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Old 11-12-2003, 09:26 AM
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Meet Paddy Pillow



Helps Build Emotional Vocabulary

CHICAGO – Sometimes the toughest thing about feelings is identifying and expressing them, especially for children. That’s why it’s important that parents teach children to understand their emotions and to communicate their feelings from an early age. The question is: how? Let Paddy Pillow™ share his feelings.

Paddy Pillow is a lovable, huggable pillow that was designed to help adults and children talk about feelings so that children can learn how to identify, understand and express emotions in a healthy way. Designed to enhance communication, he teaches children to talk about their feelings instead of just acting them out or keeping them bottled up inside. The original Paddy Pillow comes complete with an illustrated children’s book, “Meet Paddy Pillow”, and a CD of original Paddy Pillow music.

“Like any other skill, understanding and talking about how you feel inside takes practice,” said Aimee Markelz, president of Talk Inc. and creator of Paddy Pillow. “By going through experiences with Paddy Pillow and doing the activities, as well as having fun with the Paddy Pillow Song, kids can learn to name what they are feeling and talk about their emotions. Paddy Pillow helps children understand that their feelings are okay and everyone has them.”

“It is important for young children to develop an emotional vocabulary and literacy at a young age because it serves as the foundation for healthy relationships throughout their life,” says clinical psychologist Anne L. Updegrove, Ph.D. “Helping children learn to talk about their feelings is one of the most important things parents can do for their children.”

Meet Paddy Pillow
A new friend that can comfort anytime, Paddy Pillow is introduced to children in the “Meet Paddy Pillow” book. By engaging in Paddy’s experience through words and colorful illustrations, the book uses Paddy Pillow’s body language and facial expressions to depict eight common emotions. Paddy Pillow encourages children to identify how he feels and then talk about their own feelings with a caring adult. “Meet Paddy Pillow” contains fun ideas to get adults and children talking and sharing.

The first in a series of books about emotions and other important topics for children and grown-ups to discuss, “Meet Paddy Pillow” covers the feelings of happy, sad, love, scared, angry, shy, ashamed and proud.

Sing Along
The original Paddy Pillow Song brings the book and character to life with a catchy beat and easy-to-remember lyrics. The Paddy Pillow CD features two versions of the song – one performed by a female singer and the other by kids. In addition, it contains two more original tunes “Paddy Loves to Feel Clean” and “I Make ‘Em Proud”, plus a reading of the book by Paddy Pillow. The Paddy Pillow Song was written for Markelz by her father Jim. The words and music are featured in the “Meet Paddy Pillow” book for a fun and easy sing-along.

The Paddy Pillow Story
Paddy Pillow was designed and created by Markelz, a 36-year-old native Chicagoan. Markelz developed the idea for a pillow character as a symbol of feelings as a result of her experience volunteering for a crisis help line in Chicago. Realizing that she was not very good at talking about her own feelings, she believed all people could benefit from healthier, more meaningful communication.

That’s when Markelz launched Talk Inc., a company dedicated to creating fun and friendly products that help people express their thoughts and feelings. Paddy Pillow was developed by Markelz and a group of individuals comprised of family, friends and experts in the field of child development.

Markelz created a professional advisory board of clinical psychologists, an educational psychologist and speech pathologist, and a licensed social worker specializing in family and individual counseling. Through extensive research and product development, Paddy Pillow took shape and came to life on February 2, 2002.

Paddy Pillow is available in three colorful designs to appeal to boys and ages 2 and up. The white stuffed toy pillow is embroidered with a smiling, blue-eyed Paddy and has one of three colorful, removable pillow cases – vibrant yellow, orange and red plaid with green satin trim; bright purple stars with deep purple satin trim; midnight blue swirls with yellow satin trim. The pillow and pillowcases are machine washable.

The Paddy Pillow set includes a stuffed pillow character, the “Meet Paddy Pillow” book and CD of original music all in a child’s own, see-through carry bag. The set retails for $29.95 and is available at select specialty retailers, as well as on-line at

Three new little Paddy Pillows are also available, each covering a different topic to get parents and children talking. Topics include a variety of life lessons like welcoming a new baby, the gift of giving and understanding feelings associated with love. They retail for $9.95.

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Lisa Dorsey
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