Westwood High School sisters publish children’s book series
Hi, I’m Shreeya Patel, a grade 12 graduate of Westwood Community High School. Over the initial lockdown in March 2020, my sister, Prisha Patel and I wished to create a set of books for kids to order online and purchase to keep learning throughout COVID times.
Prisha is also a Westwood student heading into grade 11 in fall 2021. We were inspired by our Mom’s day home, where we volunteered, as well as the Wood Buffalo Regional Library’s Summer Reading Program. Both of us also participated in the program as kids, where we were encouraged to read more because of exciting prizes, crafts, and the library atmosphere.
While the library was closed, we thought it would be an idea to allow kids to keep reading while at home and introduced “The Alpha Learning Series,” which we co-wrote and co-illustrated.
This series features 26 books with various topics and fields for children to explore in the comfort of their homes. It begins with Andy’s Airplane and ends with Zara’s Zipper. We wanted each book to have a fun, rhyming plot that effectively delivers information to a child. But ones that would also take them along an enjoyable journey.
Alongside each reader are a character and a friend, who help bridge curiosity and knowledge. On top of that, we tried to make each book personable to the kids we worked with.
Every book topic was inspired by a question asked by a curious child, playing and learning in our mother’s day home. We wanted to create the series to allow kids to understand the world from A-Z, from a child’s point of view.
The first book, published through Amazon’s Kindle Publishing Service, took nearly a year to write and digitally illustrate. As mentioned before, it is called Andy’s Airplane and is a rhyming introduction to aerodynamics.
It is geared towards children ages two and up as they gain insight into the mechanics of an airplane and how it flies. Other topics range from introduction to computer science, pollination, virology, geography, ocular studies, and the heart – to name a few.
Overall, we wish to teach kids about STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math) subjects through our books and cultivate curiosity. We have more information available on our website shreeyaprisha.com/ or purchase the books directly from Amazon.
FMPSD Editor’s Note: Thanks to Rhonda Blanchette, FMPSD Supervisor of Inclusive Education’s idea and approval from Jen Quigley, Director of Education and Superintendent Jennifer Turner, the first book in Shreeya and Prisha’s series will be found in each of our FMPSD early learning classrooms this fall. Congratulations ladies! Doing What’s Best for Kids.
For more information on any of our 16 schools, visit www.fmpsdschools.ca. For real-time updates: follow us on Twitter: @FMPSD and like us on Facebook: Fort McMurray Public School Division. Instagram @FMPSD.