A child's view of her caregiver, whose fluffy arms supply all her needs and represent her worldview.
Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences
Told from the point of view of a young child in daycare, this story will encourage dialogue between caregivers and children about what it means to be cared for, to be kept safe, to be loved.
Share your suggested book title
Nana's Fluffy Arms
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).
My Nana has fluffy arms.
She wears them every day, even when they are covered by sweaters.
When Mommy drops me off before work, Nana’s fluffy arms greet me at the door, jiggling.
I giggle as I snuggle in and wave bye-bye.
Nana fixes breakfast in her yellow kitchen.
Her fluffy arms wiggle, stirring my oatmeal.
After breakfast, Nana plays “Mama-Cheetah,”
crawling on hands-and-knees in the forest.
The sofa-and-chairs are trees. The carpet is soft grass.
Nana’s fluffy arms keep us safe from lions.
Nana and I sing and march around the room.
I bang the drum. Nana’s arms sway to the music.
Nana helps me build a block-tower.
She makes it tall and straight.
When I knock it down, her fluffy arms rebuild it.
Later, Nana puts me in the stroller.
Fluffy arms push me around the park.
Wherever I point, Nana tells me the name.
Nana’s arms reach down under bushes, up into trees.
Nana lifts me gently into the swing.
Fluffy arms push me through air, like a flying princess.
If something scares me, a barking dog, a screeching bus, a whooshing wind,
Nana keeps me safe in her fluffy arms.
After lunch, Nana sets me in her lap with a book and rocks and reads.
Fluffy arms turn the pages, and I help.
After my nap, Mommy comes.
Nana holds me high, like a soaring eaglet.
We giggle, and our foreheads touch.
“Goodbye for today, my special angel.”
Goodbye, my fluffy-armed Nana. I love you.
How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)
The author’s experiences teaching pre-school children, teaching reading, and caring for grandchildren has informed the language and word choices of this story. In addition, the author has given countless readings of her children’s picture book, Naughty Nana (about her mischievous sheepdog puppy) to young children all over the country. These experiences have taught her the rhythms and cadences that children understand and respond to. The text of Nana’s Fluffy Arms contains ideas that can be discussed at a literal, as well as a figurative level. Young children can express comprehension, make inferences, draw conclusions, and make predictions from this simple story.
Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)
I have relatives who live in Philadelphia, and I visit there often. My adult mystery series, beginning with Murder in the One Percent, and including A Palette for Love and Murder, is set in Philadelphia. I've written another mystery, A Murder of Principal, which takes place in an urban school. As an educator, I have spent years in urban communities working with diverse groups of children from preschool through high school.
How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)
Many urban children come from single parent homes, where their parents have to leave them to go to work. Caregivers often become surrogate parents, providing shelter, food, safety, a sense of belonging, and love during the children's formative years. Nana's Fluffy Arms will provide a springboard for meaningful conversation between young children and the adults who care for them.
Location: State or Department
Website URL (optional question)
My website is http://saralynrichard.com.
Tell us more about you / your team
I am a lifelong educator and writer, dedicated to promoting positive intellectual and emotional learning experiences for children of all ages. I have spent the majority of my time in urban schools in the St. Louis and Chicago areas, but my book, Naughty Nana, is in homes throughout the country and the world.
Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)
The attached images are from Naughty Nana, illustrated by Rebecca Evans. Though they represent a different story, they capture the whimsical nature of my vision for Nana's Fluffy Arms.
Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?
If yes, please list titles and publications.
Murder in the One Percent
Do you have an agent?
How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)
The owner of a local bookstore sent me your announcement email.