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Growing with My Family

A day in the life of different children and their caregivers living in an urban neighborhood.

Photo of Lin Hsu

Written by

[Each sentence will be its own two page spread.]

In the kitchen, my grandma cooks with me. [Illustration note: making breakfast]

On the street, my mommy and daddy walk with me. 

On the bus, my godmother sings with me. 

At the grocery store, my daddy counts with me. [Illustration notes: numbers 1, 2, 3 will appear over fruit/vegetables]

At the park, my mommies pretend with me. 

After school, my brother plays with me. 

At the library, my grandpa reads with me. 

At home, my uncle laughs with me. [Illustration notes: television is in background, but is turned off]

At the table, my family eats with me. 

In the bath, my sister swims with me. 

At bedtime, my mommy reads to me. At bedtime, my daddy sings to me. At bedtime, my nana counts with me. [A fold out page showing all three scenes at once. illustration note: nana is counting sheep.]

All day long, I grow with my family.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

A board book with each spread depicting a different child in the 0-3 age range with caregivers demonstrating diverse ethnicities, cultures, and family structures. The settings represent the backdrop of a typical day of a child in an urban neighborhood.

Share your suggested book title

Growing with My Family

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

In the kitchen, my grandma cooks with me. On the street, my mommy and daddy walk with me. On the bus, my godmother sings with me. At the grocery store, my daddy counts with me. At the park, my mommies pretend with me. After school, my brother plays with me. At the library, my grandpa reads with me. At home, my uncle laughs with me. At the table, my family eats with me. In the bath, my sister swims with me. At bedtime, my mommy reads to me. At bedtime, my daddy sings to me. At bedtime, my nana counts with me. All day long, I grow with my family.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Each scene shows a child's perspective during an interaction with their caregiver using repetition of both wording and sentence structure. I am specifically highlighting relationship markers and giving examples of caregivers that children will learn to be familiar with. I chose to use a simplified text in order to accentuate the illustrations which will bring the story to life. I envision the medium to be a board book allowing the child to help turn the pages and participate during reading. I also want to subtly show a television turned off in the background of a child playing with a caregiver to show that human interaction is much more beneficial than screen time for this age group.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have visited the city a few times and each time I eat at Cafe La Maude because they make the best soy chai I have ever tasted.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The book starts in the morning and ends with bedtime to depict the activities of a child's typical day with their caregiver. I hope to showcase a diversity of families participating in these activities and how they coexist within the settings of an urban community. The bedtime scenes are to be displayed simultaneously to emphasize how each family can be unique but also alike. Each sentence is also highlighting different ways a caregiver can communicate with a child and how consistent simple interactions will teach a child over time.

Location: Country

United States of America

Location: State or Department

California

Location: City

Fresno

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a mother and a physician who is an aspiring children's book author. I regularly read to my children and love finding new books that we can enjoy together. I believe that interacting with children through reading, playing and pretending is how we can help our children develop into strong well-adjusted adults. In this book, I aim to highlight how these interactions benefit both the child and the caregiver.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I would like realistic illustrations similar to these shown by Floyd Cooper and Rachel Isadora. Alternatively photographs would allow for the readers to see more facial expression and help with facial recognition. Babies love to see pictures of other babies. I think a board book is the best medium for this age group so the child can interact with the book themselves since it is sturdy.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

10 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Thu-Trang Tran
Team

It's a wonderful way to help kids learn relationships & showcase different lived experiences. I have one suggestion, the end pages with reading are all women (mommy, auntie, nana), perhaps add/swap in a male (eg grandpa that read at the library?).

Photo of Lin Hsu
Team

Hi! I had thought about that too. So since you commented on it, I changed it back to an older draft that included a male at the last scene. Thanks for your input!

Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Lin Hsu  Welcome to the Challenge Community!
Lovely story of child's unique interaction with all his/her's family members.
How might you evolve your manuscript to make it more conversational, to help them with their child’s learning development as they narrate the story? You can find some inspiration in the Final Toolkit and Challenge Resources listed on the challenge page

Photo of vijaya Hebbare
Team

Beautiful concept. The illustrations will richen the story.

Photo of Fatima El-Mekki
Team

Hello Lin,
I love the title of the book and the story. Do you think you can add something like "At the table, my family eats with me broccoli and carrots " " My grandmother sings with me the alphabet "
I know it may be more than 250 words but it open up more the idea. Good luck !

Photo of Lin Hsu
Team

I was planning on this being shown through the illustrations. So the family is eating veggies and the song coming out is wheels on the bus or a,b,cs- less words is best for this age group.

Photo of Fatima El-Mekki
Team

Oups! Sorry I missed that, it's my mistake. I reread your manuscript and get it. I'm sure it's going to be an amazing book!

Photo of Kelly Andrews
Team

This book really embraces the challenge! I love to see the diverse interactions.

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

The daily routine of the personas life experience. Interesting story line.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Nice spread of family members as many families are made up of so many different characters.
Good luck to us all.