• Kelli Vanzego

Top 25: Zafran Introduces Book Series to Help Children Suffering from Trauma.

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

The Fantastic Florence series is the creation of three extraordinary women who believe in the power of story-telling. Florence helps children who are struggling with traumatic experiences in some of the stories, while in others she reminds them of the joy that can be found in the world. A writer, a therapist, and an educator – their voices unite in Florence’s empathy and insight.


Lesley Millard Zafran, and her expert collaborators, Tara Kellogg and Dr. Cinda Kane, have just released this new series of children’s books - Fantastic Florence. The series follows Florence, a strong and beautiful bag with magical powers, as she goes out into the world. Some of the books describe her marvelous adventures. Others tell stories where Florence wisely and lovingly comforts children and validates their feelings as they struggle with difficult situations they are too young to understand.


RTM strongly recommends Fantastic Florence to its readership.

 

Book Synopsis: Fantastic Florence: Her Adventures Begin

Florence lives in a beautiful grocery story which she loves. She always wiggles to the bottom of the pile of grocery bags because she wants to stay there forever. But she begins to be curious about the world outside and finally allows herself to rise to the very top of the pile. A boy and his father fill her up with groceries and take her home where she begins to learn about the world. When the family goes to pick strawberries Florence has a very exciting adventure where she goes flying and isn’t sure if she will get back to her new family. At the end of the story Florence

realizes that life offers many experiences and she looks forward to all of them.

 

Book Synopsis: Fantastic Florence: It's NOT Your Fault!

A Story about Bullying

In A Story About Bullying, a young girl named Ella is being bullied by her classmates. Florence hears her pain and uses her magic powers to soothe Ella's anxieties by encouraging her to

reframe the situation and reach out for help. Florence's brave, caring insights and message help Ella feel supported and less alone, and to realize that it is not her fault that she is being bullied.


Children and adults are sure to fall in love with Florence as she gently helps children navigate the specific traumatic situation they are experiencing, but are too young to understand. Florence

gives children a name for the traumas they are experiencing and, most importantly, she comforts children by telling them that it is NOT their fault when bad things happen and that it is okay to reach out for help.

 

Book Synopsis: Fantastic Florence: It's NOT Your Fault!

A Story about Abandonment

When two boys have their first sleepover, they discover they each have fathers who have abandoned them and their mothers. They talk about their experiences and share their deep

worries with each other. Both think it is their fault that their fathers are no longer living at home or are a part of their lives. Florence is in the room and she listens closely as they wonder why

this has happened to them. While they are asleep she writes them a message. Most importantly, Florence comforts the boys by telling them it is NOT their fault their fathers left. She writes that

sometimes grown-ups aren't good at handling their problems and so they run away from them. Florence also makes the situation real by telling them there is a name for what their fathers have done, and that it is called ‘abandonment’. She tells the boys it is okay if they feel angry and upset, but that it is not okay to blame themselves. Finally, Florence encourages them to share how they are feeling with someone they trust so they can feel better.

 

Lesley Zafran-Author

Born in Miami, Florida, Lesley lived much of her early life in London and received her undergraduate degree from the University of London, while working full-time in the educational

publishing world. After Lesley graduated, she taught English as a second language in Italy. Lesley then moved back to Miami. She became a personnel consultant and recruiter, and

eventually a manager, at a Miami firm. She met her husband Bruce on a blind date and then made the decision to stay in the United States.


Lesley has always been passionate about education. After having two children she turned her attention to their school – Donna Klein Jewish Academy. She joined the Board of Trustees and was later elected President. Lesley joined other educational Boards and spoke at educational conferences. She mentored Presidents of other schools across the country. Additionally, she began, and still continues, to work with High School students, teaching them both in groups and one-on-one, how to successfully interview and how to optimize their communication skills for

college and employment opportunities.


In 2013, Lesley became an independent strategic planning consultant, working primarily in the nonprofit educational and social action arenas. She is passionate about this work as it offers an opportunity to help organizations with important missions succeed in their goals. When not working Lesley is reading, traveling, practicing her French and Italian, doing jigsaw puzzles, cooking and working out, to name a few of her many interests. Lesley and Bruce, an OB/GYN, have two grownup children - Alexander and Emma.

 

Tara Kellogg-LMFT Psychotherapist/Collaborator


Tara Kellogg, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years of clinical experience. Tara received her Bachelor’s Degree from Castleton University and her Master’s Degree in

Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She specializes in individual and family counseling focusing on family preservation and trauma-related stressors disorders.

Tara is a nationally certified therapist for Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and is a Qualified Florida State Supervisor. While Tara's approach to therapy is integrative and tailored to meet the individual needs of each client, she maintains a strong dedication to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Mindfulness techniques. Currently Tara is a Director of Clinical Supervision for a community mental health

center. She also works in a private practice and runs a consulting business.

 

Dr. Cinda Kane-Educator/Collaborator

Dr. Cinda Kane is a life-long educator and learner. Her academic accomplishments include a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Penn State University, a Master’s Degree in Education and Curriculum from Castleton State University, and a Doctoral Degree from Nova Southeastern University in Higher Education Administration. She is the mother of one and has worked in

public education for 27 years. Currently, she teaches at Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, and is the Dean of Students at The College Academy at Broward College. She has authored and co-authored, and edited several professional articles and academic books.

 

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