Kerry Bober and the Poofas

Popping In To Lend A Hand
Kerry Bober is a successful local graphic designer and she’s also a newly minted children’s book author. Like for most of us, her journey has been one of a direct path: a BFA in graphic design in 2001 from Plymouth State University, and an indirect, longer-term road.

She endured a difficult childhood and through an intense, two-and-a-half year process had delved deeply into her healing and came out the other side. “This helped me come from a place of heart and passion, wanting to bring good into world.” Out of that desire and a bit of serendipity, the POOFAS characters and book were born.

Kerry once heard her young niece playfully call her dad a ‘poofa’ and the term quickly took shape in her mind and her sketchbook. As the characters emerged, they began to take on “powers” that could help support children when they encountered adversity or obstacles. A pediatric psychologist friend, Dr. Kelsey Latimer, helped Kerry realize her hope for a truly empowering book. Latimer’s knowledge that kids need support in recognizing their internal and external “locus of control” led to the interactive format of the book.

Each section offers profiles of the individual POOFA characters: Feeling a bit “blue”? Call on Smiley Riley who brings cheerfulness to all he does. Need a bit of courage to face a difficult moment? Superhero Sami has just the qualities a child needs to “leap tall buildings”! Child being bullied and needing a bit of comfort or bravery? Soothing Sue or Brave Dave fit the bill perfectly. You get the picture!

Kerry has provided space, as well, for kids to write their own POOFA stories; they love using their imaginations and feeling part of the POOFA experience. For younger kids, Mom and Dad can read to them, and kids love the bright, colorful images.

Just one example of a prompt to help get them started with their own stories: “Think about a time that was challenging and made you feel worried, scared, mad or some other strong feeling. Write about that situation and how it made you feel.” Once they’ve written down all their feelings about that challenge, they are encouraged to choose three different POOFAS who could help change the negative thoughts.

What is next for this creative artist and writer? She is reading at local libraries and would like to also read in schools. Kerry tells me that being with the kids and sharing the POOFAS with them makes her heart sing!

“Whatever the POOFAS [and this very talented woman!] put their minds to, they can do! And now that you know you can call on the POOFAS—you can too!”

Contact Kerry Bober at Her book is currently available from Amazon.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker