Thursday, August 9, 2018

Daughters in pajamas inspire mom

Clearing woman’s new book is fun for kids

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Every mom knows that young children can be a source of exhilaration, exasperation—and inspiration.

Barbara Berg-Mies knows. Her young daughters inspired her
to write a children’s book, “I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas”—newly published several weeks ago.

“It was just one of those moments,” the lifelong Clearing resident recalled. “I looked at my daughters (Riley, 5, and Aubrey, 3) and said, ‘Let’s go to Gramma’s,’ and they looked at me quizzically and said, ‘But Mom, we can’t go to Gramma’s. We’re in our pajamas!’”

Barbara Berg-Mies
How that endearing bit of kid logic became a book was helped along by Berg-Mies’ frustration with books available today.

“There are not a lot of good children’s books out there. Some are pretty lame,” she said. “I thought, ‘I could do this so much better.’”

The observation was interesting, since Berg-Mies is not a writer by profession—she is a longtime certified massage therapist at a chiropractic practice in suburban Westmont.

“But I read a lot as a child,” she said, noting that her love of reading served her well as a student at St. Rene Goupil School and Queen of Peace High School. “Now, as a mother, I think I know what children like.”

“But I don’t think I could write books for adults,” she added. “Children’s books are enjoyable—the rhyming, the light-heartedness, the fun.”

“I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas” was illustrated by
Tyler Ptaszkowski
Tyler Ptaszkowski, a 13-year-old neighbor of Berg-Mies.

“I needed someone to illustrate my book, because I can’t even draw a good stick figure,” she laughed. “Tyler’s mom told me about him, and I thought, ‘You know, it would make sense for a kid to illustrate this book.’ I think children who read it will respond more to illustrations drawn by another child.”

Tyler impressed Berg-Mies.

“He’s an avid reader, just like I was at that age,” she said. “He has a wonderful imagination. He’s a kid who’s clearly going places. So I said him, ‘I’m giving you carte blanche. Do whatever you feel is best.’”

The youth worked on drawings for “Pajamas” over a five-month period, and the result is a minimalist yet endearing black-and white illustration that helps breathe life into Berg-Mies’ words.

Aubrey and Riley are excited to see their mom's new book.
“I’m Going To Gramma’s In My Pajamas” is available in paperback for $10 at

Berg-Mies and Tyler recently signed copies of the new book at the Clearing Branch Library. More public appearances are planned, including one on Sept. 15 at the Clarendon Hills Public Library, just a few days after Grandparents Day.

Those who want to book Berg-Mies as a speaker or simply keep up on her appearance schedule are advised to search for BBM Publishings on Facebook.

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