Dr. Jan Johnston
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Travel Guides for Children

Dart's Space Safari

A picture book for children ages 5 to 8:
Publication Pending

  A page from Dart's Space Safari

Click on this illustration from Dart's Space Safari to see it enlarged.

...sometimes Dart mixes UP his b’s and d’s. Sometimes he prints “dart” instead of “bart.”

Grandma rhymes both names with “Smart!” Two proud parrot voices jabber, “SMART BART, SMART DART,” about a billion times...

...Lickety-split, he-hops-on-and-pedal-his-bike-fast. He darts off like a speedy cheetah! Even his hair feels excited! Grandma hears him blare, “AIR JORDAN,” until…..

Dart's Space Safari is a picture book for parents as much as for children! It tells the ups-and-downs of one day in a child’s life. While a child juggles emotional masks in each mood-of-the-moment, a grandparent finds her own moodiness. Children often flip-flop moods when they try to meet their basic needs, but they feel thwarted in meeting them.

However, adults flip-flop moods too, as they feel thwarted in meeting their own needs. For example, a grandparent wants her grandchild to pick up Legos spread all over the floor, but her child has run out of energy and needs lunch.

These ideas come from the author parenting her own children, plus her thirty years of experience as a family psychologist in private practice and a school psychologist in public schools. Psychologist Myrna Shure’s research on children’s problem solving influenced Johnston’s philosophy of parenting. She worked with Myrna and used her “I Can Problem Solve” methods in kindergarten classrooms in Philadelphia inner city schools.

New Titles for Children

I read Goodnight Moon to my own children at bedtime, but this loving picture book did not address their leftover worrying from a “bad” day. On such days, I made up our evening story based on aspects of my child’s day. As a psychologist, I work with many children who have trouble falling asleep at night because of bullying and other friendship-busting behaviors. The “frenemy” factor looms large in elementary schools.

Many children experience stress during their school days. Two new picture book manuscripts offer children hope in coping with school and peer issues. Dart Spells R-e-l-a-x Purrfectly relates to a child's forgetfulness and test anxiety. My "outside-the-box friendship" book, Quirky Crane, is just the right length for a child's bedtime story. In addition, teachers will find applications in the classroom for Teasing Tiger and Quirky Crane with its fun facts on the Fibonacci sequence.

Dart Spells R-e-l-a-x Purr-fectly

A picture book for children ages 5 to 8:
Publication Pending

...Dart could not relax. He felt jealous. “Midnight doesn’t have to pick up her pajamas or brush her teeth. She doesn’t worry about matching her socks.

Just now, Midnight curled her white foot and three black feet into “C” shape. “Midnight never has to spell anything except the letter C, short for c-a-t,” Dart complained. Then Dart had an idea. “I’ll be a cat today!

Dart strolled and strutted to school. He stopped to sniff at a tweeting cardinal perched in a bush. Yawning, Dart dropped his tiger backpack to stretch his back. “Me-OW,” cried Midnight from the backpack.

A dog barked at them. Dart crouched, looked Bossy-toes straight in the eyes, and boldly said, “I’m not barking at you. Don’t bark at me...”


Quirky Crane

A picture book for children ages 5 to 8:
Publication Pending

Teasing Tiger leaps forward in the marshland and booms, “One leg-standing is quirky and dorky!” He swishes and swaggers his tattoo tail.

Crane and Cobra eye Tiger’s sideways stripes from every angle. Curious Crane inspects stripes topside. There are too many to count!

Careful Cobra detects stripes bottom-side. The two friends study sideways stripes sideways until they feel dizzy.

A copycat idea flutters into Crane’s head, “Stripes are dorky!" But Crane takes a long deep breath, holding this thought in the back of her beak...

Also by Janis Clark Johnston, Ed.D.:

It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent:
Stories of Evolving Child and Adult Development

Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery and
Rediscovery after Loss

Links to other resources





copyright Janis Clark Johnston, Ed.D., designed by Hannah Jennings Design