I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing an awesome children’s book titled “The Gift”, written by licensed family therapist Rebecca Hubbard. I was so impressed with the way this book is written that I realized right away The Gift is much more than simply a children’s book. It’s a valuable lesson about friendship, trust and love, which will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
When I finished reading, my mind was already formulating the many ways this book could be incorporated into any number of programs that benefit children and their families. It turns out I was absolutely on track with my assessment. When I contacted Ms. Hubbard, I found out that The Gift has indeed been used successfully in a variety of therapeutic ways.
According to Rebecca Hubbard, “The Gift has been successfully used many times since it's publication. A parent told me that he uses the concepts in the book with his teenage daughter every day. He says to his daughter, “You are Pippin’” when he senses she needs to regulate herself and approach a situation or others with a calmer energy.
A teacher related that she and her class had a very in-depth conversation about how Pip’s thoughts were far from accurate when assessing Buck’s behavior. She said that this led to a class discussion about the importance of listening and paying attention to the perspective and feelings of other people.
Some of my therapist friends use this book to teach their clients about how our thoughts affect our behavior and feelings, and how our thoughts can sometimes become distorted. Personally, I like to use The Gift to help adults reinforce compassion when helping children through difficult situations.”
When discussing why she chose Pip’s father as the book's parental figure Ms. Hubbard explains, “I think one of the most powerful relationships in the book is the relationship between Pip and her father. Though the father is a minor character, he is the glue that holds the story together. He is also the glue in Pip’s life. Without him, she would not be able to navigate developing a friendship with Buck. Often in the media, the mother is the most attuned and compassionate.I felt it was important to represent an attuned relationship between a father and a daughter.
When defining the friendship aspect of The Gift Rebecca says, “This book can help children learn about perseverance and the importance of working for what you truly want. Friendships are a beautiful part of life. They also present many joys and challenges. It is difficult to learn how to develop a healthy friendship, to value another for who they are and not who we want them to be, and how to learn to work through problems. As Pip learns, friends are not ready-made and seeing someone for who they truly are is an amazing gift.”
I could see The Gift being used by parents who are in the process of choosing a rescue pet for their child. Just as many adults enter new relationships with past emotional baggage, rescued pets and shelter animals do as well – often much more baggage than they can handle. Children who understand this prior to choosing a pet will be more understanding and patient. What a wonderful way to prepare a child for this new experience!
The Gift is currently a finalist in The People's Book Prize Contest. You can submit your vote here.
ABOUT REBECCA HUBBARD
Rebecca J. Hubbard is a master's level Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience working with children and their families. She began writing short stories as a child for her own amusement and enjoyment. Rebecca discovered that she could facilitate the healing of her young clients by writing stories for them.
Currently, Rebecca works at Spirit Reins as a clinician and as the clinical supervisor where she practices Natural Lifemanship, ™ a Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy™ model.
Rebecca is a native Texan, who enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her two dogs, Idgie and Sully, and her two horses, Cash and Cloud. She also loves to read, paint and garden. Rebecca encourages readers to connect with her via her website and Amazon Author Page.