During my reading/signing at Barnes and Noble I was approached by a retired high school teacher. She said that Seacoo is more than a cute picture book; it is a reminder for parents to be mindful, be aware, and be in the moment. She marveled at how intently the parents in the audience listened to the story. Then a 14 year old (yes, a TEENAGER; 7 were in the crowd!) girl gave me a panda that she molded out of clay during the reading. She purchased the book to read to her parents. My heart melted and I gave her a big hug. She thanked me for writing the story and whispered that she still loves a good picture book. I whispered back, “So do I!” I asked which character from the story did she identify most with. Her response was Seacoo because she likes to read and also feels like her parents are too busy to spend time with her. The story inspired her to let them know how she feels and hopefully reconnect with one another. I gave her a hi-five.
My purpose as an author is to give the youth a voice; I aim to connect adults with children of all ages through literacy. Children are people with real thoughts and real feelings. They are not invisible or disposable. In fact, they are replicas of our best and worst selves. Therefore, we should be eager to listen to what they have to say. Their thoughts and opinions can serve as guides on how we can better improve ourselves. Taking a few minutes to step into their world will allow us to stay current with what is important to them while building memories that will forever be cherished. The youth is the future and the future should always be better than the past. The only way to achieve this is: be mindful, be aware, and be in the moment!