Helping children feel good about themselves through the power of positive affirmations and self-loving social emotional tools is at the heart of everything I do. I created this series because affirmations helped me develop a stronger sense of self in my adulthood, and I wanted to provide those tools to all children.
Growing up, I wasn’t super girly-girl. I was raised around boys. I didn’t have a Barbie or know about princess stuff. While I played sports and was in scouting, my passions were singing and writing. I had a big imagination that I kept private from others and always talked to “imaginary” people.
I attended an inner-city school and had friends, boys and girls, from all walks of life and all over the world. You see all of this in my books because it was my reality then and is the same for many children now.
I created the treasure box with tools of love concept, featuring seven tools for seven affirmations, to help children understand their own feelings by way of seeing and understanding — empathizing — with what the characters in my series experience. We often learn about ourselves by way of stories about others. We feel more understood and connected when we know someone else has experienced what we’ve been through and feel as we’ve felt.
That’s why children feel close to Kathryn the Grape. They get to hear and see her interior world, which is often similar to how children feel but don’t have the words — the tools — to express themselves. Through Maggie the magical butterfly’s guidance, children learn along with Kathryn the Grape to understand and share their feelings.
I didn’t have these tools as a child, and when I sought to provide them to my son, I didn’t find an appropriate resource in the self-help section. So I created it.
I launched my first website on this day 10 years ago, 11/11/2010. I launched the series with a strong and widespread start, but then had to completely restart everything from ground zero twice over the course of the next nine years. It’s been a long journey, but one worth taking.
In many ways, 2020 has been the fresh restart I needed. Kathryn the Grape has grown during this pandemic and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share with you and your children. Through storytelling, I will continue to do my part in creating a more loving, compassionate, unifying and harmonious world. That’s my hope and it energizes my mission.
The treasure box concepts are introduced to the youngest of children in my Kathryn the Grape Let's Read Together Series book, "My Treasure Box with Tools of Love". Then, as children age-up and their reading engagement increases, the seven treasure box affirmations are shared in more life-story relevant detail in the award-winning seven-book Kathryn the Grape Affirmation Series.