Jennifer Kurani was born and raised in New York, and spent her childhood always using her imagination. As an adult, she worked at Scholastic in children's publishing, edited creative writing essays, and developed web content for parents and students. She lives in New York City with her husband and two loving children, and believes in spreading the love.
Q&A - Kidlio Mag
Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I was born and raised in New York, and spent my childhood always using my imagination. I spent most of my time reading books whenever I could.
Q: How and when your journey started as a writer?
After working in children’s publishing at Scholastic.com, I decided to write a children’s picture book of my own.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote my first story, A Big Birthday Hug, in 2007 which got published in 2017. I had left Scholastic.com and found myself with a lot of time on my hands so it encouraged me to start writing.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
My books are a part of a series that includes the same characters in each story. Turtle is the main character who faces obstacles that he needs to overcome through his own learning experience. I believe that each of Turtle’s journeys will teach readers to believe in themselves, as well as others, gain self-confidence and find joy in their lives.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
I choose kids as my readers because children’s fiction is one of the most important forms of writing. It helps provide emotional intelligence and creativity, teaches them about the world around them while introducing them to new ideas.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
I chose a Turtle as my main character because they are quiet and shy creatures, yet intelligent. They also possess a hard shell and represent endurance and persistence. The stories are inspired by people around me who struggle but are trying to learn and grow and better themselves.
Q: Do you want to give any message for your readers?
My message to my readers is always choose kindness.
Q&A - Noodle Newsletter for Enriched
Q: What inspired you to become a children’s book author?
As a child, I spent most of my time curled up with a good book. Oftentimes, I would stay awake at night with my flashlight on just so I could finish reading. My love for reading became a passion that continued to grow and eventually lead to creating my own stories that I could share with others. It was only after I left my job at Scholastic that I began to actually write. I choose kids as my readers because I believe children’s fiction is one of the most important forms of writing. It helps provide emotional intelligence and creativity and teaches them about the world around them while introducing them to new ideas. Each story I write takes the reader on a journey of self- realization that can hopefully help a child believe in themself or overcome obstacles they may face or simply choose to be kind.
Q: What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess because I loved how persistently the character Sam-I-Am tries to convince another character to try something new. Sam never gives up and eventually succeeds.
Q: Your books teach children that everyone is special in their own way, why is this such an important message?
Everyone truly is special in their own way! When you believe in yourself, you’re accepting who you really are. You’re not afraid to give your opinion and you’re going to be proud of this person you’re becoming. When you believe in yourself you feel like you can handle the world! Positive energy and a little confidence gives a major lift. Believing that you are special gives you the strength and ability to accomplish goals. Deep down inside, you know you can do anything.
Q: How can parents encourage young children to love books and literature from an early age?
- Let kids choose their own book
- Ask questions about the story
- Read together
- Point out the illustrations
Q: Which of your books was your favorite to write and why?
Tough question! I love them all but my favorite is my 4th book that has not been released yet. It’s silly and fun to read while learning that it is important to always remain calm and try to not worry so much. As my kids always tell me, “Relax mom. It’s ok!”
Interview with Writer Jennifer Kurani (FEELING SPECIAL)
FEELING SPECIAL, 5min,. USA, Animation
Directed by Carlos Hoffman
Animated film adaptation of the children’s book, Feeling Special, about a Turtle who believes that all his friends are special, but that he is just ordinary, and finally realizes that he is special too.
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