A wonderful guest post by Cynthia Reyes on The Story Reading Ape’s blog on the back ground to the very popular Myrtle the Turtle series illustrated by Jo Robinson. Please head over to read the whole post as it is a wonderful children’s book that resonates with adults too.
I once wrote a story to comfort my young daughter Lauren, who felt rejected by classmates for bringing her beloved black Cabbage Patch doll to school. Lauren was deeply hurt by their rejection.
The bedtime story I wrote for Lauren was about a purple turtle who goes to extreme lengths to change her colour so she can fit in with the others. Myrtle the purple turtle became part of our family’s life but we had no idea how she would affect our lives in the decades to come.
Fast forward nearly 28 years to October 2017: Myrtle makes her big debut. Her story, illustrated by artist Jo Robinson, is published. It receives rave reviews from readers and various media.
Canadian Living, Canada’s top magazine on family, food and home, publishes a glowing review:
“Inspired by the experience of one of her own daughters, Canadian writer Cynthia Reyes has penned a story with delightful characters and an ever-important message: every one of us is different, and we’re all extraordinary.”
Lauren and I hit the author circuit, talking with well-known media interviewers, parents, teachers — and hundreds of children in their schools.
I need her help. I still struggle with the impacts of a car accident; she senses immediately when I’m flagging and steps in at the right moments.
But Lauren brings her own strengths to these visits. And though I’m the author, we’re equal partners. She eloquently tells interviewers and audiences how being read the story of Myrtle, over and over, renewed her confidence in herself as a young child, and helped influence the adult she became.
Listening to her being interviewed that first time, I’m stunned. It’s fascinating to hear her talk about Myrtle’s impact on her life.
We listen to the children.
We realize that we’ve hit on a key theme in the lives of children: everyone feels different in some way, and everyone wants to be accepted. Surprisingly, almost everyone has a story of a time they were left out, rejected, and the times when others came to their help.
Please head over to read the rest of the post.