Pam Fanjoy book aims to help children understand pandemic

HILLSBURGH – Pam Fanjoy has written a book to help children understand and cope while living through a pandemic.

Fanjoy is perhaps best-known as the founder and executive chef of Fan/Joy Market Place and Culinary Studio in Hillsburgh. She is also a Chopped Canada champion.

But she is also a clinical social worker and it’s through this lens that she’s written her book, Shooting Stars, A wish for healing and togetherness, which is illustrated by local artist Anne Randeraad.

The story follows a group of children who, following the excitement of an extended March Break, realize that, with the village playground being closed, life was turning upside down.

Washing your hands often, social distancing, wearing masks and empty grocery shelves suddenly had many of the children feeling very worried.

Through the eyes of these children, a wise young boy named Seth becomes determined to find his own courage.

With a magical sense that something larger than himself will light the way to make sure that the village heals, Seth finds his wisdom in the quiet, still space where there are shooting stars.

“As the world lay completely silent with barren streets because of a social lockdown when the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 hit, I received these hand-written notes by text, written by the main character, my great nephew Seth and his sister Scarlett,” said Fanjoy. “Their feelings and experience inspired this book.”

She added, “The greatest freedom that we can give children during any crisis is faith in their own ability to ‘find their courage’ when they are feeling anxious.

“This leads them to be able to develop a resiliency which will last a lifetime.”

Fanjoy hopes the story will inspire children to find their own courage and resiliency during this global crisis.

The book can be purchased online at for $15 plus HST.

For a limited time, you can “Buy One, Gift One” with all profits for October going to fund the Jr. Chef Program Fanjoy runs from her store.

The book can also be purchased at Fan/Joy Market Place and Culinary Studio in Hillsburgh.