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Isabelle's Dream

A Story and Activity Book for a Child's Grief Journey

Betsy Bottino Arenella

64 pages
Quality of Life Publishing Co
As featured in REDBOOK December 2007 issue. Based on the true story of two sisters, Isabelle's Dream takes the reader on a heartwarming journey from grief to hope. The story begins as Isabelle gazes out her bedroom window at the stars, wondering where her sister Sophia has gone. She knows Sophia is in Heaven, but where is that? Can Isabelle go there, too, so she and Sophia can be together again? That night, Sophia visits Isabelle in a dream. Through the beauties of nature, Sophia shows Isabelle the earthly joys that still await her and reassures her that they will be sisters forever. The book is interactive and therapeutic. Black-and-white illustrations invite children to add their own creativity using crayons, colored pencils or glitter glue. Blank activity pages encourage each child to create original words or pictures about his or her special person. The story and art therapy format opens the door to conversations about loss in gentle, non-threatening ways. "Seven Tips for Parents of Bereaved Children" provide guidance and resources for gentle grief support. Author Betsy Bottino Arenella wrote the book to comfort friends whose one-year-old daughter Sophia died unexpectedly and unexplainably in her sleep. Three-year-old Isabelle missed her little sister and talked about wanting to go to Heaven to be with Sophia. Arenella's book reminds Isabelle -- and any grieving child -- that love is eternal and that many joys still await them in this world. In memory of the real Sophia, Arenella is donating 100 percent of her royalties to the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Program.
"Isabelle's Dream is a heartwarming story that offers grieving children a sweet message of optimism and enduring love. " Linda Goldman, Grief Therapist, author of Children Also Grieve and Raising Our Children to Be Resilient
" Profound in its simplicity, this life-affirming volume is filled with both pain and triumph and most of all characterized by that rarest of qualities -- wisdom." Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, author of Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
" Imagination, creativity and self-expression are an important part of a healthy grieving process for children, and Isabelle's Dream helps guide children through this process with comfort and hope." Barbara Clarke, Executive Director, The Children's Room Center for Grieving Children and Teenagers, Inc.
Author Bio
A native of Endicott, N.Y., Betsy Bottino Arenella grew up in upstate New York and earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. She spent 14 years as a writer, editor, public-relations manager, and media spokesperson in the Boston area before becoming a stay-at-home mother of two and a freelance writer. Arenella lives with her husband, Andrew, and their children, Andrew, seven, and Mina, four, in the Boston suburbs.