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The Loving Me

This book helps children build relationships and grow an identity of reader and critical thinker of the world - all in the name of LOVE.

Photo of Lydia Criss Mays
5 1

Written by

I love your fingers and your toes.

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I love your eyebrows and your nose.

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I love your smile when you sleep.

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I love the giggle you will always keep.

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I love your hungry “feed me” face.

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I love your tiny hand’s embrace.

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I love you winning peek-a-boo.

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I love your fascination with a firetruck’s woo-woo-WOOOOOOO.

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I love the way your heartbeat sounds.

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I love the way you make my world go around.

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I love you and you love me.

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We are a family of Loving Me’s.

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

The Loving Me is purposefully crafted to foster opportunities for parents to bond with their child(ren) and increase trust building – two important aspects of relationship-building that will guide them the remainder of their lives. Beyond relationship building, the text is written to extend infant and toddler's ever expanding early literacy development (i.e., repetitive text structure, one or two syllable words, age appropriate games, rhyming, identifiable body parts and sounds, etc).

Share your suggested book title

The Loving Me

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).

I love your fingers and your toes. - pg break - I love your eyebrows and your nose. - pg break - I love your smile when you sleep. - pg break - I love the giggle you will always keep. - pg break- I love your hungry “feed me” face. - pg break - I love your tiny hand’s embrace. - pg break - I love you winning peek-a-boo. - pg break - I love your fascination with a firetruck’s woo-woo-WOOOOOOO. - pg break - I love the way your heartbeat sounds. - pg break - I love the way you make my world go around. - pg break - I love you and you love me. - pg break - We are a family of Loving Me’s.

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

As a former teacher and college professor of Early Childhood Education, with a cognate in Literacy and Urban Education, every word of this text is carefully curated to build upon infant and toddler's language development. Beyond language development, I also wrote this book "To" parents to help them understand language as a way to also build upon their child(ren)'s emotional, social, cognitive and physical development. There are three additional components of The Loving Me included in the text: 1) Children's Activity Guide to help parents extend the text, 2) Adult Discussion Guide to help parents understand how to use the text to connect with their child(ren); and 3) a short description of how the text was crafted to further guide parent's understanding of their child(ren)'s development as a reader and critical thinker of the world.

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

The Loving Me is carefully curated for parents to read to their child and make text-to-self and text-to-world connections. Within the book, parents will read how their love for their child is found within the pages of the book. With a nod to the urban sounds of firetrucks, the beautiful piece of this book is that the love of a family happens in homes, apartments, on sidewalks, in subways, in homeless shelters, in taxi cabs and parks. This is a book of love. These words can be read in any setting - and it's always the right setting. Philadelphia is known as the city of Brotherly Love, so in essence, it should resonate quite perfectly.

Location: Country

USA

Location: State or Department

Georgia

Location: City

Atlanta

Website URL (optional question)

www.lydiacrissmays.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I'm a former elementary school teacher and college professor. I obtained my Ph.D. from Georgia State University's Early Childhood Education department where I honed in on my love of literacy; both researching and teaching it. I had the honor of teaching hundreds of teachers and learning from them. Reading and writing children's books has become second nature in my life. I'm the Founder of See Beautiful, a philanthropic organization who funds sustainable projects of non-profits committed to equity, justice, and inclusion. When it comes to values and how I prioritize everything from my writing to my day-to-day work, I'm committed to giving and celebrating how the work we do and the words we choose can make a positive impact in many lives. To that end, I serve on several boards (ex. Plywood People, University of Tennessee Dean's Board of Advisors, Ferst Foundation's book selection committee, etc.). You can also find me at Covenant House, a homeless shelter for youth, every month.

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

Having worked with several illustrators in the past, I have great respect for their vision and expertise and would love to "see" their vision. If absolutely necessary, I can share sample identity, but do wish to let an illustrator use her/his expertise.

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

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Mays, L.C. (August, 2015). The giving me. Atlanta, GA: Our Rainbow Press. Mays, L.C. (August, 2013). The listening me. Atlanta, GA: Our Rainbow Press. Meyers, B., & Mays, L.C. (2011). The long and the short of it: A tale about hair. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. *Award Winning* Mays, L. (2008). The cultural divide of discourse: Understanding how ELLs' primary discourse influences acquisition of literacy. The Reading Teacher I have more publications. No more room to share..

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Direct email invitation

What best describes you? (optional question)

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

5 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Lydia Criss Mays
Team

Itika Gupta - thank you for reaching out. I appreciate you seeing I'm a former elementary school teacher. I'm also a former professor of early childhood education with a cognate in literacy. I might have misinterpreted the invitation to submit a manuscript. The comment below indicates a need to edit/refine the text with a nod to more "objects, relationships and feelings children might see around them." The objects represented in the text are body parts, which are often the first, most relevant "objects" infants and young children learn to recognize (beyond family in general). I fostered that learning purposely within the context of relationship building between the caregiver and infant/toddler. The text count was purposeful to keep the book concise to meet a child's ability to focus during a read aloud. I believe I might have misunderstood this was an open forum for children's book editing. If my submission needs to be removed, I understand. I'm happy to read Emily Matheis work and celebrate her submission.

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