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New Children’s Picture Book ‘When We Stayed Home’ Explores How Children Cope During a Pandemic

Huqua Press announced the upcoming release of a new children’s picture book ‘When We Stayed Home’ for Fall 2020 publication. Written by Tara Fass, a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist, and Judith A. Proffer, ‘When We Stayed Home’ was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who navigated the quarantine with imagination, adventure, heart, and tears.
“We hope to help children ages 3-8 deepen the capacity to see themselves in our hero, to cheer themselves on to get out of their own way, and make the most out of a bad situation,” says Tara Fass, who currently works with families and individuals via telemedicine to maintain mental health during this complex time.
“We know that when a child experiences any kind of trauma, and this pandemic certainly qualifies as such, the best action is to create an environment where they can openly share all they are feeling. We wrote this book for children to help them navigate these great big emotions. And to remind them that they’re resilient, and they’re not alone,” says co-author Judy Proffer. “We’ve included some whimsy and reminders that the creativity, indoor fun and abundance of family time have all been a salve in a sea of uncertainty.”   
Synopsis:
When Covid-19 traveled the globe, we were prompted to stay home, wash our hands frequently, socially distance and wear masks to remain safe and help the helpers. For children who don’t yet grasp the concept of time and haven’t weathered enough life to understand the art of endurance, it’s been a particularly complicated and sometimes trying time. When We Stayed Home looks at one young boy’s pandemic journey and through colorful illustrations and heartfelt prose we see how he has used his trusty imagination and childlike creativity to navigate the trials of staying home day after day, becoming a super-helper in the process while missing family, friends, school and the “normal” life he once knew. From decorating adorable toilet paper-shaped sugar cookies, building forts, painting and doing puzzles to frequent screen dates and dance parties with family and friends, young children will relate to his joys and sadnesses and how they too found connection and even serene moments of happiness while isolating. The book will comfort, entertain, and stir conversation about feelings and experiences the youngest stay-at-homers have experienced during these improbable times. Written by Tara Fass, LMFT and Judith A. Proffer, the book was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who continued to find big moments of mirth in home, nature, adventures and activities while at times tearfully longing for the virus to go far, far away. Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Fass has worked with families during the pandemic to navigate its bumpy road with tools, optimism and hope. This is their second book collaboration.
About the Authors:
Judith A. Proffer founded Southern California based and award-winning Huqua Press in 2010 as an independent publishing house to nurture talent and creativity. Previously Proffer spent twenty-five years in newspaper publishing, including nearly two decades with the alternative press (LA Weekly, OC WEEKLY, VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA) where she was Associate Publisher and Publisher, followed by co-ownership of the Sun Community Newspaper chain in the San Fernando Valley. Huqua Press publishes a diverse catalogue that includes culinary, juvenile, fiction and popular culture titles. Proffer seeks authors and works that uplift, inspire, inform and engage. 
Featured titles include Caroline by Brandi Carlie, Dog & Butterfly by Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie by Patti Davis, Our House by Graham Nash, The Lotus Kitchen by Gwen Kenneally and Places by Thaao Penghlis. She is the editor of I Hope You Dance, The Power of Spirit and Song (and co-produced the I Hope You Dance documentary), and is also the Vice-Chair of Meteor 17, overseeing literary and charitable efforts for the media company. 
Proffer was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the leading “Women Who Make A Difference” in the Southern California Community. Additionally, she was honored by Friends of The Family for her many charitable endeavors. In 2010 she teamed with Hollywood caterer Gwen Kenneally to create Magpie Mini Pie Gourmet Pies, a pop-up bakery with proceeds from the artisanal pies going to charity. The pies remain part of the event menu for Gwen’s Back to the Kitchen Catering Company. Proffer has taught writing workshops to children, adults and incarcerated at-risk youths. She is launching The Word Garden in 2021, a non-profit writing resource for non-writers. She’ll host monthly writing workshops, offer templates and writing tools on The Word Garden website and will provide writing workshops for at-risk students in underserved communities.
Tara Fass, LMFT has treated the walking wounded of Los Angeles for twenty years as a therapist/mediator and co-parent educator through her clinical work and private counseling. She was a Huffington Post contributor for six years and blogs for “It’s Over Easy,” an online divorce support resource. When We Stayed Home is her second book. 
“The work I am doing during covid through telemedicine is an attempt to sharpen inner listening, to accurately name and express pain, and thereby better regulate emotions. The impact of Covid and quarantine on families and children today is something we’ll be discussing for decades to come, attempting to make sense of it all.  It’s essential to talk about the ‘tough stuff,’ about real feelings. If we’re having awkward conversations, chances are we’re acting out less that which is not understood.  By not shutting down what feels unspeakable we get out of our own way sooner and are the better for it.” 
To request a review copy or an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.