This will mark my first effort at blogging. The reality of my first children’s book in print along with the expectation of a sequel to come out shortly has given me the confidence (or is it plain old fashioned chutzpah?) to believe I can do this.
Early on, I discovered that any work would be much more tolerable, enjoyable even, if the worker valued what she worked with. My professional beginnings as a fifteen year old soda jerk who really liked ice cream barely makes the cut as an example. However, my later careers as a teacher, a full time parent, a marriage and family therapist and now a writer evidence a blessed life which provided me opportunities to work with all the elements I find so very worthwhile and rewarding. Now, with the time to devote to writing, and the desire to implement some of the lessons learned from years of working with children, couples and families, I am finding great joy in combining all these elements that I treasure.
Someone asked me recently how I would describe the children’s stories I am writing. I responded that my intent was first to hopefully create a funny and entertaining story to amuse children and whet their appetite for more books and reading. Along the way, it would be good to appeal to parents who, as I often did with my own children, wade through a seemingly endless collection of stories with very limited adult appeal. I attempt to include some references that parents will catch and perhaps smile at along with the story.
Probably, the biggest difference in these “Read to me Talk with me” books is that each one will include a page at the end which suggests discussion questions for those readers and children who might like to consider concepts contained within the story. The books will deal with different real issues that even preschool and primary grade children are sometimes confronted with: bullying – emotional and physical, shyness, physical or medical limitations, racism divorce. The discussion questions typically ask the child to talk about how the story character might have felt when . . . The questions might also include ones that ask the child if there was anything he might do to help a friend in a similar situation.
The books are written, primarily, to entertain, but if along the way by opening conversations with children we could also help foster a more empathic, caring child, wouldn’t that be a bonus?