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.
Welcome back to our readers! We’ve had some wonderful interviews to share with you recently as a continuation of our interview series, and today is no different. We’d love for you to meet one of our Mom’s Choice Award-winning Honorees, Sue Greenberg. Sue is the author of Elliott’s Tails: The Adventures of a Baby Horse, and we’re sure you’re about to fall in love with her and Elliott. Read the full interview below!
MCA: Hi, Sue! Thanks for spending some time with us today. We’re excited to share your work with our readers. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sue: I’m originally from Rochester, New York and was raised in a great family with my parents and five younger siblings. My parents relocated our family when I was 12 years old. At 15 I had the best birthday present ever- my parents bought me my first horse! There’s a lot of love and hard work in taking care of a horse. It taught me a lot of responsibility. I enjoyed spending time at my barn taking care of my horses. They’re amazing animals. They show so much love, and have a lot of personality.
I’m also a Four H leader with a bunch of really great kids. These kids have their own horses and love to show them. We also do a lot of community service. We recently had 35 foster kids spend the day at our barn learning all about the horses. The kids enjoyed it so much!
I’m also a pediatric nurse. I love working with kids, if you can’t tell! It’s been an exciting year for me. I wrote my first children’s picture book about my baby horse, Elliott, which is what brings me here!
MCA: We are so glad your life experiences led you to writing about your passion and your sweet horse Elliott! Speaking of him, and as he’s the inspiration behind your book and the main character, tell us all about your Elliott!
Sue: My book Elliott’s Tails is a true story about my baby horse. I named him Elliott because his mom’s name is Ellie. Elliott is a handsome, loving, intelligent baby horse who loves people, attention, and his favorite treat, peppermints! He has such a great personality. He plays with this huge ball that is twice as big as he is. He makes funny faces to get you to laugh, like sticking out his tongue, showing off his teeth. If he’s playing outside in the pasture and you call his name, he runs into the barn to see if you have a treat for him. He turned two on March 25th, and my Four H kids gave him a birthday party.
MCA: He sounds like such a special friend and companion! So, obviously Elliott inspired you to write a book, but what made you want to share him with the world?
Sue: I decided to share Elliott in a children’s book because there are so many kids that come and visit Elliott and just love to watch him play. They enjoy hearing about his adventures, so I decided to write a book so I could share his tales with a wider audience. I wrote Elliott’s Tails so that all children can learn about young horses and see that they have a lot in common with Elliott; like having friends, exercising, and eating healthy. Elliott loves to have fun, just like kids do!
I wanted to share Elliott and his adventures because there’s a lot to learn from my book about horses in general. There’s also an adorable custom Elliott plush that goes with the book. I wanted my readers to have Elliott to snuggle with when they read his book.
MCA: What a sweet idea! I’m sure it’s been a joyful thing to watch others, especially children, enjoy Elliott just as you have. Animals have such a special place in our hearts and bring so much good to the world! What kind of reception has Elliott, and Elliott’s Tails, had with the people who read it?
Sue: Elliott is well-known in the community. Since he was born, he’s had a lot of followers on Facebook, and so many people that have bought his book and plush have sent pictures of their kids with it. They write how much Elliott has been an inspiration in their kids’ lives, almost like a friend. One little boy takes him to school every day! Another person wrote to me that their daughter keeps Elliott’s book under her pillow and reads it every night, and sleeps with the plush, too.
I am having a fundraiser on November 10th to raise money for a children’s hospital in St. Pete and Tampa General’s pediatric ward, so that each child would receive an Elliott plush and book on Christmas Day. So many people in the community have volunteered to help.
I have been doing readings at local schools, and the kids have really enjoyed learning all about Elliott. They snuggle his little plush during the story time, it’s so cute!
MCA: It sounds like Elliott is really a force of good in your community! We love what you’re doing with your fundraiser for children who need a bit of encouragement. How has being a pediatric nurse influenced your goals and dreams for your book?
Sue: I’m so thrilled that the children’s hospitals are excited to give every child in them a book and plush during their stay. My Four H kids and myself will be going to the hospital to personally deliver them. When a child is sick, it means so much more to them to snuggle with something soft, and hopefully Elliott’s story will make them smile!
MCA: It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to meld your occupation as a pediatric nurse with your passion, which is horses, Elliott, and your book, Elliott’s Tails! If you could make sure your readers walked away with one take-home idea, what would that be?
Sue: That a horse brings happiness and unconditional love to everyone around them. He makes me smile every day!
MCA: Sue, thanks for sharing yours and Elliott’s story with us! We are so glad to have you both as part of the Mom’s Choice family, and look forward to many more adventures that you’ll share with us and your readers.