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.
Greetings to our Mom’s Choice Awards readers, and welcome to another fascinating conversation with a recent MCA award-winner. Today we’re delighted to welcome Anne Lacourrege, author of the children’s picture book, The Greatest Treasure. A woman of many interests and abilities, this first-time author drew upon a lifetime of memories to create an inspiring tale for early elementary school children—one that holds a critically important lesson about what really matters.
MCA: Anne, let me congratulate you again on your Mom’s Choice Award—and on your very first book! It’s a pleasure to hear from you. Why don’t we start the interview by you telling us about yourself.
I am a wife, mother and accountant and was born (and raised) in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans by the Mississippi River. Although I’m business driven, there has always been the desire to do creative writing. I love being with my family and doing family things like board games. I enjoy cooking, walking around my neighborhood, and cross-stitch.
MCA: It’s interesting that you’ve always enjoyed creative writing. What was your inspiration for writing The Greatest Treasure?
The inspiration of this story came in 2005 when my father was dying from Alzheimer’s. He was a wonderful gentleman who enjoyed life and believed in the goodness of all. He had been a very creative artist in the French Quarter in his younger years. He always appreciated the simple things, like the beauty of a butterfly or rainbow. The story was written as I sat by his bed one night and thought of all the wonderful times we had together. The story was forgotten until Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, particularly the Ninth Ward. In his memory, and for all that New Orleans means to me, this story was written.
MCA: What a lovely tribute to your father. Why don’t you share with our readers what the story is about?
Lonely child living in a large shot-gun house built by a ship captain in the Lower Ninth Ward in front of the Mississippi River levee. The house is mysterious, with a closed door between two apartments. The story develops as the child hears a voice encouraging her to open the door, but it is locked. Ultimately, the key is found and the voice is discovered to be the old sea captain who originally built the house. The child is scared to open the door, but at the same time her curiosity is piqued. What lies ahead for the child and the meaning of this ghost who is trapped in the house?
MCA: That’s a wonderful premise for curious young minds! If you could ensure that readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
The book is intended to advise young readers to treasure what they have and the special family/friends (whether blood relation or not) in their lives. You have one life to live, so enjoy the journey and be present for those special to you.
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
The response has been wonderful. One reader from England stated, “This is a great book to have in any child’s library as it talks about a treasure that is worth far more than gold or silver!!” Another reader said it is “entertaining, amusing, and a feel-good adventure, highly recommended for all younger children.” Another reader asked about “basements in New Orleans.” Yes, we call our first floor that is open-air “basements,” which is a lot different than the definition in other areas of the country.
MCA: Having children become aware of cultural differences can be so enriching. Since The Greatest Treasure is your first book, I wondered if will there be other books that readers can anticipate?
The main character in the book is Lily. Several readers have asked me to do a “Lily adventure series,” so I’m thinking that might be the next book.
MCA: It’s good to hear that you’re likely to come out with some followup books to this enchanting tale about Lily and what’s most important in life. We wish you the best—and look forward to reading her further adventures!
You can learn more about Yvonne M Morgan and her award-winning book, The Sad Little Wildflower by visiting her MCA Shop pages.