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Opening Doors for Many Children

Diane Hull
Diane Hull Author Interview

Be Proud to Be Blue follows a baby bird that is rejected because of his color and finds his own self-confidence to make friends anyway. Why is this an important lesson for kids to learn early?

We should teach children from an early age to be proud of who they are. A positive sense of self is one of the greatest gifts we can give a child. Talking to children from an early age is important if we are to prepare them mentally for the future.

The illustrations of the frogs and goldfish in this book are my favorite. What is your favorite image or scene from the book?

I really like the scene where Baby bird makes friends with the frogs. They really seem to be having such fun together.

This book was written to be dyslexic inclusive. Why was this an important aspect of the book for you to include?

As an Early Years teacher, I think it is important to help children with dyslexia in every way possible to encourage a love of reading and build their confidence. By producing books with a font that makes the text easier to read, we are opening doors for many children.

Do you have future books planned with baby bird in them?

The first book, “Be Happy to Be You,” encourages children to be happy with their own strengths and individual rather than trying to be like everyone else. I have written a third story about the difficulties Baby bird has building a nest. His mother encourages but does not build the nest for him. The story teaches children about independence and perseverance.

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This book is Dyslexic inclusive; it is printed in a font that everyone can read, including people with dyslexia.

Baby bird wasn’t happy.
He wanted to play with the fish and the horses and the frogs.
But they won’t play with him…
Because he is blue!

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Be Proud to Be Blue

Be Proud to Be Blue follows a blue baby bird that goes out and tries to make friends but is rejected by the other animals because of his color. Baby bird is sad because no one wants to play with him, he doesn’t understand why his color should matter. With self-confidence and pride, he goes back and makes friends anyway, all color differences aside.

In this delightfully illustrated children’s picture book we follow baby bird on a mission to make friends, he’s rejected because of his color, but what I really enjoyed about this book was how baby bird gains the confidence he needs to make friends. He does not need any external force or person to tell him his self-worth, he finds it on his own. I found this to be unique in this marvelous children’s book. This is a great way to teach children to become self-reliant.

Each page has wonderful illustrations that look simple but depict a wide range of emotions in the characters. The frogs were my absolute favorite characters in the book. They were so cute! The illustrations will surely capture children’s attention and keep them coming back to this book again and again. The emotive characters also provide a great learning opportunity for toddlers to point out and talk about what characters might be feeling.

Author Diane Hull provides young readers with an easy-to-read book that helps build reading comprehension with the use of simple words that repeat throughout the story. Be Proud to Be Blue is a fun and educational children’s book that teaches kids about self-confidence, diversity, and inclusivity all in a super fun and adorable way.

Pages: 34 | ISBN: 1643723693

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Diane Hull Author Interview

Diane Hull Author Interview

Be Happy to Be You is a cute children’s story about being happy with who you are. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?

Children are the inspiration for my stories; the children I have taught and my three grandchildren. Joe (6 years), Harry (4 years) and George (10 months). Children are individuals and they are all different with their own characteristics and strengths. I strongly believe that they should be happy to be themselves.

The art in this book is well done and very cute. What was the art direction and collaboration like between you and Jan Dolby?

Having submitted my book to MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, I was introduced to Jan Dolby as a possible illustrator for my work. I was delighted with her drawings; her pictures were a perfect match for my story and her designs for my Baby bird were exactly as I imagined them. I hope that she and I will continue to work together on future Baby bird books.

This story did an exceptional job of driving home the idea of being happy with yourself. Why was this an important book for you to write?

As an Early Years teacher, I understand how important it is that young children are instilled with a sense of their own worth. A positive sense of self is, in my opinion, the greatest gift we can give any child. They need to be proud of their own unique achievements and embrace their strengths. This message is at the heart of my book. Using picture books, we can provide children with strategies to cope with possible problems they may face and offer them opportunities to discuss their feelings with a trusted adult.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My second book, “On Our Way to School,” is due to be published later this year by MacLaren-Cochrane. This is the story of Joe’s journey to school with his mother. Unfortunately for Joe, he forgets things that he will need for the day; his bag, his book, his coat etc. Each time he realises that he has forgotten something, he has to return to his house and set off for school again.

I have recently completed a second book featuring Baby bird, “The Lonely Bird”. In this story, Baby bird is lonely and he sets out to find a friend. Baby bird is unsuccessful it seems…. or is he? I have written quite a few stories but these have not yet been submitted for publication.

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Baby bird wasn’t happy.
He longed to be like other animals.
He wanted to swim and run and jump.
But he had to learn to be happy as he was…
He had to learn just to be himself!

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Be Happy To Be You

The title of the book itself is encouraging enough for one to start reading. Be Happy To Be You takes a simple idea and drives it home with a lovable character, cute art, and an entertaining story.

The art in this book is beautiful. The images are appealing and match the tone of the story. The very first sentence in the book reads “Baby bird wanted to swim. He looked at the fish in the river.” “I wish I could swim in the river like the fish,” says the bird. “You can fly high in the sky,” replies the bird’s mother. This is a good example of the message this story carries throughout the book. Even with everything the bird wishes for, he is always reminded of the things that he does have.

Reading on, one can conclude that the bird feels inadequate with the things he has. Just like humans, the bird wishes for more. The bird’s mother plays a big role in making the bird understand that he can’t have everything he wants. I think kids will be able to make the connection with the animals on the page and easily see the parallels in their own life.

The bird keeps wishing for more throughout the book. He sees the horses and wants to run around the field like they do. He sees the frogs on the lily pad and wants to jump like the reptiles. In every situation though, mother bird shows how caring she is and reminds the bird of the things he can do, that other animals can’t.

Like most guardians, mother bird was always concerned with the bird and tried to make him feel better any time he felt low. A loving and caring mother is what every offspring wishes to have. I appreciate the author’s use of animal characters to bring out habits that are often seen in people. I think this is an important lesson that children of any age should learn.

Be Happy To Be You is not only entertaining, but also informative. The coloring and stunning drawings make the book both entertaining and fun to read. The images of the frogs were my absolute favorite. I wish I could put them in a frame. Every young person who struggles with not being satisfied with what they have will find this book educational.

Pages: 32 | ASIN: 1387596985

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