Book Release Q&A: Do You Think Differently
1. Why a children’s book?
In 2020, BONUM responded to the challenges of the pandemic by providing mental wellness resources for adults in the workplace through MetaTalk. As the holidays came this year, I wanted to create something for young minds.
By portraying the advantages of neuro-diversity, my hope is to support the growth of innovative thinking in children.
2. Can you tell me about the book?
The story is about our main character’s discovery of the various ways people think, as the kids in the neighborhood share with him their hidden disabilities. By the end of the story, our character finds an appreciation for the beauty and ability in his own thoughts and feelings.
3. What was the inspiration?
As a learning scientist, I have always been fascinated by the beauty of the mind and wondered why others overlook or don’t appreciate all its variations. As a society, we put such emphasis on conformity that we miss the brilliance in difference. My inspiration was the brilliant minds I’ve met throughout my life. This is my way of saying, I see you and I think you’re beautiful.
4. How is this children’s book different than others?
Inclusivity and engagement are important to me, so I’ve included features for both. By using gender-neutral emojis, I hope all readers can see themselves and their community in the story. I purposefully didn’t name our main character or his pup as an invitation for our readers to be a part of the storytelling as co-authors. A mindful script is included to help kids relax at bedtime and activate the subconscious so the positive message becomes a part of their learned experience. For daytime readers a hidden picture hunt maintains active participation. Lastly, the story is written in cellphone text bubbles to mirror the communication of today and support paired reading.
5. How long did it take you to write the book?
A rough estimate is about 170 hours of work went into the creation of the book.
6. What did you learn when writing the book?
I have been an author and editor in the academic world for quite some time now, but working on a children’s book required me to develop new skillsets and another perspective. For example, I underestimated the amount of time needed to develop illustrations. I learned a new (to me) graphic design application that made the process fun, but is an involved technical process.
7. What surprised you the most?
While researching the various intellectual and learning disabilities, I was pleasantly surprised to learn more advantages that come with each. For example, people with dyslexia are known to have a wider or better peripheral vision. I couldn’t include all of the information in the story, but I’d encourage people to look for the good in everything.
8. What does the title mean?
The title, Do You Think Differently, asks the reader to consider the ways their thinking may be unique or special to find acceptance and appreciation in themselves and of others.
9. What did your audience think of the book?
I don’t know yet, but I’m interested in seeing how people react and engage with the story.
10. What are your characters doing now?
I’d like to think our characters are exploring and wandering their world- being amazed by what they find and discovering more about themselves in the process.
Do You Think Differently
Available on Amazon:
ASIN: B08R9N93BN Digital 2.99
ISBN: 9798586421654 Print 6.99
(prices subject to change)
Recommended Reading: The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron