Local authors write children’s books with a twist

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As a child, Christine Quaglia loved reading books, but didn’t see herself reflected in those stories. As an adult, she set out to change that by co-authoring a children’s book with a different perspective.

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Charlotte and her dog Shadow’s story explores themes of friendship, empathy, loyalty, and love, taking readers on adventures to their hometown library and Nana’s home. But there is an unexpected twist at the end.

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Co-author Anne-Marie Depape said, “The idea is that there will be a surprise ending and children will learn that Shadow is more than just a pet.

“That surprise ending essentially makes it clear that Shadow will follow Charlotte wherever she goes, but he has a special job.”

The concept for the book, titled Charlotte’s Shadow, is personal to Quaglia.

“One of the main inspirations for this book is my own personal experience with disability,” says Quaglia, a social worker who works with students with disabilities at the University of Windsor. “I was born with a congenital neuromuscular disorder.

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We really appreciate the response we got

“I have been a reader all my life. Books have opened the world to me…and allowed me to go where my body wouldn’t let me.”

“But when I was reading those books as a kid, I never saw myself reflected in myself, so whenever I found myself in a story, I never sat in a wheelchair. “There wasn’t,” she said. “So it was kind of a goal to make this book representative.”

Charlotte's Shadow, a children's book by Anne-Marie Despapes and Christine Quaglia, filmed on Thursday, August 18, 2022.
Charlotte’s Shadow, a children’s book by Anne-Marie Despapes and Christine Quaglia, filmed on Thursday, August 18, 2022. Photo by Dax Melmer /windsor star

It’s the first book written by Quaglia and De Pappe, a developmental psychologist who has written a paper focusing on children with autism.

Kenzie Edge, a graphic designer recently graduated from Fanshawe College in London, provided the illustrations for the book.

Quaglia said the positive response to the book has been substantial.

“We really appreciate the response we got,” she said.

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“And it’s concrete and representational, but it also has a global appeal.”

Children's book authors Anne-Marie Depape (left) and Christine Quaglia showcase their book Charlotte's Shadow.
Children’s book authors Anne-Marie Depape (left) and Christine Quaglia showcase their book Charlotte’s Shadow. Photo by Christine Qualia /windsor star

Ultimately, the reader realizes Shadow is more than a pet. he is a service dog

“So we’re actually hearing from those followers as well,” DePappe said, sharing stories about how service dogs changed their lives and the bond that developed between them. I added that there is.

“It’s really rewarding to watch,” she said.

Charlotte’s Shadow is self-published by Little Books Press and available online as an e-book or paperback through Amazon.

According to Quaglia, when the book was released, it was the #1 book for children with social issues on Amazon.

“We’ve been very pleased and impressed with the response to the book,” she added. , It was really satisfying for us.”

For a link to the book and more information, visit Tails_of_Charlotte_and_Shadow on Instagram.


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Local authors write children’s books with a twist

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