Moving can be difficult for children. They fear the unknown of what is to come and mourn the loss of what they leave behind. I had an idea about how to help kids deal with this change and thought I could put it into a story. I believe that even a fictional story should contain real information for children to learn from. My degree is in History and so I hope to share my love for history in the stories that I write. Putting the two ideas together, a story about moving with a historical approach, I landed on the idea of a Native American girl. I could create a Native character from a semi-permanent tribe and work details of how they lived (longhouse, hunting etc.) right into the story.
My work at the Wilson Education Resource Centre focuses on empowering children. Since I am not a visual artist I wanted to look elsewhere to find an illustrator for my book. As it happened, Zoe, one of our members, was interested in trying to illustrate a book. And so, a partnership was formed. Zoe’s mother teaches art classes at the Centre and did one class that showed how to make pictures with clay. After struggling a bit with drawing the characters Zoe’s mom suggested trying to make them with clay. They researched Natives and what they would wear, as well as how a longhouse looked, and Zoe put it all together in clay pictures. I love how it turned out!
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning