I am a stay at home mom and have been for a long time. I homeschooled my first two children for eleven years. They are now 19 and 16 years old. I enjoyed the experience immensely, especially when they were young and curious about the world, and everything they learned was fascinating to them. We spent hours poring through books, and reading stories during those years. It was a gift to be able to give my children the kinds of experiences I wish I had had, educationally growing up.
In 2016 we moved to a small village in a rural area where we did not know anyone. My third, and youngest child was nearly 4 at the time. My husband and I decided we would enrol her in public school to get to know some of the other kids. She is in senior kindergarten this year and loves it.
The decision to public school suddenly left me with hours of child-free time every day. I knew I didn’t want to work outside the home as I have a mild disability and chronic pain that make that difficult, so I set about doing the one thing I had always said I would do – write a novel. And I did! And then I set it aside, needing a break between the writing process and editing, and found myself in need of another project.
I knew I wanted a project that would be smaller, that wouldn’t consume months or years of my time, so I decided to make a children’s book. This led to a book that I have currently in process, titled In This Picture. It is a hidden object book that uses real photos unlike most of the black and white, simple cartoon style hidden object books I have seen on the market. It combines two of my favourite things – books and photography.
Then came four more books. This time I focused on readers. During the school week, from Monday to Thursday, my youngest brings home a book to read. She is an advanced reader for her age and went through the beginning level readers very quickly. The readers she brings home now, based on her reading level are basic and boring. They are not usually stories, which she prefers, but nonfiction (nature, science or industry based) books. They are short and contain little, if any knowledge she doesn’t already know at the age of five. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if she had access to books that were like short in length, that kept her attention, taught her something new and interesting, and that she could read mostly herself with little help. And with that, I set about designing a set of readers called Read About Books. This series of books , which I plan to continually add will cover a wide variety of topics for curious kids that are learning to read and not yet ready for, or intimidated by, a comprehensive, sixty page book on a particular subject.
And so my journey as a children’s book author had begun. Currently I have planned another hidden picture book as well as a “what’s wrong with this picture” book for preschoolers. I am learning some basic graphics and illustration and hope to make use of that someday as well.
Thank you for visiting my website. I would love to hear from you! Please send me your feedback, questions, book ideas, etc. And if you have purchased or read one of my books, please leave an honest review on amazon.com.
~ Elle Simms