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Meet an Author: Alicia Ortego

Alicia Ortego is the author of the My Superpower Values series, consisting of eight heartwarming picture books that teach children about essential values such as kindness, tolerance, and gratitude.

With over two decades of experience as both a schoolteacher and a passionate children's book author, Alicia brings a wealth of expertise to her work. A devoted mother of two, she is a firm believer in the importance of home education in shaping children's character from their earliest years.

Each book in her Superpower series is a vibrant exploration of one value, brought to life through whimsical storytelling and enchanting illustrations that empower children to learn important life lessons.

In this special Q&A, Alicia talks about the inspiration for her beloved series and what makes the books so popular with children and their families.

1. What inspired you to write your Superpower series?

The inspiration for the series originated from the profound impact of kindness in my life, particularly under the influence of my grandmother. Her remarkable kindness and care served as a guiding light, teaching me valuable lessons not just through words but through the way she lived.

My picture book Kindness is my Superpower is a tribute to her, aiming to share the warmth and comfort that kindness brings. As I delved into writing, each subsequent book in the series unfolded organically from my desire to impart valuable lessons and evoke positive feelings in young readers, much like the experiences I had growing up.

2. Tell me a bit about the different books in the series and why you chose those particular values to discuss.

Each book aims to address essential qualities for navigating life successfully, both personally and socially. Various themes, such as empathy, self-awareness, resilience, inclusivity, and mindfulness, are woven into the narratives to make the stories more relatable and impactful for young readers.

The choice of values reflects the collaborative input from parents, educators, and children who provide valuable ideas for integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) themes.

The inspiration for my eighth book, Love is My Superpower, came from a touching story shared by a couple from Canada about their son Bowen. He was a fan of the Superpower series but unfortunately passed away. This book, centered around love, was inspired by Bowen's radiant spirit and became a heartfelt tribute to him.

3. What do you think makes these Superpower books so popular with children and their families?

The popularity of the Superpower books among children and their families, I believe, stems from my approach to writing. I create stories that I would want my own children to read and that embody the values I wish them to embrace.

Each title in the series employs rhyming couplets and vibrant illustrations to deliver essential lessons in a captivating and accessible manner. Overarching themes, such as kindness, mindfulness, acceptance, gratitude, confidence, honesty, patience, and love, are woven into the fabric of the series.

These values resonate with families seeking meaningful content that contributes to the moral and emotional development of young readers. The series thus becomes a powerful tool for character development, providing a positive impact on the mindset of children and their families.

4. What kind of feedback have you got so far, and is there any in particular that stands out for you?

The feedback has been wonderful and truly overwhelming. I receive numerous emails from readers who are positive and supportive of my work. It's amazing to have many schools and libraries reaching out, especially during Kindness Week, expressing interest in collaborating with me.

The validation becomes even more apparent when I hear how classes have responded to breathing and calming techniques from my book, Breathing is My Superpower.

My heart also swells with joy when I receive pictures of children proudly wearing their “Kindness is My Superpower” badges.

Knowing that these books will be read by many in schools and libraries fills my heart with love and gratitude. I send a heartfelt "thank you" to all who have contributed to making this happen.

Follow Alicia Ortego on Facebook and Instagram.

Download her free Kindness Cards.

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