uncle Lightfoot to be helpful in reducing fear of the dark in children in the study, she decided to release Uncle Lightfoot, Flip That Switch. She was assisted in this process by her loyal rat terrier, Talley Ho, who has been both nurse and inspiration. The author met the artist, Dianne Dusevitch, when they attended college in Florida. She is the original artist for the previous unpublished research editions, and she has recently given Uncle Lightfoot a fresh look. Dusevitch is the winner of national and international illustration and marketing awards and currently splits her time living in Florida and Colorado. Mary Coffman is a nationally certified counselor (NCC), with licensure in South Carolina (LPC) and Florida (LMHC). Her career has included counseling, teaching parenting classes, administration, writing, adjunct college teaching, and research. Uncle Lightfoot was inspired by the author’s growing up on a farm as well as an awareness that her own family history includes Creek Indian ancestry. However, the author also knows that the additional inheritance from Scotch-Irish, English - - and goodness knows what else - - makes her essentially a mutt! She currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, George, and, of course, Talley Ho.
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