No matter where you stand, everyone can agree that the current political climate is very heated. The news is full of stories about harshly worded tweets, travel bans and building walls, and there is level of national tension unlike ever before.
Author Patty Costello, PhD, was thinking about this as she marched with her one-year-old son at the 2017 Women’s March. She, like so many parents of young children today, wondered what kind of world her son would grow up in. How could she teach him about kindness, compassion and inclusivity when so many of our nation’s leaders seem to emphasize just the opposite?
It was right then that she felt inspired to do something, and decided to write a children’s book that would teach kids to embrace those with differences and tear down the “walls” that keep us separate. The result is her debut title geared toward readers ages 4-8, Catalina and the King’s Wall (May 5, 2018, Eifrig Publishing).
Catalina and the King’s Wall follows Catalina, a brilliant and busy baker who works for a tyrant king. When Catalina hears of the King’s plans to build a wall around the kingdom to keep the neighboring village out, she fears her family won’t ever be able to visit her again. Catalina tries to trick the King into building a wall that won’t stand up to the wind or rain – but he keeps demanding something more and more impenetrable. In the end, her cookie dough wall does remains steadfast in the face of a fierce storm, much to Catalina’s chagrin. At the last minute, she tricks the King into giving into his gluttonous ways, as he eats the entire wall, and Catalina is once again reunited with her family.
“Catalina and the King’s Wall is a fun story, but it also teaches kids how to stand by their convictions and practice inclusivity and compassion, even when powerful people tell them not to,” says Costello, who has a PhD in neuroscience and is the program director of the BS Psychology Program at Walden University.
Available for interviews around the launch, Costello can speak to topics such as:
- Why and how you should talk to your kids about race and bias today’s heated climate
- How to best use storybooks to teach children about inclusivity and diversity
- Mad about something? Make a difference! Five simple ways to start being an activist for change
- Using neuroscience to combat hate: What science says about raising implicitly and explicitly compassionate children
- Current events: Do we shield our kids from them or talk about the good, bad and ugly?
Patty Costello, PhD, lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, a zany awesome toddler, a dog named Pippa, and a dog named Spencer. She grew up in the Twin Cities and is a Minnesotan at heart (you betcha!). She has a BS in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Costello currently works as the program director for the BS Psychology Program at Walden University. At all hours of the day (and night), she can be found standing at her desk, helping her university run smoothly and working on her next children’s book, which follows her debut title Catalina and the King’s Wall. For fun, she likes to trail run, mountain bike, cross country ski, and hike. She is also a voracious volunteer for various local organizations.