Yesterday, Barbara Lieberman celebrated her new children’s book, Ben’s Little Acorn. A handful of children’s authors came to support and celebrate with Barbara at Sandpiper Books, a local bookstore. I thought this was a kind and generous gesture because as she said, “My book might not be the perfect book for a child, but there might be another that could be the right fit.” Barbara’s comment reminded me of a saying we tell the little ones in class, “Are you doing ME thinking, or WE thinking?”
During my time with Barbara I experienced several wonderful “gifts”. The first was that my new picture book, Monster Slayer was the name of her MS group. We also got a chance to talk about the need for picture books to show the myriad of ways children, adults, families, and communities experience life. She shared this was the driving reason behind Ben’s Little Acorn not having an illustration of a little boy. This way, the reader could have the opportunity to visualize themselves in the story.
As we talked about the issue of diversity and the lack of picture books portraying people who are out of the “norm” box, Barbara shared a tender moment in her children’s life. I saw the lightbulb go off and gave her a hug saying, “Oh my stars, we just had a moment of inspiration!” I look forward to reading this story because as an educator, these stories are not being told and children are asking, “What about me and my family?”
Barbara handed children an acorn of their own (a plastic version) and had them write their dreams or wishes. I wish Barbara and the other children’s writers lots of success, health, inspiration and prosperity. Barbara – thank you for your spirit. The world needs more like you.