KID LIT WEEK: My Feeling Friends by Phillippa Morassi
This week we chatted about children’s books and reading to our kids. With that, we also assembled the Author Avengers – four local women who have taken the bull by the proverbial horns and are kicking ass in all sorts of wonderful ways. These sisters have done it for themselves, quite literally. They’re all self-published authors and continue to make significant strides across South Africa’s kid lit scene (and beyond!).
Today we’re going into a bit more detail about our first Avenger: the indomitable Phillippa Morassi.
Phillippa is an expert friend, registered counsellor, power mom to sunshine child Aurelia and author of the My Feeling Friends series of picture books, which guides children through emotional development and teaches them the appropriate coping skills for some heavy feelings that even we, as adults, might struggle with.
Each book in the My Feeling Friends series is a beautiful standalone story and teaches children about emotional wellbeing. The stories also introduce empathy as a way for children to connect with and help others. What’s more, each book comes as part of a package that includes a softcover book, a beanbag toy of the main character (teaching them to put into practice the love and kindness that they learn from reading the book) and a flashcard to remind your child about the coping skills they learned from the story.
The Great Equalizer was honoured to lay witness to the launch of the first book in the series, Sammy the Starfish, which deals with sadness and gives a slice-of-life account of how Sammy deals with his own sadness, firstly, but also how he recognises sadness in a friend. We managed to nab Phillippa for a quick interview, as well as her illustrator and partner in crime, Megan Andrews and the uber creative Dirkie Pienaar from Baby-Fings, who manufactured the Sammy Starfish beanbags.
About the Author
Phillippa works with children through play to identify, understand and manage big emotions, as well as develop positive life skills. Based as a school counsellor, she also runs her private practice for children, adolescents and adults. Phillippa is a Basic DIR Floortime Provider, which combines her natural child-centred play therapy approach with the joy, engagement and connection of getting down on the floor and sharing the child’s world.
As a single mom to a two-year-old little girl, Phillippa understands the demands of being a working mom, juggling life’s challenges while pursuing one’s purpose in life. This year, this amazing woman realised her dream of publishing a book for children and we couldn’t be more in awe of how much she accomplishes daily.
Hey, Phil! We see you, we salute you. You are doing a great job.