Catherine Gibson On How Her Books Address Bullying, Kindness, and Perseverance

TV host, author, and dance teacher Catherine Gibson has spent most of her life promoting positive and fun messages to children. She uses all the channels available to address bullying, kindness, and perseverance.

She has won the Mom’s Choice Award, Women of the Year, and the Mark Twain Award for her book Daisy Mae Finds Her Way. As she is about to launch the YouTube show Keeping it Real, which she hosts with Dennis Schleicher, Catherine Gibson shares details about how she addresses the issues closest to her heart in her books.

Before we move on to your books, can you tell us more about Keeping it Real and how it ties in with the rest of your work?

I already host a children’s TV show on the Zigazoo app called Kidz Fun Squad. With Michael LaChance, a puppeteer, and director, we co-create the show where we focus on conveying positive messages while addressing issues faced by children.

On Keeping it Real, we plan to present positive conversations about various life issues. These two shows are just the beginning because I aim to do more TV shows with positive messages for children. I also want to become an inspirational speaker on TV.

Copyright: Catherine Gibson (Keeping it Real with Dennis & Cathy)

You have taught dance for most of your life. What prompted you to write your first book?

Yes, I loved dance thanks to my dance teacher’s dedication Helyn Flanagan. When I started teaching, we taught dance together. She is one of the people I admire most and her memory continues to inspire me.

At one point, I realized my two boys had grown considerably. Since they needed less of my time, I decided it was about time to follow my interest and learn sign language at the American School for the Deaf, a school in West Hartford, Connecticut.

During this time, a teacher from the school told me that several children on the campus wanted to learn to dance. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to donate some time to teaching them. It was an amazing and inspirational experience because I found my calling through these children and decided to write my first book.


Copyright: Caterine Gibson (Kidz Fun Squad – Cathy & Michael)

What did your deaf dance pupils teach you?

These children have so much kindness, love, and perseverance. When they would see me in the school cafeteria, their excitement was so tangible. They would run up to me, wrap their arms around me, and we would all shuffle to the dance class together.

I address this kindness and dedication in my first two books, Through Sophie’s Eyes and Sophie Discovers Synchronized Swimming. In turn, I dedicated the book to my outstanding students by including sign language on the side of each page.

Which books address bullying, perseverance, and being special?

Gracie Saves The Day, Lily Loves Books, and What’s Your Something Special all touch on being unique, teasing, and bullying. In Gracie Saves the Day, Gracie faces the meanness of Penelope. In Lily Loves Books and What’s Your Something Special, the message for children is to embrace their uniqueness.

In Coach Bob and Me, I address the anxieties and lack of confidence often seen in teens. Through the book, they learn the importance of finding ways to cope and how hard work can help them accomplish their dreams.

A scrawny dog in Daisy Mae Finds Her Way teaches Renee and Maria several lessons about abuse, even in animals. In addition, the book touches on bullying and the importance of loving. Another inspirational figure, the actress and animal activist Betty White made this book special because she endorsed it.

Your foundation, For Children With Love, is about giving back. How can people make donations?

Through the foundation, people can donate my books to hospitals, schools, children’s homes, etc. They can also give money with a tax write-off for deaf awareness and children’s and animal charities.

Finally, you are a busy woman, but how do you like to relax when you have time?

Family time takes the top of the list! I love it when everybody’s around, filling our home with happiness. Of course, I also listen to my favorite music, generally artists like Frankie Valli, Air Supply, Dave Koz, and Wilson Phillips.