How do you define success?
Lory Britain, voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her high school classmates, has spent her entire career trying to ensure the success of children.
As the longtime director of an Oregon therapeutic early childhood and family support program and now as a consultant, she has worked daily with the problems of high-risk toddlers and preschoolers. During the past two decades, Dr. Britain’s work has also led to three books–two on personal safety (written as Lory Freeman) and now My Grandma Died: A Child’s Story about Grief and Loss.
Prompted by counselor and intervention-specialist colleagues who recognized a need for a book that would help young children understand death and the grieving process, Dr. Britain knew that few such books had been written. The children’s books that do discuss death are often developmentally inappropriate for the very young: they assume more advanced cognitive and emotional levels, they present too many different concepts or they present more complex concepts than the very young can understand. Some existing books are based on religious beliefs or try to explain life after death.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Britain has recognized a void or been willing to tackle tough issues. When her own two children were very young, she attended a presentation by Janie Hart-Rossi (the late author of Parenting Press’s Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse) on talking to your children about abuse and heard many of the other participants say they didn’t know where to start.
That, prompted by a look at the only books then available on the topic, spurred Dr. Britain into writing.
“I wanted parents and kids to have something that wasn’t shame-based, that addressed the issue in a bias-free manner.”
It’s MY Body was an instant success and, two decades after its initial publication, continues to be popular. It sells as many copies in a year as many books sell in their lifetime, reports the Parenting Press staff. Dr. Britain’s other book for children on personal safety, Loving Touches, is also a classic. Both are written from the perspective of a young child talking about physical touch.
Dr. Britain is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Sonoma State University. She earned her M.A. and her Ph.D., both in early childhood curriculum and instruction, at the University of Oregon. Today she lives in Eugene, Ore., with her husband.