If you had a chance to read our review of the book you probably know already that a) this book is about a joint mother-daughter journey into the green world and b) Eco-Libris collaborates with the publisher, Beaufort Books, and the author, Suzanne Corso, to encourage the readers of this wonderful book to green up their reading and take a step to support the environment by planting a tree with us for their copy.
The book is already receiving enthusiastic feedback and endorsements. On March it was selected as Book of the Year by NWYA's NY Reads Program, which is a program of New York Women’s Agenda (NWYA), a city-wide book discussion based on the reading of one book selected each year.
We felt that there's much more to explore about this great book and interviewed the author, Suzanne Corso, about her muse, the shared green experiences with her daughter and what children like about this book.
(Suzanne Corso on the left in the launch party of the book with actress Lorraine Bracco. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Corso)
Hi Suzanne. Please tell us what brought you to write this book
My daughter, Samantha. She is 10 years old now and she came to me 2 years ago came to me asking questions about the environment and she also wanted me to write something with her, and the result is the 'Sammy and Sue' series.
What is your favorite part in it?
Experiencing it with my daughter - driving a hybrid car with her, going together to Whole Foods, changing bulbs to energy saving bulbs, etc. I enjoyed explaining to her while we were doing it and she enjoyed learning as kids like to learn through visuals.
You did this green journey together with your daughter. Did it bring you closer? do you recommend other parents to team together with their kids and explore the green world together?
Definitely. It's a win-win and I recommend it to every parent - take your children to journeys, explain to them about recycling, food, cars and so on and you'll find it not only helps to raise the awareness of your kids, but also brings you together.
What are the main changes that you and Samantha made in your daily life following your journey?
There are many changes. A major one is food. We eat better and healthier food. We have this pack where Samantha eats super well on week days and then on the weekends she can enjoy herself with whatever food she wants. Eventually, I find that even of the weekends she wants to eat good food.
How did it influence her?
She is much more aware now to environmental issues. She helps me to explain kids about green issues such as recycling. When it comes from her it definitely helps to reinforce the message.
What is the feedback you're getting?
I get great feedback from both parents and children. I'm a mother, not an expert and parents can easily relate to it and to the idea of taking baby steps to make a difference.
Do you think children are capable of understanding the issues at stake?
Yes. When we have reading events for kids they always have questions and want to learn more. The best way is to use simple terms and relate to daily activities they know such as brushing teeth (keep the faucet closed while we brush), recycling newspapers, and so on. In the book I added a glossary at the end to help simplify difficult terms.
This is your first children's book. How is it in comparison with other writing you did?
I wrote before the book a novel and a screenplay and I can say that once you're a writer, you can write anything. But here I'm also extending my writing into further activities for kids and I founded and serve as the chairwoman of Sammy and Sue Enterprises, LLC, which will design and market a 3-D virtual world filled with games for kids with environmental themes. We plan to offer the first games at the beginning of 2010.
What are the upcoming titles in the series?
The next title is "SAMMY & SUE WITH ELEPHANTS IN AFRICA TOO"!, which takes place in Africa and combines both environmental and animal themes, as it will also a journey to save the wild elephants in Africa. This book will be released in January 2010. The title afterwards will be SAMMY & SUE EATING HEALTHY AND EXERCISING TOO!.