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Friday, September 24, 2021

Children’s book encourages positive thoughts before bed

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One day local author Cynthia Stigger’s granddaughter, Kamryn Keets, lamented about her inability to find a book about a fairy princess. Knowing Stigger’s occupation, Kamryn asked Stigger to write one.

Writing a children’s book would require Stigger to venture into new territory as she is a poet and novelist who normally writes books for older audiences. However, not wanting to let down her granddaughter, Stigger authored the picture book “Rylen’s Fun Dreams.”

“Some people stay in one genre, but if something comes to me I will just write,” Stigger said. “… I don’t want to limit myself. I want to do it all.”

“Rylen’s Fun Dreams” follows Rylen, a young boy who has bad dreams about a sock monster. To help Rylen overcome his nightmares, his sister, a fairy princess, visits him to give him the secret to having good dreams: sing and think about what you want to dream about before going to bed. Rylen follows the princess’ advice and he begins having happy dreams. He even befriends the sock monster. 

Former Recorder art director John Hurst illustrated the book. The characters in the book are actually based off photos of Stiggers’ grandchildren Rylen and Kamryn. Hurst was mum about how he created the sock monster.

“Being the illustrator and designer of the book gave me the opportunity to have some fun and to work with various software to create the images on the page,” Hurst said. “Children of all ages will enjoy the book. It has poems and songs and a fantasy adventure of a little boy and his sister.”

While Stigger wrote the book to be fun, she believes it also has an important lesson about positive thinking. Children are impressionable. Anything from a traumatic experience to a scary movie can haunt their dreams. Stigger said encouraging children to think about happy parts of their life such as spending time with grandparents can help prevent of those bad dreams and encourage positive thinking. 

“There are kids who do have a traumatic experience,” Stigger said. “… When they go to sleep at night they might dream of that. It is important for kids with problems to think of fun things and hopefully they can have restful, peaceful sleep.”

“Rylen’s Fun Dreams” is available on Amazon.com. Stigger will sign copies of the book 2-4:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at The Fashion Mall at Keystone, 5226 N. Keystone Ave.

Contact staff writer Ben Lashar at 317-762-7848. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminLashar.

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