New Children's Book Teaches Life Skills & Values
USA- New York, NY | Sep 27 2012 | (22:55:09 - EDT)
Children's book author Victoria Pastor Lerman believes it's never too early to start teaching kids life skills and solid values - and sometimes the most effective way to convey those lessons is through a whimsical, colorfully illustrated story.
In keeping with this philosophy, Lerman, a mother of four, has just released her second children's picture book, "Daniel's Mile-High Turkey Sandwich," geared to kids 4-8 years of age.
With vibrant pictures by acclaimed illustrator Bonnie Lemaire, Lerman's new book tells the tale of a hungry little boy who takes a bit of a tumble in the kitchen while trying to make a sandwich. He finds himself in a bizarre dream world (or is it a real world?), where the sandwich ingredients take on a life of their own.
Lerman says her creative inspiration for "Daniel's Mile-High Turkey Sandwich" was the late author Roald Dahl, author of such beloved kids' classics as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach."
While acknowledging her newest book's entertainment value, Lerman explains that it is entertainment with a purpose. "When writing this book my intention was to encourage several educational themes," she says. "Those themes are creativity, emotional awareness and expression, tolerance, family, safety, teamwork, and giving back to the community."
That may seem like a pretty tall order for one book, but Lerman manages to juggle these themes without sacrificing the arc of the story or being preachy.
Says Lerman, "This is a book that focuses on giving children a Life Skills 101 course through a colorful illustrated story. My hopes are that sharing Daniel's adventure will inspire parents, caregivers, and teachers to have question-and-answer dialogues with their children, in a way that actively engages them in understanding the educational themes of the book."
Lerman says reading Daniel's story together can pave the way to helpful conversations between adults and children. For example, the story can provide a framework for asking kids simple questions such as, "How was your day?" "What are you feeling? Are you happy or sad?"
"The key is to really listen to the child's response," says Lerman. "Be an active listener and offer guidance so that your child knows he or she has your active listening ear - as well as your support - through all of the ups and downs in life."
"We adults sometimes forget that the events in a child's life are a big deal to him or her. For instance, a four-year-old's stress over losing a favorite stuffed animal is just as valid as that of an adult who has lost a job."
Lerman adds that reading Daniel's adventure together can open up discussions about family matters, and can drive home the lesson that no matter how "grown up" and independent a child may want to be, it is always okay to ask for help.
One of the most challenging tasks of parenting is to strike a balance between encouraging independence and freedom of expression - teaching children to have their own voice - and teaching them about teamwork, the benefits of being a team player, and the joys of sharing.
"I'm hoping this story will spur discussions on the value of family, no matter how one chooses to define family," Lerman explains. Other possible discussion themes include safety, the ability to identify helpful authorities such as police officers, and - one of Lerman's favorite themes - giving back to the community.
"This is also a great book for early readers," stresses Lerman. "The kids will enjoy the play on words with the story. And the illustrations can inspire a game of 'Name That Ingredient.'"
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Lerman worked as a Registered Nurse and a fitness instructor for several years. She also served on the Board of Directors of a family-owned and operated business, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Corporation of Buffalo; that business was sold in 2002.
Though writing has become her passion, her primary focus is on raising her children. Creating kids' books allows her to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Her first book, "Little Miss Sophie and the Sneaky Sock Monster," was published in 2007, showcasing the educational themes of counting and identifying shapes and patterns. The book was featured in Saks Fifth Avenue New York, as well as in airport terminal stores owned by The Paradies Shops, Inc. in various cities across the United States.
Victoria is glad to have had the opportunity to work with Ms. Lemaire. "Bonnie takes my ideas and brings them alive with her amazing artwork," says Lerman.
Based in Ontario, Canada, Lemaire has been a professional illustrator for more than 20 years and has seen her work utilized in many different projects, including home décor, giftware, sticker and toy designs, and, of course, children's books.
Will there be more books from Victoria Lerman in the future? Count on it! Meanwhile, young children can enjoy the misadventures of Miss Sophie and that sock monster, or they can follow Daniel as he floats down the Red River towards the ultimate sandwich.
It's all in good fun, with a more serious message - and a mission. Says Lerman, "I want to contribute to helping our youth to develop into strong, confident individuals with good values." And it sure doesn't hurt for the kids to have a little bit of fun along the way!
"Daniel's Mile-High Turkey Sandwich" was released on Amazonon Sept. 11, and is also available on Amazon Europe. In the future, it will be available in select boutique stores. Victoria Lerman is available for book signings and events. Please email Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Source: MMD Newswire via Victoria Pastor Lerman
Image Courtesy: Victoria Pastor Lerman
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