Gravitybread presents Stephanie Sorkin

stephanie sorkin revisedI am happy to present an interview with Stephanie Sorkin, author of two children’s books that are favorites of mine at home. Stephanie’s first children’s book Nutley, the Nut Free Squirrel is about a squirrel that has a nut allergy. Her second book, Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces is about a boy that was sent to school in chocolate shoes. What is he going to do? Eat them of course! I am inspired how Stephanie uses her talent as an author to raise money for important issues in our community and world by donating part of the proceeds of her book to charitable organizations.
I hope you find her responses helpful! There are tips for both parents and teachers. Thanks Stephanie!
1. What inspired you to write Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces? I’ve always loved whimsical children’s stories about things that could never actually happen. I thought that the idea of a child wearing chocolate shoes was something that would be very entertaining. The fact that the shoes are made out of chocolate is fun, since many kids may think, “Wow! I wish that happened to me!”
2. You donate a portion of the proceeds made from this book to an organization called Soles4Souls. How and why did you choose this organization? I love to use my children’s books as a way to raise money for topics that affect children. Considering that my book has a shoe theme, it was a natural progression to choose Soles4Souls. First, I thought that it was great to pick a charity that coordinated with the books theme. Second, Soles4Souls in a pioneer in their field.  They are a very well known organization, providing new and gently used shoes to those in need both domestically and internationally. In the spring, I plan to take it one step further by organizing used shoe drives during my school visits.
3. Can you give any suggestions for how to use Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces in the classroom to meet academic goals?  I love when my book is used in the classroom to meet academic goals! One great way to incorporate it is with a rhyming activity. The teacher can read the class Chocolate Shoes and then have the students choose the word that rhyme. They can also see how many rhyming words of their own that they can think of. Another way to incorporate CS into the classroom would be to have the students write their own stories with a very whimsical theme that could never happen. Their story should have a creative ending as to how the main characters problem can be solved.  For example, with Chocolate Shoes, the main character doesn’t know what to do when faced with the dilemma of have chocolate shoes on his feet! By the end of the story, he figures out a way to solve the very tasty problem! If the school has access to a kitchen, another great activity is cooking the recipe from my book. Cooking helps teach fractions and measuring, as well as the importance of following directions in the proper order.
4. I know you are working on a third book. What is it about and when will it be released? My next book, “Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend”, is due to be released in early Spring. The story is about a child navigating the ups and downs of a difficult, up and down friendship. The child is being bullied in subtle ways. I thought that this was a great topic to wirte about, as many people, including adults, feel as though bullies fit a stereotype. They may be bigger, stronger or look intimidating. In “Frenemy Jane” I break down such stereotypes, bringing to light the fact that bullies come in all shapes and sizes. I also address the issue that bullying is not always pushing or teasing. Sometimes its a repeated behavior such as leaving someone out purposely to make them feel badly. I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to an anti-bullying campaign.

authorStephanie Sorkin lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. To check out her website, click here. Check out Stephanie’s Twitter posts to find healthy recipes and exciting news about her books! 


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