What five words would you say best describes your book?
I would have to say that friendship, inclusion, diversity, ability and adaptability are all great words to describe my book.
What can you tell people about the book, and can you share with us your favourite part or aspect of it?
A New Way To Play follows Emily and her friends as they play a game of hide and seek. Emily has difficulties finding a place to hide with her wheelchair. She gets a great idea when she watches her pet chameleon blend into its environment, and she creates a new game that is fun for everyone. My favorite part of the book is Emily’s ability to navigate a situation that was frustrating for her and change it into something fun for her and her friends.
Why did you choose to write the book? What inspired or prompted you to write it, or from which you drew your inspiration for it?
I had so many great reasons for writing this book. My inspiration came from this really amazing little boy that I was supporting. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and during my time with him I realized that other children were very curious about his wheelchair. They would ask questions and stare if they were too shy to approach us. I wrote this book as a way to introduce children to the topic of inclusion. I really wanted to create a story that could open up some dialogue for children and promote that knowledge and awareness. Lastly, I wanted to write a book that represents the world that our children live in and all of the different people that make it so special.
What do you hope children, families and people reading your book will learn or take away from it? Is there a message that you would like to share with them?
I really want children to know the power of friendship and inclusion. My hope for everyone reading my book is that they have more discussions about positive change, and how we as a society can be better at being more inclusive.
What has been the best reaction or response you have received about the book so far?
I have had several parents reach out and say the kindest things about this book but I think the greatest complement of all is when a parent tells me that their child asks to read this story multiple times. I absolutely love that children have shown to be incredibly engaging with this story.