FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab
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'Annie Mouse' back with new issue for parent, children discussion
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Annie Mouse is back, and she's got parents and their children talking.
Annie Mouse is the lead character in what is now Slippery Rock University Professor Anne M. Slanina's two-book series designed to initiate discussion of sensitive family issues.
Slanina, an associate professor of elementary education and early childhood, wrote her first book in what she plans to be a multi-book series in 2005. Her latest edition, "Annie Mouse: Baby Brother Goes to the Hospital," is again intended to help young children deal with difficult situations and keep lines of communication with their parents open.
Slanina will sign copies of her books at Saturday's VillageFest in downtown Slippery Rock.
The latest edition, primarily written for those ages 2 through 8, is illustrated by Alicia Agnew, an SRU elementary education major from New Castle. Students in Mark Chase's spring "Publication Production II" class at SRU handled layout for the book assembled at Mechling Book Bindery in Chicora.
In the Mouse family, when Baby Brother is taken to the hospital for an operation, his brothers and sisters, jump to the conclusion he is being banished from the family and is being sent away as punishment.
"They go so far as to think the hospital crib is a cage and that the term 'better' means he will be 'better behaved,'" said Slanina as she talks of how children often misinterpret overheard adult conversations.
A major point in the book is suggesting to parents the importance of keeping their children, even very young children, informed during a family crisis," Slanina said. She said children are usually aware of family situations, even when they don't appear to be involved. She said they will "often make up their own version of events, in part, because they don't have all the facts and don't know how to get them."
"My series is designed to open communication between children and their parents," Slanina said. The first book, "Annie Mouse meets her Guardian Angel," introduces Annie to young readers, and their parents, and the troubles Annie is experiencing with her mother who frequently yells at her. As a way of coping, Annie creates imaginary friends.
"Once I saw the success of the first book, I realized parents were looking for ways to open discussions and that was just what I had in mind. This book looks at another common family problem and allows readers and listeners to begin talking about it. My books are intended to be used as tools to help young children develop coping skills before a crisis emerges, develop empathy for others and guide young children through difficult situations. Hopefully by using my books as ways to open discussion and seizing other opportunities, the lines of communication will become stronger between parents and their children," Slanina said.
Slanina hopes the second book is as successful as the first. "Once I have had success with a few books, I hope a major publisher sees opportunities and makes the series available for national distribution."
Currently, Slanina is handling publishing under Annie Mouse Books Publishing. Copies are available at the SGA Bookstore in the University Union on campus, the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, and on the Web at www.anniemousebooks.com.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
PN, PGN, WPN, PR, PTV - Author photo available at: www.sru.edu