In 2012, I was working on a nonfiction picture book project about white and black spirit bears in Canada and the boy Simon Jackson who was trying to save them from extinction.
At the same time, my daughter was in fifth grade and was given the awesome task of being a reading buddy to an incoming kindergartner.
And I thought to myself wouldn’t it be funny if the teacher assigned reading buddies to a class of students but one student piped up and exclaimed she didn’t need one because she already had one, a real live bear.
I’m beyond thrilled that my debut picture book speaks to the importance of literacy but I didn’t intend to write a book with a message. I’m just a reader at heart who loves to get lost in stories. Reading transforms.
One of my favorite quotes is by American philosopher Allan Bloom, “If you touch the heart with one book, it can transform a life.”
My intentions are to entertain and I hope that readers find humor and share a few laughs with Mrs. Fitz-Pea, Bear, and Adelaide. But if in the process they find themselves falling in love with reading, then I say, “Welcome to the club – it’s a great place to be.”
I hope you enjoy the book trailer for Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies. If you do—stand on your hind legs and ROOAAARRRR!
Pre-ordering is now available through Amazon.
Carmen Oliver is the author of picture books Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies (Capstone/Curious Fox, March 2016) and The Favio Chavez Story (Eerdmans, TBD). She’s also the founder of the Booking Biz, a boutique style agency that bring award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. Born in Canada, she now lives just outside of Austin, Texas.