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Baby Star Finds Happy -eBook

Baby Star Finds “Happy” | Finding a Silver Lining When a Parent Goes to Prison or Jail
ISBN: 978-0-9967410-7-1 | Copyright © 2019 by Avon Hart-Johnson, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
is edition is published by DC Project Connect in arrangement with Extant-One Publishing, Inc. and Avon Hart-Johnson
Publications, LLC. All rights reserved.
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is publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is
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or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be
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Printed & Published in the United States of America. | First Paperback Edition/eBook Edition
Illustrations by Shaifali Bajad
Cover by Avon Hart-Johnson and Shaifali Bajad
1. Study Aids/Self Help
2. Family & Relationships/ Parental Incarceration/Grief and Loss/Coping
Baby Star Finds    Happy    A Story About Parental Incarceration Finding a silver lining when a parent goes to prison or j...
On the night Baby Star was born, her
mom wished upon a bright star that
twinkled like diamonds. She wished that
Baby Star would always be happy.
Momma Star oen said that Baby Star’s
eyes were like the twinkling lights in the
night sky – and, especially, like the star
she wished upon.
Baby Star loved her family. Her brothers
were like twins. They spoke at the same
time and laughed at the same time, too.
Bick, the youngest brother, was shorter
than Bell. Baby Star loved to touch their
curly, fuzzy hair.
The Star children also loved to gather in
the kitchen with Daddy Star to listen to
his stories as he cooked their
favorite stew.
The smell of freshly baked cookies flowed
from the oven through the house,
promising the Star children that sweet
taste of chocolate chip cookies for
dessert aer dinner.
Baby Star loved Momma Star’s big hugs.
Whenever Baby Star missed her Momma,
she would think of her hugs. Momma
Star was always on the go. She seemed to
be busy mostly every day.
Momma and Daddy Star loved each other
very much.
Daddy Star played hide-and-go seek and other
fun games with the children even though he
sometimes was very tired from working all day.
Momma Star liked to make things. She
once made the children a toy box out of
a crate. She also made Baby Star a dress
with a big star embroidered on it.
Sometimes, Momma Star le home and
did not come back for a few days. This
made Baby Star sad.
But when she was at
home, Momma Star was fun.
One day, Momma Star told Baby Star that
if she ever felt lonely, to think about her
hugs and make a big wish on a four-leaf
clover –and her wish would come true.
All Baby Star had to do was find that
special clover!
Baby Star knew what she would wish for!
She would wish that her family would
always be together and happy.
One day, Baby Star asked Bick and Bell to go
out in the yard with her to help her find a four-
leaf clover so that she could make a wish that
her family would always be together and happy.
Once outside, they searched the backyard for
clovers. They searched near the flowers. They
searched near the fence. When they looked near
the flowerpot, there was no clover, but there
was a bunny rabbit with the prettiest eyes, ever!
The Star children rushed inside the house
with the bunny.
Momma Star was concerned that the
bunny was missing from his family. She
went outside and tried to find the
rabbit’s family, with no luck. Baby Star
asked, “May we keep him?”
Momma Star said, Yes. She would help
her children build a bed for the rabbit so
that they could keep him safe and warm.
Baby Star loved the rabbit and said she wanted
to call him “Happy” because that’s how she felt
with her new bunny friend.
Baby Star and Happy became best friends.
When Happy was excited, he would jump up
and down. His ears would flop, and his belly
would bounce. Baby Star would laugh. Bick
and Bell laughed loudly, too. When Happy
laughed, his belly would shake.
Happy loved to eat long, crunchy carrots. But
his big secret was that he loved four-leaf
clovers even more!
When Momma Star did not come home
and Daddy Star had to work, Grandma
Star cared for the Star children.
At night, when Baby Star was lonely for
Momma Star’s warm hugs, Happy was
right there, like a fluffy pillow to hug to
fall asleep.
One night, Momma Star did not come
home for dinner. Daddy Star was worried.
He did not talk much. In the morning,
Momma Star was still not at home, but
Daddy Star spoke with her on the phone.
Later that day, Daddy Star said to the Star
children, “Let’s go sit together on the couch,
I want to talk with you about something
“Sometimes grown-ups make bad decisions
and do something wrong. Momma
Star is not home because she made a bad
decision and did something wrong. She
broke some rules. Now
she is in a place called ‘jail.’”
Daddy Star said, “I know you miss Momma
Star and feel sad. I miss Momma Star, too, and I
want you to know that we both love you, and I
am here to help you to get through this.
Grandma Star will come to spend time with you,
as well.
It was a sad time in the Star house. That night
everyone cried. They missed Momma Star.
Daddy Star told his children, “It is normal to
be sad when you miss someone.That night
Baby Star hugged her bunny rabbit, Happy,
and cried herself to sleep.
.66hB6Daddy Star said that one day,
soon, they were all going to visit Momma
Star. He told the children to draw colorful
pictures for Momma Star, and that would
her happy.
Bick and Bell ran to get their crayons.
Baby Star sat quietly, thinking it was her fault
that Momma Star was in jail. Baby Star did not
make her big wish. “I should have made my big
wishi6she cried!
With all the excitement about creating drawings
for Momma Star, everyone forgot all about
Happy. They looked around, inside and outside,
but Happy was nowhere to be seen.
