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This morning, it is raining where I am and I need a little motivation.  Now, Mama Ben and Mama Iz and Rockstar would be off in a flash to their local Starbucks for their tall, non-fat, 1-, 2-, or 3-splenda lattes.  Mama Ben is super generous, so she would buy, but she would proceed to order in a very convoluted fashion that the lovely baristas would have to decipher.  She is so organized in so many things, but 3 orders of coffee are just too much.

Anyways, for my motivation, caffeine doesn’t always work for me.  What does work are The Global Game Changers. It’s our second project and it’s a book about two superheroes, Global Girl and Little Big-Heart, who recruit real life kids who do good things for others, to become part of their alliance, The Global Game Changers.  These young children have decided to make a difference, and if they can change the world, I can at least get out of my pjs on a rainy Monday morning.

So, I figured I’d interview Rachel, one of the book’s co-authors (and the illustrator), about how the project started.

Mama Willby: Okay Rachel, so I know you and your mom wrote Philanthropy…a Big Word for Big-Hearted People, but how did you get the motivation for The Global Game Changers?  

Rachel: Hmmm… I wanted to do something that would appeal to even more little kids than we did in Philanthropy, and what’s more appealing than superheroes?

MW: But you want to encourage kids who read the book to become Global Game Changers.  So don’t superheroes seem  to have unattainable powers to kids?  Aren’t they too fantastical?

R: Well, I was thinking about Batman who is my favorite superhero because he was a real guy that just chose to do good things. He wasn’t born with any special powers.

MW: But the people they fight are still mythic in proportion.

R: Actually, the villains that Batman was fighting were also real people (yes, they were super stylized but still real people.) The Joker was a real guy without a conscience which is what made him so scary. He had no empathy and no sense of morality or consequence. I think most villains (in superhero fiction) are people that lose everything and make the choice to live like nothing matters.

MW: But how do superheroes fight that?

Little Big-Heart

R: Superheroes are the opposite – they, too, lose everything that is important to them but they make the CHOICE to live for something. It’s our choices that make us who we are – and that’s something that I think is really important in the book.

MW: Is there a story that sticks out to youin The Global Game Changers that tells this message?

R: They all do. But especially Jaylen Arnold, who also made an appearance in our other book.  Jaylen is a young child with Tourettes and OCD. He dealt with bullying in his school because of these disabilities, but, instead of bullying back, he started an organization to prevent that type of behavior. I love that he proverbially made lemonade from lemons. And at such a young age!

MW: That’s pretty inspiring.  What can kids do to become Global Game Changers like Jaylen, Global Girl, and Little Big-Heart?

R: They can start igniting good every day.  They can do something small, like holding the door for someone whose hands are full, or they can do something big, like volunteering at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen. And they can check out our book, The Global Game Changers, out this summer.

MW:  Those are great ideas. Thanks, Rachel!

R: I hope I helped out.  Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about… Batman. And, I was probably wearing my Superman t-shirt at the time.

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