The author, Mary Coffman, is a licensed counselor who has been involved in bibliotherapy research for years. She particpated in a number of research studies on fear of the dark at the University of West Florida. In 2015 she was a co-author an article on a study conducted at Virginia Tech on nighttime fears, which was published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. She has held a number of positions in the fields of mental health and family counseling and has been an adjunct psychology instructor at several colleges in the South and Midwest. Previously she directed a family learning center that provided parenting and literacy programs (e.g., Motheread; Even Start; Parents As Teachers). One of her favorite activities in both mental health and education has been to teach parenting classes. She remains convinced that parents are potentially their child's best teachers! She lives in South Carolina with her husband, George. The artist, Dianne Dusevitch, is an illustrator, author, and marketing consultant. She is the winner of national and international illustration and marketing awards and currently splits her time living in Florida and Colorado. She was the original artist for the research editions of the book. The book now has over 90 illustrations, a number of which are in color. Her illustrations are child-focused and add interest, excitement, and humor to the story.
"In this book for children who are afraid of the dark and their parents, Coffman delivers a book that is not only engaging and fun to read but one that is also anchored in evidence-based cognitive behavioral principles. In a recent study, we were able to show that a majority of the children responded favorably, with most becoming fully free of their phobia by the end of the program. It really is very, very good and it really works! Ms. Coffman has struck it big with this one. Parents and their fearful children need it, and they will love it!" Thomas H. Ollendick, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech, researcher and author or co-author/editor of numerous articles and books, including the just released book, Innovations in CBT for Childhood Anxiety, OCD, and PTSD: Improving Access and Outcomes"Mary Coffman has given us a wonderful book that contains a story children love and includes an interwoven program to reduce fear of the dark. Both of these have been well-developed and proven over many years of research and field testing . . . Research studies have shown that most children who engage with this book and play the games will significantly reduce their fear of the dark. This is therapy that is fun, inexpensive, and really works . . . Now we have an easy, enjoyable, and effective way to address this fear. Mary's book is a beautiful creation and a blessed gift to the world that will entertain, educate, and reduce suffering." William L. Mikulas, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of West Florida