Girls Don’t Take Karate
by Susan Sweenie
Illustrated by Jillian Dister
One little girl who is in love with the color PINK and all things “girly” discovers her love of karate and how fun it can be to try something new and different. With the help of her parents and karate instructor, she learns that if she tries her best, she can do anything!
MY THOUGHTS: 5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Girls Don’t Take Karate by Susan Sweenie
Chloe is a really girly girl. Everything she owns and wears is pink, and she won’t hear anything about wearing other colors. She loves being a girl so much, she is upset when her mom signs her up for karate classes–because girls don’t take karate!
What I particularly loved about this book is that it teaches kids an important life lesson in a way they can understand. The author did a really great job of portraying events from a child’s point of view.
I read this book to my four year old son and he thought it was funny. He understood what I read to him, but I paraphrased some things, as I found some of the vocabulary in the book may be for readers a bit older (around 5 or 6). We enjoyed the illustrations, and he laughed when he saw Chloe making funny faces. When we got to the line that read, “Who needs pink…?” he replied, “Not me, Mom!”. LOL. As we finished, he said, “That was a fun book.”
Such a cute book, with a really important lesson. It teaches kids that they shouldn’t be scared to try something new…you may be happy with the things you’re comfortable with, but you may love something new even more!
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1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother of two girls, aged 6 and 9, and I live outside of Boston. I am a freelance writer and also a PR Consultant, working out of my home office.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I remember a teacher in my history class telling my mother that I was meant to be a writer. At the time, I thought she was crazy, but my first college internship was at a TV station in Boston and it was there that I learned a bit more about journalism and my passion grew from there. As PR person, I write on a regular basis, but the topics are usually relating to software or apps and not quite as fun as writing a children’s book.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
My family absolutely gives me my inspiration. My daughters inspire me with their questions. They ask about things that I was not even aware of at their age. It blows my mind sometimes.
4. Why do you choose to write children’s books?
Someone once told me to write about something you know well….and I know children well, so I thought about what type of book my children would benefit from and what was missing. The best part of our day is bedtime, reading books from our “library” and telling stories. I thought long and hard about what types of books would inspire my children and the topic of a girl trying something new (that normally only boys do) seemed like a good fit. I was right!
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
The hardest part is finding the time to really sit down and get thoughts on paper. There are always distractions and being able to really concentrate and be effective, takes a lot.
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Lots of coffee and a comfy chair.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
There is one series that really sticks out in my mind. It was given as a gift to my daughter when she was a baby and I just loved it. The series is authored by Amy Hest and all about a bear named Sam.
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Somewhat. When deciding what Chloe would look like, I tried to make her a combination of my 2 daughters, one is blonde and one has curly hair.
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
Next up will be a book that will bring some awareness to autism. I haven’t nailed down all the details and been playing around with something for a while, but I do feel that a big problem right now is that more and more children are being diagnosed but their peers do not really understand what autism is. Many of these children are integrated into classrooms with children who do not have autism and I think that if we give our children a better understanding into the disease, it would help.
10. Why do you love writing?
I love writing because it gives me a chance to express myself non-verbally. As a shy person, you will rarely see me speak up about something or be a “story teller in person, but a book gives me the opportunity to get my thoughts on paper. It is very therapeutic.
About the Author
Susan Sweenie is a public relations consultant and freelance writer who resides just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She is the mother of 2 girls and has been writing for over 15 years. She has always envisioned bringing the stories she has told to her children, to life. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and this is her first book.