What inspired you to create Lena of Vegitopia: The Mystery of the Missing Animals?
Once I became pregnant with my daughter I decided to do a search for “vegan children’s books” and came up with a pathetically short list. I was disappointed that there were so few so I thought, “Hey, I have some ideas!” I began writing that very day.
What are you hoping to achieve by publishing your book?
Firstly, I am hoping to introduce options for vegan parents – quality picture books with story lines that communicate their ethics and values in a fun and engaging way. I feel like this is one genre that is seriously lacking.
Secondly, I want to put books out there that can educate young kids about veganism in a way that they can relate to, primarily in a way that is fun, engaging and something that they will want to come back to again and again. That’s how I believe a good picture book works – it’s both fun and educational but enticing enough so that the child will always look forward to reading it.
Have you had any feedback from children and/or adults who have read Lena of Vegitopia?
I haven’t had any feedback directly from children (my daughter is still a bit too young for it) but there has been a range of reviews. They have all been positive which makes me feel really good that the writing is resonating with parents and that their children really seem to enjoy the story and the pictures. The most critical comments I have received seem to revolve around the villainous character in the book and the way the story follows a traditional fairytale theme. What I would like to say about that is, well, I wasn’t trying to write a story about a realistic scenario where a meat-eater decides to go vegan, I was writing a fairytale! I wanted to include a sense of whimsy, that presence of magic that is essential to every great fairytale.
From your experience, are children generally open-minded towards the vegan lifestyle?
They sure are! I’ve never met a single child who thought it was natural to hurt animals. Kids want to be kind to animals and it’s in their nature to have love and compassion for the creatures of this earth.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m just looking forward to a world where vegan themed children’s books aren’t considered a “niche.” I want those library shelves to be stocked with books that advocate and teach about animal rights so that future generations can easily be educated (and educate themselves) about veganism from a young age.
Thank you Sybil!
To buy the book: click here