Susan Kaufman never anticipated she would become an author, but after spending years in the education field and, more importantly, years as a dedicated grandmother, she now has a heartfelt project on the shelf to share with the world.
Louis Learns to Listen NOT! shares the adventures of a mischievous boy who travels the world with his mother and sister. Kaufman followed her passion for reading by committing a portion of the book proceeds to a local nonprofit, the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
“This was written with my grandchildren. It started as a bedtime story I would share with them,” Kaufman said.
The main character, Louis, is inspired by a little boy Kaufman knew growing up. The story begins in Toronto, travels around the country and even across the Atlantic Ocean.
“I was an educator, so everything I did was education related. The girls have this globe, and they would spin the globe and say, ‘Where is Louis going to go next?’” Kaufman recalled.
When the girls chose France as a destination, Kaufman was ready to research. “I was able to teach them about Paris and the Louvre, and I brought them books about artists — and it became an educational thing,” she said.
While Kaufman had an idea of what the main character would look like, her grandchildren immediately chimed in with detailed ideas for all three characters in the book.
“I may be listed as the author, but this is definitely a family project. Louis, his little sister Louisa and the mother are taken straight from the kids’ imagination, and I was just amazed the first time I saw it on the shelf,” Kaufman said.
After seeing her vision in print, Kaufman was inspired to continue sharing her love and appreciation for reading by researching local organizations that could benefit from her support and found the Literacy Coalition. While at the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club on Wednesday, Jan. 17, she cheerfully gifted the organization with some of her books.
“We are grateful to Susan for the donation and excited to share these special books with the children in our reading programs. Young readers will delight in the adventures captured in the story,” Literacy Coalition CEO Kristin Calder said.
Kaufman has now embarked on a journey to share the story with other children. She has already done so for a few children’s classes and is excited to continue the work.
“As an educator, I had written articles, but never thought I would write a children’s book. This is a love letter to my grandkids,” said Kaufman, who was always very close and inspired by her own grandmother. “My bubby was a safe haven for me. I felt how she loved me and would always be there. That inspires me to be the best bubby I can be to all children.”
If any educators or childcare facilities are interested in learning more about the book, or scheduling a reading with the author, e-mail email@example.com. The book is also available to purchase at Barnes & Noble stores and on Amazon.
To learn more about the Literacy Coalition and its programs, visit www.literacypbc.org.