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Curiosity Kitty based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Purrr-fect Children's Story: To children, the world is a large and ever-changing landscape of new experiences with much to learn and understand. Undoubtedly, as their experiences broaden, they are exposed to many different cultures in both positive and negative ways. To counteract pessimistic views of cultural interactions, Occoquan author Carrie Hancasky, has written her first children's book, "Curiosity Kitty," to show children the beautiful relationships that arise from friendships with a diverse group of individuals. Geared toward toddler aged children, it is a fun and imaginative story filled with meaning by using characters with whom children can identify. Her path to becoming an author of her first book is in many ways as interesting and filled with meaning as the story she has published. The story itself is about a cat, Curiosity Kitty, who lives in Purr Valley and goes on some adventures in what encompasses his world, Meow Park. Along the way, we encounter many of the cat's friends, a variety of animals and insects, in a heartwarming tale showing how friends come in all shapes and sizes. Each of these unique friends represents important life lessons, like the value of kindness, patience, and love toward others. "We live in such a diverse society, and I felt it was important for children to understand that it is fine to be different. Moreover, it is important for them to know that they can have friends who are different too, as we can learn so much from these differences," says Carrie. The simple, fun and easy to follow story introduces children to the value of seeing commonalities across cultures. It sets the groundwork for children to understand how to establish lines of communication with people of diverse cultures. The act of simply reading this book with your child subtly teaches that through the act of sharing a common value system, the stage is set to find other areas of compatibility. I read this story to my two and a half year old son Kyle, and found that even at his young age this story became a springboard for learning, exploration and discussion. Although he didn't understand all the nuances of the characters he did enjoy sharing and connecting the cat with each of his friends (ie. Buzzie the bee, Freddie the fish, Toby the turtle to name a few) by vocalizing and repeating what we read. Taking the time to reach out and read to young children and introduce a value system which is rich in cultural diversity will prepare this new generation for the world ahead. Carrie's path in creating this story is the key to writing any good story. The author must be able to draw from her life experiences, background and knowledge and in essence write about what she knows best. Carrie seems to do this effortlessly. Knowing a little about her background enables us to understand how she could craft a simple story for children while tackling complex issues in a subtle way. A not so easy thing to do. Carrie grew up in Illinois in a place full of community spirit and found her way as an adult to the small town of Occoquan, a place that fits into her value system. A place where community matters, where each person is important for what they can contribute, and a place where differences intertwine seamlessly. Carrie didn't originally have plans to write this book. She started it after witnessing first hand some of the damaging effects of discrimination occurring around her and how destructive it can be to people's lives. In her struggle to understand some of what she had witnessed, she took to drawing sketches with crayons on a pad of paper. Unknown to her at the time, her release and creative outlet was actually the start of "Curiosity Kitty". She, like many other talents before her, put her project away in a closet hidden from the world. That is until September 11th happened. "Once again, I observed the negative impact of human differences, except with the hurt and helplessness significantly m