Interview with Mom’s Choice Award-Winner Tasha-Nicole Terani

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! As part of our ongoing interview series with MCA winners, we have with us today award-winning author Tasha-Nicole Terani. An internationally recognized, she recently received the Mom’s Choice Gold Award for her first children’s book, A Tree for Me. This gentle story, aimed at children ages 2–8, is about the journey we all take in search of unconditional love—and provides wisdom about where to find it.

MCA: Welcome, Tasha-Nicole, and thanks for joining us today. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit more about yourself?

I am a nine-time world record holder in soccer and a United Nations Envoy for International Youth Soccer. Additionally, I am the Creator and CEO of the renowned TNT Soccer Training System for kids. In 2009, I founded a nonprofit organization called the Every Child’s Dream Foundation. Through this 501(c)(3), we provide essential supplies and specialized care packages to orphanages, hospitals, foster care centers, shelters, and disaster relief efforts worldwide.

Having been orphaned as a baby, I spent my formative years in an orphanage without any known biological family. At around the age of 2, I was adopted into a family and brought to the United States. Adjusting to my new family was a significant challenge, as I yearned for unconditional love during my youth. It wasn’t until I turned inward that I began to realize how close that love truly was, leading me to thrive.

My interests include working with children, travel, walking, soccer, movies, and music. Music and movies have been sources of inspiration throughout my life and have played pivotal roles in my journey to success. I love to travel because it pushes me out of my comfort zone!

MCA: What a fascinating and varied background! Tell me, for an athlete like yourself, what was your path to becoming a writer like?

I didn’t set out to become a writer; rather, I felt compelled to share a crucial aspect of my personal journey: the discovery of unconditional love. Reflecting on my own childhood and the places where I found solace, memories of a special tree I used to visit came flooding back. This tree provided me with shelter during my most challenging times, offered me unconditional love when I felt it was out of reach, and showed compassion to a lost little girl.

As I revisited my encounters with this tree, a rhyme effortlessly and purposefully emerged in my mind: “My Tree, My Tree, Always there for me!” This marked the beginning of a flood of memories, wisdom, and guidance that the tree had once imparted to me, rushing forward with clarity and intent.

I had a revelation that I want children to know where to look for strength. I want them to learn this skill, this insight, earlier than I learned it. Not to blame others but to build. I wanted to create a beautiful story that effortlessly guides children to look within for love and strength.

MCA: That’s such an important message. What are some of the key lessons found in the book?

The story portrays the tree as a reflective symbol, revealing the qualities and care we must bestow upon ourselves. Through its vibrant illustrations and engaging storyline, A Tree for Me imparts essential lessons on self-acceptance, confidence, and the nurturing of one’s own well-being. It gently encourages young readers to look within themselves for the reservoirs of strength, resilience, love, and self-worth, building a generation of individuals who are confident in their worth and compassionate in their interactions.

At its essence, A Tree for Me tenderly reminds us that, akin to the roots of a tree, our self-care and self-love lay the groundwork for true growth and inner peace. It offers the wisdom that by loving and nurturing ourselves, we in turn love and nurture all that surrounds us.

Gender and race neutral, A Tree for Me proudly upholds the values of inclusivity, embracing readers of all backgrounds, genders, and races. It seeks to awaken within its readers a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature and the boundless potential that resides within each and every one of us.

MCA: Self-love. Inner peace. Recognizing the beauty of nature. All so important. If you readers of your book could walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?

Look within! For so long, I searched for and yearned for unconditional love from the outside world. What I discovered over time is that the love, strength, and support I craved were, in fact, mine to give. The one special relationship that has the ability to change your life is the one you have with yourself.

MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?

The feedback I have received thus far has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have gained valuable insights from the reviews and reactions to this story. Each person interprets the book in their own unique way, drawing from it something personal and tailored to their individual life experiences. It serves as a precious source of insight and a reminder that we are all interconnected, sharing both the joyful moments and the challenges of life together.

MCA: What is next for your writing endeavors? Might you perhaps have a sequel in mind?

A Tree for Me is the first installment in a series of three books that delve into themes of love, nature, nurture, and connection. These stories explore relationships not only between individuals but also with Mother Nature herself.

Winning a Mom’s Choice Award has truly inspired me to continue my writing journey! I am looking forward to the opportunity to tour and participate in some lovely book festivals this year. Additionally, I am excited to share that the next book in the series is currently in progress!

MCA: We’re so glad that you undertook the journey to become an author, Tasha-Nicole. Thanks again for joining us today!

You can learn more about Tasha-Nicole Terani and her award-winning book, A Tree for Me, by visiting her MCA Shop pages.

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