Posts Tagged With: initiative

A Challenge to Children’s Book Writers

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I blow the dust off my sunglasses before I start driving. So does four-year-old Ellie. She doesn’t have sunglasses, nor is she driving, but that doesn’t stop her from imitating my actions.

On a deeper level, the iron-willed and compassionate “Lady with the Lamp” changed lives not only for the wounded soldiers of her day, but for all who would follow her in the nursing profession, and for their patients.

As children’s book authors, can we be agents of change with stories of men and women, boys and girls, and even animals that model kindness and initiative to an eager audience?

Who are your real-life heroes? Perhaps there is someone you could interview and photograph for a story. A veteran, maybe, or a foster parent. When our infant granddaughter failed to thrive in the hospital just after birth, her surgeon asked a social services agency to provide someone who would visit the child frequently. They responded with Tricia, a foster mom who spent hour after hour, day after day, visiting and singing to the little girl until it was time for her to leave the hospital. And now, in the home provided by her adoptive parents (our daughter and son-in-law), this child continues to thrive. Perhaps you know a “Tricia,” an unassuming person who quietly teaches us that kindness rules.

I like Saving Joey: A True-life Story, for the author’s sensitive portrayal of his birth mother’s grief and concern, and the tough decision she made to provide a good life for her baby the only way she knew how. I can see this story being of great comfort to an adopted child, especially one who was “abandoned” in a place where s/he was sure to be found.

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But heroism is not confined to people! Perhaps you could write about a service dog, or a search and rescue dog. My mother’s rescued cat repaid the kindness, alerting me when my mother needed an ambulance.

However, a story need not be true to teach a powerful truth. After all, surely the most famous kindness story of all is The Good Samaritan, told by the King of storytellers!

Will you and I help make the world a kinder, gentler place by writing about heroes that show us how it’s done?

During storytime, kids are especially receptive to lessons that teach values. Stories of kindness will reach their hearts in way that direct discussions never can.

And, if you’re looking for help and companionship in your writing journey, please check out the Authors Community, for which I edit children’s picture books. There you’ll get to know a group of people who share their joys and struggles, and who give and receive advice freely.

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Categories: Journey | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Little Bunny’s Own Storybook

These are exciting times! Tommy, Tina and Katie Kat of Scissortown, and Marie and Mr. Bee will soon be joined by Little Bunny. I’m working with an inventor(!) who has found an artist online that I think has done this rabbit family justice. Like Coralie’s characters in the first two books, Nataly’s work also conveys the gentle spirit of the story. (The text will, of course, be in the white space.)

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With lettuce for their salads and snacks,

and carrots for the next day’s pot,

the three continued down the path

to Little Bunny’s favorite spot:

THE LIBRARY

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But alas, storm clouds are churning on the horizon. This idyllic scene is not to last–for what is a story without conflict? Indeed, how can Little Bunny aspire to join Ulysses, Robin Hood, and Nancy Drew in the Heroes Hall of Fame without a worthy villain?

But the antagonist is not one you’d expect! For Little Bunny has no Trojan War to fight, no rich to rob nor Sheriff of Nottingham to evade, and no evil genius to bring to justice.

Indeed, Little Bunny faces a stealth adversary . . . .

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For who but a librarian, whether human or rabbit, could deliver such a soul-crushing blow to our little hero?

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Will our voracious reader munch on limp lettuce and decimated dreams until that wretched inventory is done? Or, like the fire that hardens iron, will this catastrophic event spur him to initiative and creativity? Will he slog through the slough of despair and emerge triumphant, ears erect and eyes gleaming with victory?

Watch this space.

Categories: Journey | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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