New Book!

Announcement: MARIA’S KIT OF COMFORT picture book pre-order


Maria’s Kit of Comfort not only survived the production process during the pandemic, we think it will be an important resource for children to be able to express their feelings through creative play. Children have experienced the stress and anxiety of the last 2 years, whether or not they suffered other disasters or traumas on top of the shared covid experience. While the setting for Maria’s book is a children’s play center following disaster, it could also be your home or school or park or library. So, gather some play materials, read the book with a child, and let them choose how they would like to express their feelings and stories through their play.

How this happened – When my friend David asked me if I knew of someone who might want to work with him on a story of the Kit of Comfort, envisioned and created by his wife Karen in 1979, I was hesitant at first. The Kit of Comfort is a child care center in a suitcase that for over 40 years has been taken to disaster sites along with trained, compassionate caregivers of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). I wasn’t sure there were words that could capture the depth of meaning of the work of the thousands of volunteers who have supported children in the most dire of circumstances. My confidence grew as the words on my computer screen seemed to take on a life of their own, communicating the significance of playful experiences that can lead to healing. Brethren Press agreed to publish the book – CDS is a well-established and beloved program of the Church of the Brethren. It’s never easy to go from the imagining stage of any book to actual realization of a finished product. This journey through the process hit an unanticipated hurdle when covid struck. How could any press, especially a small press, be able to predict what would happen to the book market and budgets and changes in media? We are excited that the book is now available for pre-order.