What inspired you to write A New World in My Room?When my kids got to that age - you know the age when they are climbing out of cribs and crying in the middle of the night because they have gotten too big - I struggled over how to transition them successfully into a “big kid bed”. I had anxiety about them feeling safe and my own fears of having NO control over when they were able to get up in the middle of the night. What if they fell down the stairs? I researched how to keep them in their room and almost every suggestion was to make this a special event. The suggestion to make the child comfortable and give them ownership really sounded like a great idea. I started my search online for a book about the first night in their new room and was unable to find ONE book on the subject.
This was to me an important right of passage. WHY out of the thousand of books that I saw was their nothing to make this transition special.
We had a wonderful time shopping for their new rooms and making them special until the big reveal. It was a magical day and the kids immediately felt ownership over their new space. At this point, I decided that writing a book on the subject was my mission.
How long did it take you to write A New World in My Room?
A New World In My Room took me a day to write but several months to tweek and revise. Because it is a 12 page picture book suitable for the age of the child, I had to make sure it was written in a way that was magical and loving. I went through about 12 different versions before I settled on the version that was published. This was a rewarding process and the book was better each time.
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?
The books that really stuck with me over the years were the ones with magical qualities. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak was one book that transported me into a new magical world. I felt that a child’s imagination was so powerful that it can create a new world just from a thought. A New World In My Room has that same quality.
What was your bedroom like when you were little? What was your favorite thing about it?
My bedroom was full of rainbows. I chased them as a child and every rainy day waited outside for a hint of this painting in the sky. This was my favorite thing in the world and my room was decorated - to reflect that ideal. Along side my bed was a magical picture of Sleeping Beauty while she was petting her horse and all the forest animals surrounded her. To this day, I have the print framed. I spent countless hours drawing and reading in that room and it was the one place that was all mine.
Can you describe what your dream bedroom would look like today (anything goes!)?
If I wasn’t married, that would be easy :o) My room would be filled with the rich and vibrant colors of an Indian Market. The bright colors would fill the room and sparkling beads would adorn every pillow. I would place vibrant paintings on the wall of far off places that I would like to take an adventure to, if only in my mind.
What should parents expect when a child graduates from a crib to a big-kid bed? Can you give us some hints on how to design a great kids bedroom?
The most important thing that I can suggest is make the child’s room theirs! Do not impose your decorating sensibilities to their space. If they like Star Wars and you don’t care for it, do it anyway. The most successful way to transition them is to let them is to put their personalities into the room. They are growing up and wanting more control and ownership. Most times we have to say no as parents to their requests because we see the consequences and want to keep them safe and happy. This is a simple way to give them the control they so persistently request.
The next thing is they will get up in the middle of the night looking for you. The simple fact is they need us and they need to get accustomed to sleeping differently and autonomously.
Where can our readers learn more about how to handle the transitions kids go through when moving up from a crib to a big-kid bed?
I found a great article on www.babycenter.com written by a pediatric sleep disorder expert Deborah Lin-Dyken. Entitled How and when should I move my child from a crib to a bed?
Some other great links include:
Easing the Transition to the Toddler Bed
10 Easy Ways to Fire Your Child’s Imagination
Are there any more children’s stories you have planned for the future?
I do have another project that is almost complete. I enjoy the process, love the creativity and feel that we can create magic with our words. The next book is titled No Matter What. It is a story about a special little boy Dommy and his magical best friend Brutie Dog. A special kind of love that teaches Dommy that when we love, it does not matter how we change or our loves ones change but that what is important is the way you feel when that person is there for you.
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