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Willa Perlman Visits The Story Emporium

                     Come join us on April 28th to see Willa Perlman! 

She will be reading from “Pocket Kisses” and “Goodnight, World” but that’s not all! Following her readings she will be doing crafts with the children. Each child can make their very own pocket kiss and create their very own picture book. To download a flyer click here.

Willa Perlman is the Managing Partner and founder of Ligature   Partners, Inc., a boutique executive search and consulting firm with a practice specialty in education, publishing, and media.  She hasbeen a search executive for twelve years.  Prior to recruitment, Willa garnered more than 20 years of senior level experience in book publishing, intellectual property development, and general management roles.  Her executive credentials include:  President of Hasbro Properties Group at Hasbro, Inc.; President of Golden Books Publishing Group; President & Publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books Division; Vice President, Editorial Director of “Willa Perlman Books,” an imprint of the HarperCollins Children’s Division.  Willa began her career at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich where she held positions in marketing, publicity, and advertising and launched the children’s imprint, “Gulliver Books.”  She was ultimately named Director of Harcourt’s Children’s Trade Division andworked collaboratively with Harcourt Education on the development of the highly acclaimed “Treasury of Reading” textbook program.

Pocket Kisses: How the story came to be

When my son Jonathan (now 18) was a toddler, I was a publishing executive.  I traveled extensively and worked very long hours which meant, regrettably, that I missed many of Jonathan’s day-to-day toddler experiences.  I tried to get my full of them on the weekends, of course.  But in some sense those “make-up” days made the work week’s distance between us seem even greater.

Jonathan had to learn how to say good-bye to mommy as a very young child.  And I had to figure out some way to stay connected to him.  Cell phones were just becoming available but each call was very expensive.  Skype was just a dream in the mind of a Silicon Valley inventor.

I realized that the thing that I missed most was those many moments, throughout the day, when a kiss was the instinctive way to reward an accomplishment, express a sudden rush of love, or comfort a stumble.  Those missed kisses were emblematic of the constant mommy presence that I was unable to provide.

So I came up with the idea for creating imaginary kisses to give to Jonathan before I left for work or on a trip.  They were kisses that he put in his pocket and could take out whenever he wanted one from me.  This became a ritual and a tradition that survived many, many years and provided comfort and a psychologically healthy tool for each of us to deal with my frequent absence.  Today, “pocket kisses” are still doled out in our house.  But now I send them to Jonathan via text message.

I hope that this story will resonate for other working mothers who have to juggle careers with motherhood and deal with the fact that sometimes you feel as though you’re unable to give either commitment everything it demands.  But it is possible to do both.  And there are creative ways to overcome the obstacles and stressors.  Pocket kisses are a tiny example of one mommy’s solution.  Perhaps they can inspire and/or reassure some other frazzled mommy’s out there trying to keep too many balls in the air.

Goodnight, World

As the world appears to become even more polarized amidst a growing lack of acceptance of differences between people and nations it is good to look for common denominators.

A simple common reference point that even the youngest child can grasp is the fact that people of every color and culture say the words “goodnight” when they separate from friends and family at the end of their day.This is a simple bedtime story experience.  The story also introduces the concept of night falling sequentially as the earth rotates around the sun and the moon rotates around the earth. And finally, we learn how to say, “good night” in many different languages as a means of fostering some connectivity as a citizen of the world.

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