LISTENING LUCAS LISTENS TO LETTERS COVER REVEAL IS TODAY!
Lucas takes a walk one day and collects all the letters in the alphabet in his handy dandy red wagon! He thinks about words that start with each letter and imagines wonderful images of those words on the page! It is an adventure that engages us all, finding our voices as we discover and develop our language.
“These letters,” said Lucas, “They help me say words,
“Are really quite cool. Ask questions, exclaim!
They sound pretty awesome! They teach me my lessons.
They totally rule! They help me play games!”
Why did I write Listening Lucas Listens to Letters? And more importantly why should you read Listening Lucas Listens to Letters to your child?
Part of my motivation in writing Lucas was to balance my female lead character in my first children’s picture book, Pensive Penelope Thinks About Words, with a book featuring a male lead character. I know that sounds old-fashioned, and maybe a next book will feature a gender fluid child. But more importantly, I hope to create balance between the genders so readers can see that it does not matter what our gender, we all develop our language and find our voices. It is as important for one gender as for the other—we are equally tasked and challenged to do so. So hopefully my body of work teaches us that kids of all genders are equals, playing and working side by side, equally empowered.
My first love, language
Secondly, I wanted to stay with my first love, language! Because we all learn, develop, and strive to communicate, language is critically important to everyone. And reading books to children about language development helps them become better readers. My goal is to give kids opportunities to work with, be familiar with, and think about letters and sounds. Becoming better readers is critical to our development, and I hope and intend for my books to encourage and help children to read often and to read well!
Thirdly, I wanted to see Lucas travel. In reality, he may be walking in his neighborhood near his house, but in his imagination, he travels far and wide! A royal feast in a castle! A picnic in a meadow! A small-town market and a carnival! He imagines himself in different settings with different characters and finds joy in what the letters help him to experience. Travel opens horizons and changes attitudes, so Lucas travels!
Strong, Capable, Imaginative, Self-reliant
Fourthly, I wanted to show Lucas out in the world on his own. He is a bit older than Penelope, and he has the skills and the confidence to explore the world on his own! I spent my entire childhood running our neighborhood with my friends, and it built confidence and self-reliance in me. Lucas is exhibiting that he can do things on his own! He can entertain himself! He can explore and learn new things all by himself! He is strong, capable, imaginative, and self-reliant, a worthy role model for us all!
Ready to go home
And fifthly, even as Lucas ventures out to explore the world on his own, at the end of the day he is ready to go home. Home is where he eats and rests and appreciates his day. This part of the story depicts the value of ritual in our lives, of having a place that is sanctuary, of knowing the tasks before us when we arrive. But Lucas’s imagination has not gone to bed yet! The letters live out those tasks and rituals along side him…brushing their teeth, bathing, tucking themselves into bed. Mom is there and she is welcome. But Lucas brings his imaginary friends into the room with him where they all rest together for the coming day.
I am proud of Lucas. He reminds me of my own two sons. This book is dedicated to them! They lived their childhood years much as Lucas spends his day—all to our pure joy!
I hope you enjoy Listening Lucas Listens to Letters. The book is available now on all your favorite online platforms, including bookshop.org and indiebound.org, both independent, non-profit online platforms for small local bookshops.
I however have not yet received my first box of printed books, so the offer I made to my newsletter subscribers last week still stands and is now available to you, my blog readers! You can contact me directly at [email protected] and pre-order Listening Lucas Listens to Letters! The special price is $12 for the book and $3 for the shipping and handling IF YOU ORDER NOW before that first box arrives on my doorstep! The printers’ delay is your advantage!
And if you’d like to sign up for those newsletters, also let me know at [email protected].