Sandra, the founder of Kindness Kangaroo and Anxious Alligator, is empowering kids through her books
"I am Sandra Wilson from Ontario, Canada, and I am a children’s book author. Since childhood, I have wanted to be a writer. After graduating, I got married and started looking after my kids. When my kids grew up, I finally got the time to focus on my dream, and since then there is no looking back. For almost 35 years, I tutored many kids and always felt a special connection with them.
Hence, I started the 'Emotional Animal Alphabet' series. The first book was about the Kindness Kangaroo who has various things in his pouch and gives them to people to spread happiness. The idea popped up when I was in a grocery store, and I witnessed a man who was furious because he could not get a discount. I pulled out a coupon I had and helped him get the discount. This small action made him really happy, and this led to the start of the character Kindness Kangaroo.
We all have different ways to show kindness. We could give someone a coupon or let someone go past us in traffic. But kids have a completely different perspective for kindness, and I wanted to understand their point of view. Hence, I started visiting schools to speak to kids about kindness. Their views helped me put the stories together. In fact, the illustrations in the book are also drawn by the kids. One time, a 4-year old drew something that I could not understand, but I felt it was her interpretation so the drawing must be featured in my book. The series featured 26 books, such as Anxious Alligator, Kindness Kangaroo, Messy Monkey, and many more.
When COVID-19 hit, all the schools were shut. I had a lot of time in hand hence, I decided to continue my meetings with kids virtually. This way, we all could still meet and write books. All kids continued to draw their interpretations and share those with me via emails. We have worked on three books, which were part of the COVID-19 series. The first book is about the Clean Up Crew, which honours the importance of hygiene and the people who are working tirelessly for us in the field of sanitation and waste collection. The second book is about the Kindness Crew, in which we have focussed on people who are helping others and going above and beyond. For instance, some kids shared that they have been writing letters to the elderly in retirement homes. The third one is We Need You Crew which is about the frontline workers and their sacrifice only for our safety.
With this initiative, the kids I speak to or work with feel empowered to be able to contribute and make a difference. This makes them feel that they are being heard. With their help, I have written 43 books. To instil a sense of inclusion in children from a young age, I have made sure to incorporate characters that have physical and academic differences. Growing up I never had such books for myself, and I had difficulties relating to disabled kids or people. So, I stepped up to ensure that children today do not face this and grow to accept more.
My books are available on Amazon and can be bought by anyone across the world. I have also written books that have views and inputs from home-school groups, church groups, and therapy groups. It is about giving an opportunity to those whose voices need to be heard."
You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Sandra Wilson for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.
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