Click the links below to view video clips!
Clip 1
Clip 2



Nadiir King

In the News

Courier Post

Author helps kids deal with loss

Courier-Post Staff

RON KARAFIN/Courier-Post
Washington Township resident Dorette Rota-Jackson wrote the children's book My WishRock and along with her company developed the book's companion rock to help children cope with the loss of loved ones.

When she was a child, Dorette Rota-Jackson's father would tuck her in at night with a simple, reassuring thought based on an old tale.

"I'm the Man in the Moon," he would say. "I'll always be watching you."

Rota-Jackson again found comfort in those words after her father died from lung cancer in 1998. But her 3-year-old son, Brett, at first couldn't understand where his grandfather had gone. "I told him, `he's always with us. He's the Man in the Moon," Rota-Jackson said.

Last year, she decided to put into writing the tale that reassured her and her son. The result is My WishRock, a story about a boy who wishes upon a star to be able to talk to his late grandfather. When the star falls to Earth, the boy ends up with a chunk of the star in the form of a magical rock. When he finds himself on a pirate ship, he uses the rock and the help of the Man in the Moon to defeat the pirates. "Because his grandfather is with him, he can always meet the challenges," Rota-Jackson said.

The illustrated book is sold with a polished stone called a WishRock, a "magical" pouch, and a "mystical" treasure box.

Rota-Jackson's nephew, Michael, gave her the idea for the WishRock after he came over to console her son about the death of his hamster in July. Both boys collect rocks; Rota-Jackson's nephew called them " wish rocks" and gave one from his collection to her son to cheer him up.

Rota-Jackson, 43, thought using a rock would be a tangible way to spread a positive message to children: "You can dream. You can wish upon a star," she said. "It's those traditions that people remember."

Rota-Jackson and four family members, including her husband Bob, formed WishRock Enterprises LLC late last year.

In January, the company introduced its product at The Philadelphia Gift and Novelty Show, a trade convention.

Gift shops at three Philadelphia hospitals - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - now carry My WishRock. My WishRock also can be found at various gift shops in South Jersey and Pennsylvania. It also is available from the company's Web site.

The WishRock has a purpose, unlike its faddish '70s ancestor, the Pet Rock, Rota-Jackson said. "This is more of a motivational, inspirational mechanism to get parents and kids to talk about topics such as self- esteem and responsibility. It is a reminder to teach our children to care--for themselves and others--and to believe that they can--and do--make a difference."

Although the company hopes to someday turn a profit, "we're not approaching this as businesspeople," Bob Jackson said. " We're approaching it as parents. (The My WishRock message) is something children can remember and adapt to their lives."

While waiting to see whether the first installment will take off, Rota-Jackson is already planning to turn My WishRock into a series based on motivational messages for children. She's shooting for the moon.