About The Books
Over thirty years ago, Pat Palmer and Louise Hart met at their first graduate school class in Greeley, Colorado, sitting on the basement floor of their professor’s home. At the time, Pat was the founder and director of the Assertiveness Training Institute of Denver; Louise was a “displaced homemaker” pursuing a career. When Pat spoke up and spoke out, she surprised some of the men and the “nice girls” in the class, including Louise. Pat gave Louise a scholarship to her assertiveness class—and it changed her life.
Pat’s dissertation, on teaching assertiveness from an early age, was published as two children’s books—Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me. These two heartfelt and powerfully written books were uniquely designed, charmingly illustrated and hand-lettered on traditional lined elementary school paper.
They became international bestsellers in six languages, selling over half a million copies around the globe. They went out of print in the U.S. in 2000. Copies were selling on Amazon for over a hundred dollars.
Now ten years later, these two long time favorites teaching social-emotional skills are being revised and reeleased —thanks to Pat’s long time friend Louise Hart.
The Mouse, the Monster and Me focuses on the importance of finding a balance between one’s aggressive inner “monster” and one’s passive inner “mouse”. Children quickly grasp the metaphor and discover their assertive “me” self. Readers readily identify these behaviors in themselves and others. Other issues include: getting in touch with your own strengths; respect, rights, and responsibilities; how to say “no” to trouble; receiving criticism and compliments; and being yourself.
“Practice, with a friend or family member, assertive ways to ask. Remember… …to stand or sit up straight …to look at the other person …to talk in a normal (not whining or shouting) voice …and to be honest and direct. It’s OK to ask for what you want. (But don’t expect to always get it).”
Liking Myself offers advice on how to handle oneself when feeling depressed, upset, or overwhelmed. Topics include: liking yourself, feeling talk, allowing, letting go, and body talk.
“Feelings are good friends. Feelings can let us know what is happening, what we want, what is important to us…. They tell you when you need to take care of yourself, like finding a friend if you feel lonely, crying if you feel sad, singing and smiling if you feel happy, and acting frisky if you feel good.”
Both books teach healthy, non-violent conflict management skills that are more vital than ever in today’s increasingly interdependent society. Although they are written for children, when parents also read and do the exercises, both learn new skills that improve family relationships.
The books are available online, through BookSurge, or Baker and Taylor
About the Creators
Dr. Pat Palmer, now 81, is author of many books for children, tweens, and adults. A clinical psychologist and former Director of the Assertiveness Training Institute in Denver, Dr. Pat Palmer continues to write at her home on Maui.
Publisher Dr. Louise Hart, 71, is the author of two highly regarded books, The Winning Family Increasing Self-Esteem in Your Children and Yourself and On the Wings of Self Esteem. After presenting workshops as far as Heidelberg, Moscow, Tokyo, and Okinawa, she is still giving workshops for parents in the Bay Area of California.
Illustrator, Betty Shondeck, 71, a retired elementary school art teacher living in Denver, dusted off her pens for an update of the hand-crafted books for today’s youngsters.
What People are Saying About Both Books
“These books are delightful in their innocence, healthy in their advice, empowering in their message. I wish I’d grown up with them and their message.”
—Senator John Vasconcellos, Emeritus Dean of the California Legislature
“These books are fantastic. I really enjoyed reading them myself, and I intend to use them in my work with juvenile offenders. Many read at the 3rd and 4th grade levels, and, unfortunately many do not like themselves.”
—David, Parole Agent, Department of Youth Authority, Los Angeles, CA
“Parents can confidently provide these books to their children with full assurance that they contain the values and prescriptions for positive behavior.”
—The Behavior Therapist
My Take On The Books
Being a father of two girls I am always concerned about the fragility of their self-esteem. These books sounded like ones that would provide me and my girls with some great tools for the future so I was excited to these books provided to me.
In reviewing these books I was impressed at the simplicity as well as the imagery that the books use to convey its’ message. The books were written with young people in mind and the combination of youthful drawings as well as easy to understand concepts allow the reader and their parents the opportunity to converse openly about important issues in relation to assertiveness and self esteem.
The book also had places for parent and child to self reflect on the concepts within the chapter itself.
Overall, I found that these books were great resources to get parents and kids talking about important topics that are important for all kids to understand.
I truly recommend these books and know that they will be books that I will continue to enjoy using with my girls.