(WKBN) – An author with local roots hopes her new book will help children cope with holidays away from extended family.
When Cassie Hoyt and her family moved from the Mahoning Valley to North Carolina, her son missed his grandparents and extended family. That gave her the idea to write a book telling children it’s OK to miss people they love.
While Hoyt began writing “I Miss You Most” before the COVID-19 pandemic, she thinks it is a timely way to help kids through the situation.
As children may be sad about not seeing family members or not participating in certain traditions this holiday season, Hoyt hopes her book comforts them.
“I think reading this book during the holidays is going to let kids know that what they’re feeling is OK. That we feel it as adults, too,” she said. “I know, for my kids personally, they love to FaceTime my parents or siblings, and they’ll read them books. So I think this holiday season, just sharing that time that you can get, whether it’s on FaceTime or Zoom or anything that you can do, and showing the kids that you do miss them, even if they miss you more.”
Hoyt says the book is also good for kids missing loved ones for reasons other than the pandemic. She said she’s heard from divorced parents and families with one parent who is deployed about how the book and accompanying activity sheets have helped their children.
Hoyt says her son misses his family members who live in the Valley, as well as his friends and schoolmates they’re no longer seeing in North Carolina.
Hoyt understands the difficulties teachers have with the many changes schools have faced this year and wants to help. She is giving her son’s teachers access to “I Miss You Most” in order to help them through remote learning.
She has heard great feedback about the activity sheets, which allow kids to write a letter or color a picture for a loved one. The sheets give them a creative opportunity to keep in touch with people they miss.
“Some of the teachers that have received that are saying that their students are loving to have these activities to kind of send messages to their family or friends. For children right now with distance learning, they’re really missing their friends,” she said.
She’s extending that offer to any teacher — if you would like a free, downloadable copy of the book, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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