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Story Monster's Announces 2021 Purple Dragonfly Award Winners

Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down receives Honorable Mention in Special Needs/Disability Awareness category in 2021 Purple Dragonfly Awards

MIDLOTHIAN, VA, UNITED STATES, Neurodivergent author and autistic illustrator have teamed up for sensory differences picture book. The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her spoon on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands - these are the things that calm her jitters down. The brightly illustrated story follows a young girl with heightened sensory experiences through her day with fun, interactive sounds and motions. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need for a wiggle, stomp or squeeze!

"There were sensory preferences that I had as a child that I thought were weird or strange, not like other people I knew," says author Lindsey Rowe Parker, "Through pediatric occupational therapies with my kids, I have a greater understanding of not only some of their sensory needs, but my own. It's like a light bulb went on, and I thought 'Oh wow, now I get it.'"

"This story is written from my own sensory experiences, and now also as a mother learning how to provide sensory input to meet the needs of my kids. But I think this story applies to many kids and adults that are looking for that sensory input, which they themselves may not have a name for."

"I knew that I wanted to partner with an illustrator that understood these experiences, and I found Rebecca Burgess on Twitter. The kidlit community on Twitter is a great place to find talent, and Rebecca is a gem. From their first concept sketches, I knew they were absolutely the perfect person to bring this story to life. Rebecca's approach to the characters and their relationship was humbling to me, you can feel the support and love in the illustrations."

"I loved Lindsey's text immediately, the writing is brilliant, fluent and really fun! But most importantly it gave some great wording to sensations and experiences I had as a child and still have now!" says illustrator Rebecca Burgess. "At the time I had no way of articulating these experiences, and definitely no way of understanding. As soon as I finished my first read of the text, all I could think was I wish I could have had a book like this as a child! I'm very excited to be able to give a name and expression to those 'jitters' I tried to get rid of as a child through my art, and help other autistic kids in understanding and expressing their 'jitters'."

The annual Purple Dragonfly Book Award contest is a global competition that was created in 2009 to celebrate excellence in children’s books across 55 different categories ranging from environment and cooking to sports and family issues to marketing collateral such as bookmarks and media kits.

I have worked in special education for 12 years and have not come across a book that explains these jittery feelings until now.”— Bridget Martinez, Special Education Teacher

Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down received Honorable Mention in the Special Needs/Disability category. First place in this same category went to The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide by Siena Castellon, which is also illustrated by Rebecca Burgess.

"BQB Publishing's mission is to bring new authors with cutting edge books into the marketplace," says Terri Leidich, President/Publisher of BQB and WriteLife Publishing. "Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes is a stunning example of a fresh new voice telling a story from a perspective that young readers and adults alike can relate to or learn from."

About the Author: Lindsey Rowe Parker

Lindsey is a mom at the tail end of toddler-hood, embracing the next phase of parenting while learning to navigate and advocate for her young autistic daughter. With a recent adult diagnosis of ADHD, and a new deeper understanding of her own sensory experiences, she has begun to delve into the neurodiversity community learning all she can from neurodiverse voices. This is her first picture book, and she hopes it connects with everyone who has felt the need for a wiggle, stomp or squeeze!

About the Illustrator: Rebecca Burgess

Rebecca is an autistic illustrator living in the UK. They love history and nature, but comics and illustration most of all! Their passion has led them to work with the likes of The Guardian and Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Rebecca is most famous for their online comic 'Understanding The Spectrum', a comic explaining autism that has been shared in several books and used by parents, teachers and doctors.


"I often find myself trying to explain to parents why their child needs wiggles, stomps, and squeezes to get through their day while experiencing sensory input in ways that are different and often more intense. This is the first book I have come across that provides a very real glimpse into the lived experience of a child with sensory differences. What a wonderful book that so many families can benefit from!" - Caitlyn Berry, Occupational Therapist

"Original, charming, joyful, and certain to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections..." - Midwest Book Review

"I have worked in special education for 12 years and have not come across a book that explains these jittery feelings until now. This book will capture the hearts of families and children with unique needs as well as educate those unfamiliar with sensory differences." - Bridget Martinez, Special Education Teacher

"Parker's lively debut follows a neurodivergent child with heightened sensory experiences as she navigates her day...This fast-paced picture book is perfect for those looking to learn more about the daily experience of sensory differences. Great for fans of: Jenn Bailey's A Friend for Henry, Alicia Ortego's Kindness is my Superpower." Publishers Weekly Booklife

"Wiggles Stomps and Squeezes is the perfect celebration of neurodiversity! It is an amazing book to read your kiddos dealing with sensory sensitivity OR to help your students develop empathy and understanding of their classmates." Sunshine Speechie

Get the Book! You can order Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm my Jitters Down online at major retailers, or order through your local bookstore! The book is published by BQB Publishing. Distributed by IPG.


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