Everyone called for Happy. “Happy, where are
you?” called Baby Star, wiping away her tears. They
looked in the kitchen–no Happy.
Daddy Star joined the search. They looked under the
bed, too, but Happy was not there. Oh, “I know,
said Baby Star. “Let’s search near the flower-pots.
And sure enough, when Baby Star checked near the
flowerpots, there was Happy. She yelled, “I found
Happy was holding a great big
four-leaf clover! Baby Star said, “Now that I
have my four-leaf clover and Happy, I can make
my big wish!”
“Happy, you are the cutest rabbit ever,
said Baby Star.
“I love you, Happy!”
Baby Star, Happy, and the other Star
children all rushed back into the house.
Baby Star said, “Daddy, we found Happy
and the four-leaf clover! Now
I will make
my big wish! I wish that our family will
always be together and that we will
always be happy.
At that moment, the phone
rang. It was Momma Star!
“I want to speak to Momma, yelled Bic and Bell
at the same time. They both raced towards the
phone and spoke with Momma Star. At first,
they were scared for Momma Star, but later they
all relaxed.
Baby Star’s eyes became as bright as stars!
Daddy Star smiled and asked Baby Star if she
wanted to speak to Momma Star, too. Baby
Star said, “Yes!” With a big smile, she jumped
up and took the phone receiver. Even bunny,
Happy was jumping up and down, hopping all
around the kitchen, but with his eyes focused
on the four-leaf clover!
Baby Star told Momma Star that she missed her.
She said that she was so glad that
Happy found the big four-leaf clover and that she
had made a wish that their family would always be
happy. Momma Star said to Baby Star, “I love you.
I am away for a little while, but please know that
when I am not there with you, I am always thinking
about you. I am sorry for not being there with you.
Even if you didn’t make a wish, I still would love
you. We might not be together in the same room,
but in my heart, I am always thinking of you. It is not
your fault that I am here. I made the wrong decisions
and now I am going to work hard to do the right
thing. Do you forgive me?”
Baby Star said, “Yes, Momma Star. I love you and I
forgive you. Sometimes, I know I do things that are
wrong, too. When it was time to end the call, Baby
Star said, “Momma Star, I love you so much!” Baby
star felt happy knowing that even though Momma
Star was not at home, she was loved. She also had
Daddy Star, Bick and Bell Star, and Grandma Star, and
she also had her very best friend, Happy!
Baby Star finished talking with her mom. She noticed
that Happy was very hungry! Happy then jumped
really high to reach the 4-leaf clover on the table,
gripping it between his teeth. He quickly gulped
down the tasty green clover in one bite. Baby Star
said to her bunny friend: “I forgot to feed you. I am
sorry. I too made a mistake. Happy do you forgive
me?” Happy answered yes, by bouncing up and
down. Baby Star said, “Happy even with the clover
gone, you will always be a reminder of love, family,
friendship, and a little luck.
The End
Stories as Intervention
Stories have been used for hundreds of years to help children make meaning
of their experiences. Baby Star nds “Happy” is designed to assist parents who
care for children with an incarcerated parent to have tools to help their little
ones to understand the process, emotions, and family dynamics during this
stressful time.
Children who are aected by the traumatizing experience of parental
incarceration may not be able to articulate their feelings associated with
separation and loss. In their minds, they may have lost a parent and so much
more. They may not be fully equipped developmentally to express their
feelings. The activities designed as companion resources for this book can
be used to help children externalize their feelings. These resources can be
used to help children give voice through nonverbal activities such as drawing,
engaging in a scavenger hunt, and using other creative activities oered in
the companion resources link on our website:
Remember to always consult with a helping professional if you think that your
child is in need of psychiatric or mental-health support.
We hope that when parents use this book to read and discuss with their
children, it may lead to young kids learning to see life events as they are and
not a problem that they have created themselves. We hope that they then can
begin to make meaning of their lives and develop resilience.
Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson and the Storybook Research Team
Dr. Georey Johnson and Dr. Renata Hedrington-Jones
About the Author
Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson is the president and co-founder
of DC Project Connect (DCPC), a Washington, D.C.-based
nonprot 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis
support, advocacy, and psychoeducational services for
families aected by incarceration.
A published author, Dr. Hart-Johnson has lectured both
nationally and abroad on topics related to her journal
articles, books, and other publications. Her most recent
book is “African American Women with Incarcerated Mates: The Psychological
and Social Impacts of Mass Incarceration.” Her research in the United Kingdom
has led to collaborations with other authors in the anthology “Contemporary
Research and Analysis on the Children of Prisoners: Invisible Children.” She
has written a children’s book on parental incarceration and prison visits,
“Jamie’s Big Visit.” This current publication, Baby Star Finds ‘Happy’ is sure to
benet millions of children around the world whose parents are or have been
Dr. Hart-Johnson is the U.S. representative on the board of directors of
the International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents, a global
consortium that supports the well-being of children of prisoners. She is currently
leading a project that focuses on the use of storytelling as an intervention for
parents and caregivers when discussing parental incarceration with children.
Dr. Hart-Johnson is an international keynote speaker, a researcher, and wife
of Georey Johnson and mother of a blended family (Charles, Jr., Isaiah, Loren,
Marcel, and Shaniece).