The arrival of a premature newborn (a preemie) is troubling to parents, siblings, and other family members and close friends. Many families have had their share of worry during the first crucial weeks of a preemie’s life. Young siblings of a preemie have a most difficult time understanding this confusing, upsetting time.
Often one or both of their parents are at the hospital with the newborn and siblings must stay behind with a caregiver. What can parents do to help a sibling of a preemie feel less anxious and understand what is going on? Read and discuss Jewel Kats’ book titled Prince Preemie A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early. It is beautifully illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart.
Prince Preemie: A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early (Loving Healing Press, 2017) is Jewel Kats latest posthumously published work. Part of the ‘Growing with Love’ series of the Loving Healing Press of Ann Arbor, MI.
Our daughter gave birth to a two and a half pound little girl. The many weeks that followed were very difficult for all. Especially due to the fact we lived a three hours drive to the children’s hospital where our granddaughter fought for her life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I cared for our daughter’s other little girl and would dearly have loved to have Prince Preemie A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early to help me explain what was happening to her new, much too early little sister!
For the siblings of premature babies, the time spent in the NICU can be stressful and scary. Prince Preemie could be read to students in a classroom when one of the students has a preemie sibling fighting for their life. If the student is upset and having a difficult time coping with the changes and uncertainties his premature sibling has caused he probably cannot explain it to his friends. Sharing this book with the class, the teacher can tactfully bring out the stress and fear family members have surrounding a premature birth. The book’s happy ending will reassure the anxious sibling and give him hope that all will go well with their family’s preemie.
Other children who will benefit from discussing Jewel Kats’ book are the preemie children themselves when they learn of their early birth. Reading this book with a caring adult offers a good way to start a conversation about their premature birth.
Summary of the Story:
The King and Queen of Puppy Kingdom are joyfully awaiting the arrival of their Prince. But the couple and their kingdom are thrown into upheaval when it is learned that Prince Puppy will arrive early, before his important crown is completed. How can they call him Prince without a crown? Discover how the King solves this problem in Jewel Kats’ Prince Preemie: A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early.
- Age Range: 4 – 8 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
What is being said about Prince Preemie A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early?
“As the mother of two children born preterm, I can relate to the sorrow and joy that Prince Preemie’s parents faced at his early arrival. Through magical writing and illustrations Jewel Kats and Claudia Marie Lenart once again help children of all abilities and their families understand the special gifts that are inside each one of us.”
–Kelli Kelley, Founder and Exec. Director, HandtoHold.org — Fragile Babies, Strong Support
“Prince Preemie is a sweet book that offers a good way to start conversations with a preemie child about their early birth. The story hints at the stress and fear that comes with having a child prematurely, but leaves the reader feeling hopeful.”
–Andrea Mullenmeister, writer at AnEarlyStartBlog.com
“The arrival of a premature baby can be confusing for a young child. In this delightful dog kingdom, Jewel Kats has created a teaching tool that normalizes the situation. Claudia Marie Lenart’s illustrations look cuddly, every child will love them and be drawn into the story of Prince Preemie even without the words.”
–Bob Rich, PhD, psychologist, author of Anger and Anxiety: Be In Charge of Your Emotions and Control Phobias
Excerpts from Prince Preemie A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early
One day, the Queen felt unusual movement in her belly.
She knew something was wrong. The King and Queen
headed out in their carriage to see the city doctor. Their
heads were filled with worry.
Doctor Pup examined the Queen. He felt her belly. He
performed an ultrasound to see Prince Puppy through
pictures on a computer screen.
Back at the hospital, the King paced back-and-forth.
He’d just learned that he couldn’t take his son and wife
home. They’d be staying at the hospital. No doctor
could tell him for how long. Never in the history of
Puppy Kingdom had this happened. The King watched
through a glass window as his son was placed into an
incubator to keep warm. Tubes were tied to his son for
feeding. The Queen was not speaking to anybody.
Book Trailer of Prince Preemie: A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrived Early
A dreamy, fairy tale land of adorable dogs created from wool by Claudia Marie Lenart.
About the Author
Once a teen runaway, Jewel Kats is now a two-time Mom’s Choice Award winner and Gelett Burgess gold medalist. For six years, Jewel penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps Howard News Service (USA) and The Halifax Chronicle Herald. She gained this position through The Young People’s Press.
Her books have been featured in Ability Magazine (USA) twice. She’s authored a dozen books—eight are about disabilities. The Museum of disABILITY History celebrated her work with a two day event. Jewel has appeared as an international magazine cover story four times! Recently, her work was featured in an in-depth article published in The Toronto Star. Jewel’s work has also appeared as an evening news segment on WKBW-TV and on the pages of The Buffalo News and The Huffington Post.
Jewel Kats was the pen name of Michelle Meera Katyal, who passed away in 2016 as the result of complications of surgery.
About the Illustrator:
Claudia Marie Lenart is a fiber artist from northern Illinois. She experimented in the arts and handwork since childhood and while pursuing a career as a journalist. She finally found her true muse when she discovered needle felting. Her soft sculpture characters are created by repeatedly poking wool and other natural fibers, like alpaca, with a barbed needle.
Claudia also uses a variety of other techniques to create her wool illustrations, including wet felting and pressed wool painting.
Claudia has previously illustrated two other books by Jewel Kats: Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer: A Tale of Chemotherapy and Caring and Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist To see her work, visit www.claudiamariefelt.com
Her first book will be published in April called, “Seasons of Joy; Every day is for outdoor play.”
Follow Claudia Marie Lenart:
Interview with Claudia Marie Lenart: Illustrator, Author, Artist
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