An Interview with Sherri Williams: Preparing Kids for the Real World

Oct 30, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1)      Sherri, you have just written a delightful book “The Adventures of Little Mouse”. How did this come about?

I was writing a journal about an experience my daughter had which was a drug addiction that impacted our family and the nearly 10 years that we watched as her life went out of control.  At one point, she nearly died.  During my writing, it suddenly dawned on me that she was like a little mouse that escaped from the mouse hole for the first time and was distracted by all the world had to offer, the picnic, the adventure, etc.   As a mother, I hope that the stories  demonstrate to children the importance of choices and consequences. Because I am also a quilter, I decided to name the first story and those following after quilt blocks and that lead to designing a quilt.  I am now finishing the quilt design book.

2)      It seems that each chapter contains a small lesson or moral. Was this intended?

Each story represents some situation that actually happened and what I hoped was learned from the experience.  The first story is about leaving home for the first time and all the temptations that are in the world as well as learning that your family and home are very important.  The other stories have similar learning experiences and the last story “Too much of a good thing” relates directly to her overdose and what happens when your life is out of control.

3)      Sadly, today, there are more dangers than ever out there in the real world.  How does a parent do about warning children about the dangers?

I think by talking with children and using examples such as these stories that they can discuss with children the dangers, choices and consequences so that as children make larger decisions in life they will think through the choice and what the consequences will be.

4)      Even crossing the street can be dangerous, and car accidents do happen. How much responsibility does a parent have in this regard?

I think all people learn about being a good parent, it doesn’t just happen.  Every tool we can use to help us get good messages across to our children are helpful.    As parents, we are there to teach and guide, the child makes the final decision, so we have to hope we have given them the tools to do the right thing.

5)      Let’s take one lesson from the book- which do you consider to be the most important?

The first story about venturing out on our own and finding that our family is very important to us and the last story that demonstrates the extreme consequences that can happen from bad choices.

6)      Your book is meticulously designed, crafted, and the pictures appealing- who should we acknowledge?

As I was writing the stories, I was imaging what this little mouse would look like.  Had to be modern enough to entertain our children today, adventurous enough for them to wonder what would happen to him and be involved with issues that they could relate too.  My publisher, AuthorHouse located the artist who drew the pictures under my direction.   AuthorHouse also did the design and layout of the interior of the book.  The cover is a drawing by the artist of a sketch I drew which involved at least one element from each of the 12 stories and the cover is what the quilt is designed after.

7)      Let’s face it- kids want to have friends- but sometimes friends can be cruel, dangerous and present problems. How do parents warn their kids about the friends that they should have?

A true friend only wants the best for you.  A “friend” that gets you in trouble, is mean or puts your life in danger is not a friend.  We tried to explain the difference of friends and acqaintances to our daughter.  Unfortunately, she was a friend with everyone and was not able to discern what a good friend was until later in life.

8)      Now, kids go off to school, and are often bullied- does your book speak to this?

In the chapter about friends, it talks about how you should expect to be treated by true friends.

9)      What questions have I neglected to ask?

10)  The quilt instruction book will have the stories along with instructions on how to make the quilt.  I think this would be a good book for a teacher to use in the class to read a story as well as teaching children how to measure, design and create with paper (or fabric).  The class could make it a group project to have a paper quilt on the bulletin board or incorporate some of the blocks into a smaller individual quilt for each child.

11)  Where can readers get a copy of the book for perhaps a gift or Christmas present?

My website is www.sbwlittlemouse.com – that will be the only place to purchase a hard-back book but those are still in production and should be available on the site soon.  The book is on Amazon, can be ordered from bookstores or AuthorHouse Publishing.  I can also sell books on my website.

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