We are so excited to have award-winning children’s book author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen with us today. Not only does Sudipta share stories with children through her books, she also visits schools and connects with children around the country. The Author Experience has been fortunate to have her as part of our team so we asked her to write something about stories and the importance of taking the time to notice and share them.
Over the past year, while we’ve all been living through the global pandemic, there are many things I’ve missed. Dinners out. Parties with friends. Family gatherings. Traveling on planes. Going to concerts. And, as an author, school visits.
There is a thread that runs through all these disparate things — every one of them involved sharing stories. Losing so many of these opportunities has shown me how central the act of sharing our stories is to our humanity.
Not being able to read my books directly to groups of kids has been disappointing for me. But, if you can believe it, it isn’t so much these “big” stories that I miss sharing — it’s the little ones that never make it to a published page, like:
- What I was doing when I got a particular idea.
- Who inspired a certain character.
- What reaction an early draft got from a reader.
- How my children rolled their eyes when I told them about a new project.
There’s a temptation to wait until there’s an important story to tell before we reach out to the grandparents, nephews, cousins, past neighbors, old friends, and everyone else who is so difficult to actually see. But don’t wait for that important story…because they are all important stories. Our stories connect us. They make us more real to each other, Being willing to share your stories is a concrete way to show you trust someone, that you care about their opinions and feelings, that they are important to you. Being willing to listen to someone else’s stories is proof that the person matters.
So start sharing your stories. We’d love to hear them.
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is an award-winning children’s book author whose books include Chicks Rock, Chicks Rule, The United States vs. Jackie Robinson (2019 ALSC Notable Children’s Books List), Duck Duck Moose (CBC Children’s Choice Award Finalist), Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (Junior Library Guild Selection), and the Purrmaids chapter book series. She has visited schools and libraries for the past 15 years, talking to kids about writing, reading, and finding their voices. Sudipta lives in Princeton, NJ with her husband, three children, and an adorable pug named Roxie. You can learn more about her and her books on her website sudipta.com.