A powerful message about acceptance is hidden in this engaging kids’ tale.
Milo and Monty are very different dogs. Monty enjoys hugs and noisy playtimes, but Milo prefers to avoid people and hide in a cozy, quiet space. One day, during a family reunion, Milo finds cousin Henry is hiding in his special space. Like Milo, Henry finds hugs uncomfortable, dislikes loud noises, and has a favorite toy that he takes everywhere. Milo and Monty is a heartwarming story about family and the small changes we can make to accommodate the needs of others. We caught up with author Roxana De Rond as she shared with us her inspiration behind the book and the impact she hopes it makes.
How did you get started as a children’s book author?
I started as an illustrator telling stories through my pictures long before I added words. To me, drawing feels like a natural way to express an idea and I tend to see a picture in my mind before I think of the text. When I did an MA in Children’s Book Illustration a few years ago, we were encouraged to write our own stories, so this is when I started to write the accompanying text as well.
What sparked the idea for Milo and Monty, and what drew you to it?
I have two labradoodles, who can be so expressive that sometimes I forget they are not human. They have their own attitudes too. Bandit loves to be fussed over, while Milligan prefers a quieter approach. I watched how they interacted differently and how that made us feel. It reminded me that people show love in different ways too, although sometimes it can be confusing to understand. I wanted a book that would show these differences without labels, to allow room for discussion and understanding.
Who do you hope this book reaches, and what message do you want them to gain from it?
I hope this book will help children recognize that others can experience emotions differently. It is not always obvious why people do things a certain way, which can lead to confusion or upset. I hope Milo and Monty can serve as a talking point towards understanding the differences that make people who they are, and finding ways to appreciate those differences.
For parents reading Milo and Monty along with their children, what questions could they ask to ignite deeper discussions and learning?
I would encourage parents to delve into a deeper discussion of empathy, perhaps asking their children if they ever feel a bit like Milo sometimes. I find that recognizing a similar feeling in oneself, however brief, can help to understand that feeling in others.
What’s been the best response or experience since Milo and Monty has released?
Soon after my book was released, I got a message from someone who had bought Milo and Monty for their child. As soon as they had finished reading it, their child demanded they read it again! I think the word “again!” is the best compliment an author or illustrator can get.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
It was a pleasure to work on Milo and Monty. I hope children, and the adults reading with them, will enjoy both the story and the illustrations, however many times they read it.
To see Roxane read the story, check out the video below:
Thank you, Roxana, and Child’s Play, for the opportunity to learn more about you, what inspires you, and what you hope children will learn from your book. Be sure to check out Milo & Monty on our website and request a quote for 25+ copies for your classroom or group today!
Child’s Play, an independent children’s book publisher, offers a diverse range of formats and experiences through reading that both enrich and empower their young audiences. Their books are respected and loved by parents and educators alike. For more information, be sure to check out their site.
This post was written by Megan Habel, Brand Strategist at BookPal. She is currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.