Saturday, March 6, 2010

Books are not only for those touched by Adoption!

I have always believed that the books can be for any child. When the books were first going into the bookstores, some of the staff believed the books were really geared to one area. I went into the stores and noticed the books only in the parenting section of the store and discussed the idea of placing the books in the children's area of the store so they would be in view of any children who would be looking in the books. Knowing the books are meant for all children has been the most important thing for me and the stores noticed the change in sales once the books were being viewed by the children.

This series has been developed with the intent on guiding children throughout their childhood, with topics that will be developmental for their age. Their issues will be talked about and the experiences will be externalized, rather than internalized. Children will therefore start learning to believe in themselves and their feelings at a younger age than those before them, and those same children will learn to feel safe, within their families, and most importantly, ultimately, within themselves.

There have been many comments made by parents, educators, support workers, families and children about these first two books and many are saying they are not only for those people touched by adoption but they are really for ALL children!

What a great feeling this brings to me! Funny... I've known that all along!!

Some things people have said about my books are below:

“Ola Zuri’s debut book, Why Can't You Look Like Me, is fantastic! Zuri's writing is free and lyrical, with sincerity gained by first hand experience. This book is a gem, and although the dominant theme is trans-racial adoption, I highly recommend it for ALL families and classrooms."

"In her second book, Where Do I Belong, Zuri shows why her books belong everywhere there are children! This book artfully teaches children (and adults!) that true freedom is born of inner strength, and we all make decisions every day that either strengthen or weaken our inner selves.”

Sally Bacchetta, Freelance Writer, Author, and Adoptive Parent, New York

"Thank you so much Ola! We sincerely appreciated your visit and thank you for inspiring all of us, the children and staff, with your passion for writing. Once again, your time was truly appreciated!"
Lisa McCall, Vice Principal, Osoyoos Elementary School, British Columbia

“Everyone loved the questions in the back saying they were for both adopted and non adopted children, and loved the illustrations. Bryce my 3 year old likes to point out different people or items as we go thru the books ourselves! Thanks so much, I am so happy we found you! There are so many of the trans-racial children needing this support!”

Shannon Adkins, Adoptive Parent, Central Adoption Support Group, Cincinnati, Ohio

"I’m really looking forward to receiving your book!!! There is little literature here when it comes to topics such as adoption, racism, self confidence, fitting in the family… so your beautiful fresh breath is more than welcome… It’s really an honour getting to know you! Thank you - you make my day! Lots and lots of success and a warm sincere smile from Belgium..

Ingrid Slabinnck, Librarian, Adoptive Parent, Foster Care Alumni, Belgium

“Finally a children’s book for transracial adoptees written by a transracial adoptee. There is no one better qualified to understand the many layers of identity and race than someone who lives it everyday of her life. Ola Zuri has taken her own life experiences and transformed them into stories for young children with the hope that transracial families will use the books in the series to help start discussions within their own families. Many young children will identify with the character in her books and come to realize that they are not alone in their feelings of isolation. I hope all transracially adopted children have the opportunity to read these books with their parents.”

Dianna Mortensen, Adoptive Parent, British Columbia

"We like the way all of the kids start being friends and playing together. The little dolls are cute too!"

Jennifer and Jordin, 8 years old, Ontario

"I read the book, french and english versions. I liked it and I feel there is a real need in our community to provide educational resources which showcase the complexities of diversity."

Karen Ragoonaden, PhD, Faculty of Education, UBC Okanagan, British Columbia

"I went to your website/blog. Your book looks very interesting. I will look into ordering a copy for our Lending Library. We lend books to adoptive and foster families"

Laveda M. Doxey, LCSW, Families First Project Coordinator

Georgia Center for Resources & Support: Serving Adoptive & Foster Families, Georgia

"This resource certainly aligns well with our early years English Language Arts, and to some degree with our Social Studies and Physical Education and Health curricula. In all of these, we emphasize that learners have the opportunity to explore the diversity of families and encourage teachers to use resources that reflect diverse family compositions, and this of course would include multicultural or transracial families. The fact that it is a Canadian publication is also important."

Honourable Peter Bjornson, Minister

Education, Citizenship and Youth, Manitoba

" I checked your website and your books look amazing. Thank you for your remarkable contribution of offering such an authentic insight of the ‘inner issues to the outer relationships’. I sincerely wish you God’s best in your continued endeavours. Our community is blessed to have you among us."

Lorraine Richmond, Leadership Coach, Evangel Church, British Columbia

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