Inspired by the heart-warming bedtime routine with her own three young children, Sonia Bestulic not only honours the love between a parent and child; her book encourages the beautifully simple, yet strongly symbolic act of placing kisses in our children’s hearts, to inspire bravery, courage and self-empowerment.
This delightful story is a gift for parents and children alike. I recently interviewed Sonia to find out more about her latest book.
NLK: What was the inspiration for ‘Kisses in Your Heart’?
SB: I wrote ‘Kisses in Your Heart’ at the time my children were young – about two, three and four years of age. It was such a strong maternal period in my life; it was amazing and terrifying at the same time. Mothers have the capacity to love children so deeply, and feel a need to protect them from the world’s hurts, but know you can’t always be there to do that!
So the bedtime routine of putting my children to bed and placing kisses in their hearts is a way to empower them to know that whether or not I am physically present with them, my love is still very much alive for them, within them, and they can access that energy whenever they need.
Saying goodnight to my children is accompanied by placing kisses in their hearts and saying “you carry Mum’s love with you everywhere you go”.
NLK: This is the second book Nancy Bevington has illustrated for you, what do you most enjoy about Nancy’s illustrations?
SB: Nancy is amazing! She has such a natural gift and ability to arouse an array of sentiments by her illustrations. Nancy was a joy to work with and made the process so easy.
NLK: How important was it that you included soothing and engaging rhyme in the text?
Rhyming text generally makes text more memorable, and combining it with a soothing style was important to encourage feelings of safety and security. My intention was to have a gentle impact that opens children to an empowering understanding that in their day to day there is a small way they can help themselves move through common emotions.
NLK: What message do you most hope that parents and their children take from reading ‘Kisses In Your Heart’?
SB: That they carry the strength of love within them always – and they can choose to draw on that strength at any time they feel they need to.
NLK: What picture book did you read to your children?
Oh, I read a number of picture books to my children – how do I choose? What was lovely was that my three children were very close in age so our daily book sharing routine was such a bonding experience. Some of the more memorable books would include:
- Good Night Sleep Tight
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
- Where is the Green Sheep?
- Esther’s Rainbow
- We’re going on a bear hunt
I could go on…!!
This interview is part of the ‘Kisses in Your Heart’ blog tour. To find out more about the tour visit www.justkidslit.com/blog.
Sonia Bestulic was born and grew up in Sydney Australia, enjoying a childhood filled with wonderful books, a passion for writing, and musically entwined, having played the violin until her late teens, including performances at the Sydney Opera House.
Sonia embraces the joys of motherhood and family life, with her three amazing young children, from where she draws most inspiration.
Sonia is also a well-seasoned Speech & Language Pathologist, having worked with children for decades! She is the Founder of Talking Heads Speech Pathology, the well-known, reputable Sydney based clinics established in 2006.
Sonia is a super passionate, long-term advocate for children’s learning and literacy, Sonia continues to write, speak, train parents and professionals, and podcast when it comes to all things children.
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