It’s challenging to explain the importance of giving and receiving love. Why do some people behave hurtfully? How can we respond with kindness and compassion?
The Love Tank discusses the value of love, kindness, empathy, and compassion by guiding children in imagining a superpower container inside their bodies that fills up with love. The book explains what can happen when someone’s love tank is full–or empty, and how we can help others to fill their love tank.
6. What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?:
Take advantage of moments of inspiration! As I mentioned, the story behind my book The Love Tank popped into my mind and I immediately wrote it down before the moment of inspiration was gone. Another piece of advice is that if you are a new or aspiring author, you should surround yourself of people who have more experience and are willing to help. I was lucky to be able to connect with amazing people and resources, including a publishing coach and an amazing illustrator, among others.
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7. Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence in your own writing? Why?:
Growing up in Ecuador, Latin America, I think authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, and Julio Cortazar greatly influenced my love of literature and my desire to write. Although my writing style is very different, since I have been writing children's picture books, perhaps in the future, when my children are grown and my voice as a writer continues to develop, I will feel tempted to write books for adults or young adults.
About the Author:
Andrea Mendoza-Vasconez, Ph.D. is an award-winning children's books author, a mother, a behavioral scientist, a teacher, an advocate, and a story-teller. Experiencing motherhood expanded her soul, enhancing her understanding of the importance of love, compassion, connection, and authenticity, which are recurring topics in her children’s books.
Andrea continuously seeks to cultivate these qualities through different resources, including books and workshops, which she eagerly shares with other parents through her website: wholesomechildrenbooks.com.
8. What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?:
The Love Tank is the first book in the Wholesome Children: Self-Awareness series. I am currently working on the second book, The Gratitude Goggles, and have already drafted and edited manuscripts for three more books in the series. These books all discuss values such as compassion, empathy, gratitude, authenticity, and connectedness. This is my little contribution to a world that sometimes feels like it's unraveling, and I look forward to sharing these messages far and wide with children and adults around the world.
Awards, reviews, press releases, and other relevant information:
The Love Tank - Awards:
- Firebird Award in the Children's Picture Story Book category
- The 2023 BREW Children's Book Excellence Award: "Book of The Year," and "Illustrated" categories.
The Love Tank - Reviews:
- Kirkus - recommended review: "Creatively encourages preschoolers to regulate their emotions and practice kindness." https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/andrea-mendoza-vasconez/the-love-tank/
- Literary Titan: "The book gracefully reinforces the power young minds possess to effect positive change through their interactions. This concept is poised to cultivate a generation that understands its potential for fostering empathy and compassion." https://literarytitan.com/2023/09/02/the-love-tank-a-book-about-empathy-kindness-and-self-awareness-for-children-ages-4-8/
- Readers' Favorite: "The pictures, the coloration, and the style are perfect for a children’s book. The visual story is beautifully executed and flawless." https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-love-tank
Children's Picture Book
Titles of All Books:
The Love Tank
1. Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?:
I absolutely loved reading books when I was little. I remember spending entire days reading books during the summer break. I loved being immersed in the story. The excitement of not knowing what will happen next in the plot kept me hooked for hours, I could not put down a good book. I'm still like this as an adult!
2. At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?:
My mom started reading to me since I was a toddler. I loved lying in bed next to my mom at night to read a book, which was part of our routine. We started with very simple books for children but eventually read many classic novels together.
3. What was the first book you loved reading? Why?:
The first book I remember loving as a child was Little Red Riding Hood. I am not sure why I loved it (I was too young) but I memorized it all before I learned how to read. The first book I remember consciously loving is called "My Sweet Orange Tree" by José Mauro de Vasconcelos. I remember loving it because it elicited emotions from me like no other book had done before. By reading that book, I discovered the power of books to elicit feelings and emotions (and tears!)
4. When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?:
I have always been good at writing but when I became a mom for the first time all of a sudden I had much more to say that I think could be interesting for other people. I guess I always felt the desire to write books within me, but this desire did not materialize until I became a mother, and I actually never thought that it would materialize in the form of children's books!
5. What was the greatest obstacle you've encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?:
I cannot think of any obstacles in the process of writing the book, although I can think of various obstacles after the book was written. The Love Tank somewhat wrote itself. I think it was a story that needed to be told that popped into my mind and just flowed from my hands freely, so there were no challenges. I think what has been most challenging, though, is promoting the book once it was published. I consider myself somewhat of an introvert, but I have made efforts to talk about the book as much as I can because I think it's bigger than me.
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