Olivia: Hello Imani. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Imani: I am a nine-year-old girl who loves to dance, sing, do art, play the violin, and play with my friends. I also love fairy tales, myths, and animation. So far, I love to write! I also love my new book!
Olivia: What inspired you to write a book?
Imani: My baby brother inspired me to begin to write and still does! One day, I was sitting on my porch and I saw my brother watching a show about planets. And that is who inspires me and why.
Olivia: How did you come up with the title?
Imani: At the moment, I was thinking of something fun. Like a party. That's how I came up with "Disco balls of the Universe".
Olivia: What inspired you to write this book?
Imani: My teacher, my brother, and my mother. When I was in third grade, I had an assignment where I had to write a poem for each season. Then, one summer day, I was sitting on my porch and my mom told me to write a poem for her. Then, when I was thinking about what to write, I saw my brother watching a show about planets. That's when it all started.
Olivia: Are any of your characters based on real people?
Imani: The main character is me!
And Venus was based on Venus, the tennis player. It was just funny that the planet named Venus and the actual tennis player Venus had similar speed lol!
Olivia: Where do you write?
Imani: In the summer, I love to sit outside and write, read, or play with my brother. When it's cold, I like to sit in the family room because that is where everyone gets together. I like to sit outside because I get a good view.
Olivia: What is your favorite book?
Imani: Well, I don't have 1 specific favorite book, but I do love mysteries, science, and funny books.
Olivia: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself, your book, or your family?
Imani: I love my family a lot. I also love my book and so does my brother. I am also the owner of Magitots and I am currently learning how to run it. Magitots is an online store that features children's fashion and educational toys and books such as Disco balls of the Universe.
Olivia: Will you have a party to celebrate?
Imani: Yes, Saturday March 3rd 2-4pm at The Harvesters located at 54 Granby St. Bloomfield, CT 06002. Here is the event link.
Olivia: I am so proud of you, Imani. You are going to be a very successful author. You can be anything you want to be. Just keep working hard at school and building your career as an author and entrepreneur. Thanks for accepting this interview. Lauren Simone Pubs wishes you the best of luck!
Imani: Thanks Olivia.
Three best friends
Author: Robbin Miller
Editor: Jennifer Niles
Publisher: Self-published, 2017
Robbin Miller has published her second picture book entitled, Three Best Friends. Meet Max Thomas, a wheel chair bound boy who is excited about the opening of a new playground and the opportunity to play with his able bodied, best friends, Sophia and Xavier. To his disappointment, the park is not accessible for wheel chairs and leaves him feeling humiliated and stigmatized. In a very child appropriate tone, the story introduces children to the topic of ability, diversity, and bullying. The moral of the story is that all children should be able to play together, however inclusive playgrounds are costly to build. The illustrations were brightly colored and had diverse main characters (White, Black; male, female; abled, disabled). I give this book 5 stars for its creativity, important social content, and representation. You can get your copy here.
While reading this book, things the reader may consider: Is handicapped or special, acceptable terms to use for a child in wheel chair? Why aren’t more parks made accessible to all children? How important do parents think it is for children to play with a variety of children? According to the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey (2014), 74% of parents who responded think it is important. Inclusive environments foster increased social interactions, meaningful friendships, appreciation and acceptance of individual differences, understanding of diversity, respect, empathy, and emotional growth.