Magazine Feature / People

Retired psychiatry prof is now children’s author

After retiring as professor emerita from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry, Sara Goodman Zimet (EdD ’67) turned to writing fiction — something she had always aspired to do.

But rather than writing the great American novel, Zimet took to children’s literature, finding inspiration in her grandchildren. Her first book, Children Discover Denver and Boulder: A Guide to Family Fun and Adventure (Discovery Press Publications, 1995), was written for them.

Early in her career, Zimet’s professional interests were geared toward children’s reading. As head of research for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s Division of Child Psychiatry, Zimet examined how motivational children’s reading textbooks were. She says writing children’s literature now seems like a natural progression from the research she did before.

The Monster Solution (Discovery Press Publications, 2005) was her first venture into fiction. While visiting family, she learned that her grandson was afraid of monsters in his closet. As they worked out how to conquer his fears, the story idea began to take shape.

Monster Solution tells the story of a young boy who fears the Slimy Monster, Monster Owl and Monster Lizard lurking in his bedroom at night. After leaving them a note and making noises to drive them away, nothing seems to work. Then the boy comes up with the idea of the Monster Solution, a spray that smells sweet to humans but reeks to the monsters, successfully driving them away.

Zimet wrote the story during a workshop and was pleasantly surprised to see how naturally it developed. “You don’t realize what’s inside you until you sit down, think about it and try to bring it forth,” she says.

Zimet’s more recent work has taken on historical themes. Her second book, Hannah and the Perfect Picture Pony: A Story of the Great Depression (Discovery, 2005) is about the people she grew up with in the 1930s and the challenges they faced.

Both Monster and Hannah received several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association as well as acclaim from the Mom’s Choice Awards and the Midwest Book Review.

Zimet’s books are available on

Comments are closed.