It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague to the blog today. Nicole Weaver is a teacher of languages and is a children's author who writes her books in those same three languages as well. Hello, Nicole!
NS My Sister is My Best Friend is your third children’s book to date. Please tell the readers how this book came about and what your vision is for it.
NW I got inspired to write My Sister is My Best Friend after I met my half sister for the first time in 2008. We immediately became best friends. My imagination took off. I began thinking about what it would have been like if I had grown up with her. I came up with a very positive story that portrays twin sisters who get along and enjoy each other's company instead of being yet another typical story about sibling rivalry.
My vision is my book can be one that inspires sisters from all over the world. I want people to realize it is far more important to concentrate on positives. I am by nature an optimist. I love what you wrote when you reviewed my book. Your words portrayed quite well my vision:
“The three languages, English, Spanish, and French add to the globalness, and the girls become "every girl." Similarities are so much more important than differences in today's tiny world, and Nicole's books prove this to be true.”
NS Give us a bit of insight on your other two books and how they came to be.
NW My first book titled, Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle is based on true events of my childhood days in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I lived with my father near the beach. Sea turtles came to shore to lay their eggs within walking distance from my home. I loved watching the mother turtles lay their eggs and later return to the sea. One unlucky turtle was stuck on the beach and much to my dismay; my father and uncles had plans for the poor turtle. In short, Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle is about what happened at the beach so many years ago.
My third book is very similar to My Sister is My Best Friend. My Brother is My Best Friend is currently under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing. It is a story about two twin brothers. A blogger left a message on my blog asking me to write a book about twin brothers, and that is how I came up with the idea to write the manuscript. Much to my delight, My Brother is My Best Friend came to be.
NS I know you teach languages and incorporate them into your books as well. Please tell us how you feel about the importance of doing this within your work.
NW I write all of my children’s picture books in English, French, and Spanish because foreign language studies help students increase their vocabulary and thus make it easier to become better readers. Excellent reading skill is essential when taking tests. French and Spanish share many cognates with English. The study of either language will help a student with his or her other classes. Many studies show language-learning correlates with higher academic achievement in standardized tests. Armstrong, P. W., & Rogers, J. D. did a study with a group of third graders in 1997. The students were taught entirely in Spanish for thirty minutes a day three times a week. At the conclusion of the study students in the Spanish classes scored significantly higher than the group that did not receive Spanish instruction in math and language on the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT)
Many schools are now making major efforts to offer world languages because such study will help students in other academic disciplines.
As a foreign language teacher, this is why I take great pride in writing all of my children picture books as trilingual books.
I believe that all children should have the opportunity to become multilingual world citizens. I am convinced a solid foundation in world languages is an essential component to maximize students’ success in the global community and workplace.
NW My readers always want to know how an author balances his or her day, particularly with a full-time job. Can you tell us a bit about how you work this magic?
My full-time job as a French and Spanish high school teacher is so fulfilling it does not feel like a job. I so enjoy teaching that I recently started teaching a class one night a week at my local community college.
My love for other cultures and languages makes it effortless for me to write children’s picture books that I know will make a difference in our ever-growing global world. I used to spend a lot of time watching television. Now instead I spend my time writing.
NS What is next for you, and how far along is the idea or manuscript?
I am working on a manuscript, which is currently being critiqued. I think the manuscript should be ready for submission soon. I wrote a story about fraternal twins. I thought it would be great to complete the series. My first book is about two twin sisters, second book about twin boys and now the third about a boy/girl twin.
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