Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers, thank you for joining us, and welcome to another interview with one of our amazing honorees! We were lucky enough to chat with Sarah Stillman, the author behind the Mom’s Choice Award-winning children’s book, Little Histories for Little People: George Washington! Little Histories for Little People: George Washington is the story of George Washington’s life as he leads the colonies to freedom and becomes the first president of the United States of America. Little Histories for Little People: George Washington is an easy read that makes teaching your little ones about important historical events fun and enjoyable! Keep reading to find out more about Little Histories for Little People: George Washington and the author that made it all possible, Sarah Stillman!
MCA: Hi Sarah, thank you so much for sitting down with us for this interview so we can get to know you a little better! The “Little Histories for Little People” book series is such a cute idea and a great way to get children excited about learning about history. I’d first like to start the interview off by having you tell us about yourself!
Sarah: I have a background/degree in Geography and have always had a love for maps and history growing up. I currently work in the Geospatial sector and have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and work with various people from all backgrounds. I love spending time with my family and friends whether it be traveling, spending time on the water, or just hanging out. Being able to share our love for history with our young children has brought me so much joy this past year. In my spare time, I like to sit down with a good book ranging from biblical, action-fiction, to historical.
MCA: You really get a sense of your love for history while reading Little Histories for Little People: George Washington. Was it your love of history and reading that lead you on your path to becoming a writer?
Sarah: I have written a few children’s books for college projects in the past and my father has always told me I should write for what feels like my entire life! (call it parental intuition) I’ve always done decent work in school assignments, etc… but never imagined perusing it and getting published! I’ve always had a passion for reading and now I get to pass it along to my kids with my own work.
MCA: What lead you on your journey to writing Little Histories for Little People: George Washington?
Sarah: This whole journey started right before the pandemic hit. I was awoken one morning with God telling me to write children’s books. I had no idea where to start or what to write and just kind of brushed it off. Two weeks later I was awoken again by him telling me to write Children’s history books. It weighed heavy on my mind all day and I listed a bunch of historical people and topics and George Washington stood out to me the most. I came home from work that week, sat down, and started writing. As a mom of 2, both under the age of 4 at the time I knew I wanted it to rhyme and be an easy book to read before bed. I also wanted it to be enjoyable for parents and teach little bits of history at the same time.
That week I saw an advertisement for a publishing company, uploaded my manuscript, it was accepted within 3 days, and the rest is history (pun intended)!
MCA: It definitely sounds like you writing this children’s book was kismet! What are some of the key lessons that can be found in Little Histories for Little People: George Washington?
Sarah: Everyone remembers Washington as the 1st president of the United States and forget that he started out as a normal kid working on a farm. He worked real jobs, never had a formal secondary education, and was a soldier before he became a great general and leader of the free world. In every story we’ve read about George Washington growing up the only thing they ever say was he chopped down a cherry tree and had wooden teeth. These facts have no purpose and aren’t inspirational. Washington was not a perfect man, but he was perfect for the time he was called to serve. He led with strength and honor when his troops needed it most and was the one person the founders could all agree upon to become the first president because of the way he held himself to high moral values and led with integrity.
Also, I was able to put signs in the illustrations of key places throughout the book so the reader can correlate the storyline with real geographical places.
MCA: The illustrations found throughout the story are wonderful and super helpful! History is so important to teach but not always thought about when picking out bedtime stories for our little ones. Can you explain the importance of getting kids interested in their history at an early age?
Sarah: We live in a time where history is starting to repeat itself. Not all history is good and not all are bad, but it’s ALL important. Giving kids an opportunity to learn and realize how America got to be this great nation and the fundamentals needed to keep it that way is key. American history isn’t always glamorous but through hard work and divine providence, we now have the longest standing constitution and democratic republic in all of history. A group of people with various religious and non-religious beliefs were able to put those differences aside to come together and fight for a unifying idea: freedom and self-governance.
Most kids these days can name all the pups in Paw Patrol but can’t name one person on Mount Rushmore and that’s something I’d like to change.
MCA: That’s a mission we can definitely get behind! What kind of response from readers have you received?
Sarah: I have been overwhelmed by the positive responses I have received from readers. The younger kids really seem to love the illustrations and I’ve had some older kids bringing in the books to school as they’re learning about the founding fathers. The books are written for younger children, but I also wanted something that could bring kids and their parents together and even open a dialog to talk about the history and expand on the topics.
MCA: What is next for the “Little Histories for Little People” books?
Sarah: I currently have 2 other books available now: Little Histories for Little People: Abraham Lincoln, and Little Histories for Little People: Thomas Jefferson. I’ve also started writing more books that focus on periods in history and not specifically on historical figures although some will be mentioned in the books.
MCA: That’s so exciting, we can’t wait to check them out! Thank you for a great interview, Sarah, I’m sure we will be talking with you again very soon!
You can learn more about Sarah Stillman and her award-winning book, Little Histories for Little People: George Washington by visiting her MCA Shop pages.