KIMMIE AUNTIE SAYS … a new series from Kimberly McArthur
Let me tell you a story–
I fell in love with India the first time I visited over a decade ago. The gritty elegance, swirling vibrancy, design flair, rich history, beautiful land, warm people– it was true love. You can see I loved it– I gush even now.
I wore a sari, dodged rickshaws, laughed my way through my ineptness. For every year after that first visit, I connived my way by hook or by crook to come back to India. I gave business lectures, visited temples and mosques and churches, volunteered at schools. I floated along in houseboats, trekked on camel safaris, and traipsed about seeing as much of the country as I could. Over a decade, my trips to India were crucial brain and soul scrubbings to keep me alive and balanced.
India had cracked me open, demanded my ardor, and reminded me God is the only one who really knows what in the world is going on. And I wanted to stay that way.
For many years I co-owned a business in America– www.FreeRange.com is a design and marketing business that focuses on telling the most important stories the world faces. We worked on campaigns for human rights, the environment, literacy, domestic violence, food, health, women’s issues. It was blissful hard work to use our talents every day in service of our passion. However, I had no idea it was also setting the stage.
I never dreamt I would live in India. But now I do. And I was taught as a child that what you love, you give to. I have tried to give to India in a variety of ways. The Me and We series is my latest gift– an offering of love to a country that I adore.
The Me and We is a series about vital learnings in social awareness. The Me part is lots of things kids need to understand as individuals, such as safety and health. The We part is lots of things kids need to understand to interact responsibly with the world, such as sharing and environmental awareness. As parents (and aunties), we want our children to be healthy and happy and grow into contributing adults… and, of course, experience awe and wonder of adventures along the way. I hope these books help. As with every book in the Me and We series, there is a resource page of discussion questions and activities for parents and teachers. I hope these books can simply help parents open doors to vital conversations and learnings with their children… as well as offer a dash of delight!
For me, delight comes from the thrill of creation…. of making something as truly and brightly as I can. In the past I have often created with color, line, form, textures, and people. But creation comes in many ways. I am lucky that creating stories gets to be one of my ways.
However, I am NOT an illustrator. I can’t draw to save my life; even stick figures from my pencil look pathetically anemic. But we are blessed with the brilliance of illustrators Ayeshe Sadr and Ishaan Dasgupta who made the characters and stories spring to life. They, frankly, rock. As does Scholastic for seeing the possibilities of these stories. Thank you doesn’t cover my sentiments– I am deeply indebted.
And now, the Me and We series is kicking off with two of my favorite kids– Max and Vidya. Superhero Max wants to be healthy — and he knows that means a holistic body, mind and heart. The social butterfly Vidya just wants her friends to be safe– and so teaches them principles through puppet jingles to keep kids out of harm’s way.
I do hope you love them as I do.
P.S. Expect to see more of the Me and We series this fall with the launch of a boxed set of five titles. These will get you started… but plenty more to come! If you would like to send me ideas for future subjects, please do! I’m happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org