Updated: Jun 3
I’ve been working in the childcare field for 10 years. I help manage four preschools so I interact daily with teachers and children from ages 2-5. I noticed a recurring pattern - the poor treatment of books in most classrooms and teachers complaining to me about how children were treating books. They were stepping on books, ripping their pages, throwing them, etc. As a book lover and educator, it broke my heart. We tried talking to the children, creating a book hospital, and even making a class book but nothing seemed to work. In an age of digital devices, books weren’t being seen as something that needed to be valued.
Then one day it just hit me. I should write a book in which the main characters were books! They would have distinct personalities and feelings, each with their very own special story. This way the children could empathize with them. Children as young as 10 months of age can start displaying signs of empathy. In fact, empathy has become a recent trend in early childhood education with a shift towards social learning that promotes self-management, responsible decision making and authentic care
Two years later, I debuted my self published picture book, Books Need Love, Too! As difficult as it was to complete, it was worth it especially when I hear the children’s reactions and comments. I love seeing them absorbed by the story line and the book characters, Polpi and Sandy. Children do care. They really do love books. We just need to take the time to guide them.
“It is not true that we only have life to live; if we read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.”
S.I. Hayakawa, Language in the Thought and Action (1952)