Kathy Brodsky, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, writes and promotes quality books that are timely, visually exciting, entertaining, educational and fun! As a psychotherapist for over 40 years, she is able to tap into universal emotions of people of all ages with themes that are evident in her books. Teachers have often used her messages to further social awareness in their students.
You never know where something can lead…It all started with her mother’s birthday party and a little poem she wrote for the family invitation. Kathy discovered that writing was fun, and she has never looked back! As a psychotherapist for most of her adult life, it was exciting for Kathy to discover something new about herself in her mid 50’s.
We write what we know, so Kathy’s subsequent poems focused on swimming and saggy, faded bathing suits. She got rave reviews from some swimming friends, and they kept encouraging her. She then wrote poems for greeting cards, refrigerator magnets, and mugs. Friends suggested that she write a book…and since she was a psychotherapist and had heard her clients’ stories for so many years, there was a wealth of information to draw from.
Kathy’s first book, Moments in Our Lives, is a compilation of moments in everyone’s life — 65 little vignettes of our universal experiences. Having no idea about publishing, she took a publishing course at a local adult education center. The first night the instructor said, “You have no idea where this can lead.” Boy, was she right!
Kathy continues to draw inspiration from what she sees and hears…and her first picture book came about while walking her dog one day. She noticed a crooked pine tree – and that brief glance became My Bent Tree.
Upon completing the story, Kathy realized she needed an illustrator. With no idea how to find one, she headed out the door to her Argentine tango lesson. As it turned out, Cameron Bennett, the tango instructor, was an artist. Who knew that Argentine tango would lead to many picture books?
Following the completion of My Bent Tree, Kathy offered to mail some letters for a friend on a snowy February afternoon. Her friend replied, “They’ll be very happy.” Kathy’s friend had no recollection of that, but Kathy did, and four nights later at midnight The Inside Story was born. It’s an adventure story about an envelope that experiences change.
Then, following a talk at a women’s group, an attendee who was a dog lover emailed Kathy suggesting that she write a book about dogs. Just Sniffing Around came from that suggestion. The star of the book is a Dogue de Bordeaux but it’s really about every dog.
After hearing “Just Sniffing Around,” another woman approached Kathy and said, “If you write a book about dogs, you have to write one about cats.” To find the star for Purrsnikitty, and to raise awareness for animal shelters, Kathy ran a cat contest. With the submission photos, people were asked to donate to animal shelters. The successful campaign raised $678.00.
When looking for cat owners who might be interested in the contest, Kathy approached two friends and asked if they had cats. When she told them about the contest, one replied, “No, but my dog Annie could win a cat contest.” From that sentence, The Winner Is… became a reality. It’s a very funny story about a large dog who tries to be someone else. Again, there was contest to find the star – raising over $2,000 for animal shelters. In The Winner Is… , a pig named Stover is grooming himself in mud. He has another life that’s not evident in The Winner Is… And, because Stover wanted to tell his own story, he got his very own book.
Stover wanted more books, so we added “Stover Goes to Camp,” about leaving home for the first time, and soon to be released “Stover Learns to Swim,” which is self-explanatory.
A Horse Named Special came about because of a request for horse books at a local bookstore. Someone asked, “When will you write a horse book? Kids are always asking for them.” Again, looking for the star of the book came with raising money, this time it was for equine rescue organizations.
A CatFish Tale is loosely based on a true story overheard while on Kathy was on vacation. It’s very funny – and deals with topics of friendship, responsibility, making good choices and geography.
Because of her psychotherapy background, all of the picture books contain life-skills discussion questions that promote further dialogue for young readers and anyone reading with them. The books can be used on many different levels, and the discussion questions give teachers easy access to days of lesson planning as well!
“Do I really Matter?” is the dedication for “High Wire Act.” In the book, every character from Kathy’s other books make an appearance. It’s the story of a little traffic light that gets blown off its perch, lands on a mattress truck, travels all around town and traffic gets messed up. Until that time, it never before realized its importance. The book can be used on many levels, to teach kids about traffic lights, but also on another level – how important each one of us is.
After “High Wire Act,” we did a Spanish version of “A CatFish Tale” – “El Cuento de Don Gato Pez,” followed by a bilingual Spanish/English version of “My Bent Tree,”Mi Arbol Doblado.
A little board book – with two different editions – with babies of different ethnicity,
Two Arms, Two Legs, Two Feet has the theme of “Where do I fit in?” This is a universal,
Life-long quest. Also a terrific gift for expectant and new parents.
Covid 19 brought us little Talula Turtle. ”How Talula Turned Her Day Around” - paperback, and coloring/activity book – was written when Kathy waited three hours for her car to be serviced. Talula Turtle was sad because she could only see her friends when they were wearing masks. She and her mom make plans of how to be okay in spite of current limitations on their lifestyle. The book ends on a happy note!