Thursday, July 7, 2011
Interview: Children's Author, Linda Valderrama
Joining us today is Linda Valderrama, author of Brush Barry Brush. This is a children’s book geared toward preschool age children.
Welcome. Thank you for joining us today, Linda. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I have over 30 years experience as a dental hygienist working with patients from 3 to 100 years old. I am a graduate of the Ohio Sate University and I have practiced in Dayton, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, Geneva Switzerland, and San Diego California. I have always been a strong believer that good oral hygiene leads to good overall health and well being. Our book will help parents to work with their young children to achieve this goal. “Brush Barry Brush” is a unique children’s book that helps instill in young children the simple but very important notion that every time that they eat, they should also brush their teeth.
I am a member of the American Dental Hygienist Association, the California Dental Hygienist Association and the San Diego Hygienist Society. I have two grown children and enjoy working out at the gym, hiking and cycling.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
When my children were very young, I saw how much they enjoyed reading and having books read to them. I decided that some day I would write a children’s book concerning my area of expertise.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
I am very passionate when it comes to teeth and taking care of them. I see first-hand with my patients how stories are very effective in educating young children 3-7. Right now I want to write a series of books that appeal to children. Books that they will want to read or have read to them over and over again.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
I don’t think so. I know what worked for my children, what stimulated their interest and the type of books that they loved so much. Also over the years I know what worked for my very young patients to arouse interest and get the children themselves to want to hear the books over and over again.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Introducing a young mind to new ideas is very gratifying.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases. Statistics show that 50% of the children have cavities even before they reach second grade. The good news is that it is mostly preventable! Brushing after eating is one of the things that can make a big difference. My book is meant to motivate children and their parents to instill the good habit of brushing after eating at a young age. Especially now in this economy where many people are unemployed and losing preventive medical benefits, children and their parents may be forced to temporarily skip non-emergency appointments. Motivating children to brush their teeth in this context becomes even more important.
My book is meant to get across the idea to eat, then brush, eat, brush, etc. The funny characters and colorful illustrations created by artist Sudi Memarzadeh, the interactive stickers and brushing chart are meant to motivate young children. Also, you will find that one character eats dark chocolate and one eats a jam sandwich. All of this is meant to cause discussion about nutrition . What are “sometimes” snacks as opposed to snacks that you can eat more often? The food that the characters eat starts with the same letter and word sound as the name of each character. Children have fun thinking of vegetables that start with the same letter as their name. Also children like the colors and will probably pick out a character that they like the best!
What inspired you to write it?
Early child hood caries (cavities) is at a crisis level even here in the USA. 50% of young children have cavities before they reach second grade. It is one of the most prevalent chronic childhood diseases, yet it is mostly preventable. Since this is my area of expertise, I wanted to write a book that would get across the very simple idea that tooth brushing after eating is important and a key factor in preventing decay.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
“Brush Barry Brush” is available as an interactive book with chart and stickers at:
*Posies and Ponies Children Store, La Jolla, California, (858) 551-0434,
*The Yellow Book Road Book Store, San Diego, California (619) 463-4900,
*Fireside Book Shop, Chagrin Falls, Ohio(440)247-4050
*Our review has been made available to Wisconsin’s public school systems and public libraries and we are now in the Book Review Index which is published four times yearly for academic, corporate, and public library systems .
* It is now available as a recordable e book at Ripple Reader
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
What is up next for you?
Ready or not, I am working on a sequel to “Brush Barry Brush” .Since Barry still has more to learn , it will be a flossing adventure with the same group of friends. Also I am working on a Spanish version of “Brush Barry Brush.”
Do you have anything else to add?
I have been a dental hygienist for over 30 years and always loved working with children. My work with these patients gave me the idea to write a book like this for young children. In my own experiences over the years with patients and with my own children growing up I could see what strategies worked and which ones did not. Younger children are now showing up with decayed teeth. Statistics show that 50% of the children have cavities even before they reach second grade! My book is meant to motivate and educate so that the good habit of brushing after eating becomes routine right from the start, at a young age.
This has been an informative interview. Thank you for spending time with us today. We wish you much success.
*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.