Let's Hear It For Almigal Guest Post and Giveaway!
Posted by Krystal Larson at 1:04 AM Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I can easily spend an entire afternoon browsing around our Boca Raton Barnes and Noble, Starbucks in hand. But after our three granddaughters were born, I found myself spending most of that time in the children’s section looking for books that would encourage them to climb into my lap for story time and cuddling. We all fell madly in love with Goodnight Moon, I Love You More, Fancy Nancy, and Eloise…the list is endless.
Now backtrack to 1977 when my passion for all things related to hearing loss was ignited. My 10-month-old baby girl was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss and we were told that she would never speak. (I’m happy to report that the doctors were wrong and that Ali is a total chatterbox, just like her mother.)
But it wasn’t until becoming a grand-mom that I recognized the lack of characters wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants in popular children’s books, and my passion was fiercely reignited. I suppose that reaching “nana status” gave me a new perspective.
Why aren’t there more books in the stores featuring characters that are hard of hearing? According to the March of Dimes it’s one of the most common birth defects affecting 12,000-15,000 newborns in the US annually. And this statistic doesn’t even address the children that lose their hearing as a result of childhood illnesses!
Why wasn’t there a Ladybug Girl with cochlear implants? Or a
Junie B. Jones with hearing aids? ( Junie is now our new personal favorite as the girls have gotten older.)
So, I jumped right in vowing to create something special for kids that were hearing impaired. WOW…talk about a learning curve. I had absolutely no idea of how to accomplish this goal, but I had made up my mind to do it. Furthermore, once I announced to my three granddaughters that “Nana is going to write a children’s book about Aunt Ali” there was no turning back.
Writing and publishing Let’s Hear It For Almigal was a two-year project and a true labor of love. I quickly discovered that “it takes a village” and I was so fortunate that all the right people came into my life to make this happen. I built a wonderful team (which included my incredibly supportive and humorous husband) with all the expertise that was needed. And how lucky we were that Tammie Lyon agreed to illustrate Almigal!
With great humility, I boast that I couldn’t be more proud of Let’s Hear It For Almigal and for so many reasons. I was determined to create a book that would help hearing-impaired children (and ALL children) feel good about themselves and to shed a positive light on our differences. I was determined to create a character that was as full of personality and as adorable as my daughter. I was determined that the finished book could easily sit on the shelves of any bookstore next to Pinkalicious and Olivia. I was determined that this book would be the same quality as the hardcover books published by the major publishers.
But most rewarding of all are the comments and emails I’ve received from parents…"thank you for writing this book" and "you can’t help but fall in love with Almigal". Just this week a mother wrote,
When I read this book to Lily, the moment I said 'cochlear implants' her eyes got big and her mouth fell open. I didn’t realize just how impactful this type of story could be for her. Seeing a lively little girl who talks non-stop, loves pink and wears cochlear implants was definitely someone she could relate to.
And of course I am extremely proud and tickled at the excitement of my three very special granddaughters…Zoey, Sofie and Blake.
My hope is that children and parents everywhere fall madly in love with Almigal and her friends, and look forward to her future adventures. I personally can’t wait to see what’s next for Almigal. We have some interesting ideas still in the planning stage. Stay tuned!
Check the book out here!
For a chance to win a copy of this book leave a comment with your address. USA, ends 8/14 Thank you very much for stopping by!
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