written by Teddi Doleski
Until young Justin learns how to deal with situations that hurt his feelings he grows more and more alone and isolated. First he becomes hurt by some ill placed words of a friend, later by an undiscussed misunderstanding with his father. As Justin shrinks from his pain the hurt grows bigger and bigger, first inside his stomach (like a hard rubber ball), and then in his room which can no longer serve as his safe place of refuge. Justin's father helps him find ways to release the hurt. This poignant story lends itself well to storytelling presentations. It demonstrates how feelings that are denied can overcome us, but that when even scary feelings are faced they can quickly loose their hold.
This book is a staff favorite for many reasons, not the least of which is that it shows the positive influence rendered by a caring father. The images and a metaphors of this story speak to the transformative power of validation and courage to quicken healing at any age.
Paperback, 32 pages.