Let's start out with the trailer that Matt sent me. You can find it on YouTube here.
1. Think back to the very first thought you had on writing this book. Did your own children influence your choice of topic? Did you envision this book as one that plants the seeds for children being change agents?Last year we were in the middle of the pandemic - school was at home, playdates were via computer, vacations were halted - and many kids, including my own, felt they had no control over what was happening. Heck, we adults felt that way! So I decided I wanted to write something to help kids feel more empowered, to give them some strength or hope, and show them they had the power to make changes in a grown-up world. But how to do that?My first step was rather odd, to be honest: I began by trying to come up with a completely non-grammatical title. Really! I wanted something that would catch potential readers and buyers off-guard, something that made them stop and think. So I thought about it quite a bit. The phrase "I am today" eventually popped into my head, and I liked it! As I thought more about the possibilities with that title, it occurred to me that kids are always being told they are "the Future." But what if a child doesn't want to wait?
I don't think they recognized it as a 'change agent,' necessarily, but I asked them what they thought and they both were happy that the little girl was able to succeed at what she set out to do - and really, that's what I want kids to get from it, that they do have the power to make change and don't need to wait. My son knows this first-hand because he actually helped the book's publisher a couple of years ago, back when we were putting out DON'T ASK A DINOSAUR! We had all received the final .pdf of the book right before it went to print, so I showed it to him (dino expert that he is), and he found not one, but TWO mistakes - which we quickly corrected before sending it off to be printed and bound. Not many 7-year-olds can say they saved a book, but he can! And I've been telling students that story during school visits ever since DINOSAUR came out, so I'm glad I now have a book that spotlights another way kids have the ability to effect change.
Sierra Reads and Questions
"Grandma, why is the book upside down?" - " That is a reflection in the water, Sierra."
We begin to read and Sierra quietly listened, intrigued by the storyline. Being observant she noticed the turtle in the water right away. As we moved through the book, she learned that the main character's family taught the little girl to be polite and share with others, concepts she knew about. It was on the next page that she paused and asked another question. "What does it mean to take a stand?" She carefully listened to my response and understood.
POW! Kids Books is offering a copy of Matt's book, I Am Today, to a lucky responder. Please leave a comment below the blog post in the comment section. A winner will be chosen Sunday after dinner. If you see the promotion on social media come back to the blog post to respond. Good Luck! Sierra and I hope you enjoy the book as much as we do.