Guest Post by children’s author Julia Dweck

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PhotobucketI would like to welcome a special guest today to our blog, author Julia Dweck! Julia writes children’s stories for digital and traditional publication. She has a Masters in Elementary Education and uses it to integrate teaching standards and skills into her stories. She is the author of numerous books and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Reader. It’s my pleasure to introduce a guest post from Julia explaining the inspiratoin for her most recent book Cat or Dog For President? If you missed it Sher’s review can be read here.

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What inspired you to write Cat or Dog for President?

Our nation is not an ordinary one given its ethnically diverse population and rich history that have contributed vitally to the shaping of twenty-first century culture in America. As a nation committed to maintaining freedom and opportunities for all, different talents and abilities have been recognized in all aspects of American life, contributing to our sense of awareness and appreciation of what it means to be an American today.

Disasters like Hurricane Sandy draw us together and serve as a reminder of who we are as a nation and what we represent to the rest of the world. Evidence of selfless acts of kindness, courage, reaching out, and caring for others have been significant in news reports. In sharp contrast to what has been reported, we see presidential candidates, on a daily basis, arguing publicly and divisively about both foreign and domestic issues.
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PhotobucketOne of the contributions of my story, Cat or Dog for President, is the way in which it draws on the innocent perspective of a child, in an effort to provide young readers with the opportunity to think about the political process and the true meaning of words, such as kindness, compassion, acceptance, and the importance of diversity in all aspects of human life. Unlike the contemptuous nature of some political campaigns, there are no good sides or bad sides in this story. Instead, there is a sensitive side that recognizes the common good and what it means to create a better world for our community and ourselves.  However, because our fervor can be fueled by a political campaign, we can easily forget that we are all in this together. The same type of well meaning intentions can play out in the pet world as well, with a line being drawn in the sand between cat and dog lovers. These events are something that is easily understood by children. 
In my story, cats and dogs are metaphors for democrats and republicans. In this imagined world, young readers will have the opportunity to gain a fundamental understanding of the political process as they read about each party building a platform, orchestrating a campaign, and thinking strategically about the roles they will play while attempting to win the presidency. 
The conflict between cat and dog will be especially exciting for young readers, as each candidate’s behavior escalates with such a feverish pitch that their words eventually turn into noise. In addition to creating interest, my story is meant to remind young readers to take the time to listen and value the unique perspectives of others. It stands to reason that if people are treated with mutual respect, compassion, and dignity, they can expect the same in return. 

Thanks Julia for such a wonderful post. For More about Julia and her other titles be sure to check her out on Facebook , Goodreads, or her author page on Amazon. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win Cat of Dog For President? or Donuts by Julia! If you missed my review of Donuts, you can read it here. Be sure to leave us a comment!

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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