Some moments some days, my heart thumps with anxiety.
Some days, it flutters. I’m not too sure what with - a mixture of Pride and Great Hope, perhaps. I try not to let negative chatters drag me down. (Hope they aren’t part of the fluttery package.)
Ever since last October, I’ve been working on a picture book manuscript. I’ve been wishing to write a book for quiet and shy children; for children on self-discovery and personal understanding/acceptance journeys.
MY CLEAREST ME is now in the final stage of production. Both words and pictures are ready to sail out into the world. What’s left is the e-book conversion part. (Pray everything goes very, very, very well.) For a synopsis of our first picture e-book, please check out our homepage. A book trailer is also in the making. I hope you’ll like it when it’s ready.
Yet, marketing our first picture book isn’t the main point of this week’s blog. (Please forgive the shameless self-promotion there ...)
This, however, is:
Like the children we hope to encourage and empower, I sometimes need flowers for the butterflies in my tummy. I need reminders to be a bit braver, a tad stronger, and to face the world with zest and gusto (in Ray Bradbury’s words). I have come across few picture books that made my heart soar or at least made me more confident of my truest self. To me, fiction on self-esteem and confidence (especially with quieter child protagonists) are what I’d look out for.
I’m lucky I only have butterflies. Some parents and children face worse than mere nerves or lack of confidence.
I know some parents look for picture books with issues their young children might be facing, like Autism, or living with an autistic sibling, or facing a school bully, or learning to cope with having divorced parents etc.
Honestly, I didn’t think children in the picture book-reading age would be offered books on this kind of family/social issues. I thought they would only be reading about bunnies and X’mas parties and the occasional monster. But really, the needs of young children have changed because, well, our world is changing. I know of an ex-U.S. Assistant District Attorney who wrote a picture book on child sexual abuse because of all the tragic cases she had to prosecute, and all the parents and children she felt she had to warn. (Her book is called MY BODY BELONGS TO ME.)
It's depressing but it's also important to face the truth: we do need such books in our generation.
What about you and your children? What are the more serious themes you look for in picture books? Is it battling with an illness? Or standing up against injustice?
Or is there a particular issue you want to find more picture books on?
Please come share with us?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.