The Loft’s Great Contribution: From a Puppetry Script to a Four-Story Bilingual Book

Book Cover for Kids Awesome Decisions for Amparo Gonzalez


My deep desire to communicate with children to support their healthy development led me to think about writing scripts for puppetry—an outstanding and smart way for children to make connections. Puppets are great for children to have fun while showing real situations that they may experience in their lives as well as providing important elements to face those critical moments. I started working with my niece and did more research on how to write these scripts. I encountered obstacles such as hiring puppeteers and the lack of budget in schools for this kind of event.

Therefore, our project took a different direction—writing a book with four short stories. This was the moment when I found the Loft. The fact that it is a nonprofit organization along with its trajectory and history gave me confidence. I started researching and found Captain Hook's treasure—a chest full of information that met my needs—in the Loft’s Virtual Wordsmith 2020. The content of the lectures was very attractive and important to enrich my poor knowledge about the art of writing. I read the agenda, became a member, and registered.

The themes of the event and its logistics seemed particularly good to me. The orientation before starting the event was very fruitful as Chris and other collaborators were clear and open to teach the parts that made up the event (a challenging one since it was the first time that the Loft did it virtually because of Covid-19). There were sessions like Ask the Agent, Today’s Key Book Publishing Paths, Finding Your Community, Meeting the Author, and much more that helped me shape our new project. Listening to authors helped me raise questions to myself such as why I wanted to write, to whom I was accountable, and how I could engage readers.

The opportunity to hear various agents during the orientation gave me a better idea of ​​what an agent was. I remember getting lost when I heard the concept of "book pitch"; I found different meanings in the dictionary for the word “pitch,” such as speech, a playing field, etc. Then I discovered that it was like an instrument for writers to present their work with certain criteria in a short time, mainly to find agents to associate with. So, I said to myself, why not? I set up interviews with a few agents, and two were interested in the idea of ​​a bilingual book and loved the topics of the stories for children; I sent the stories to them before editing. 

After a few days of submitting my book pitch, I felt the need to hire an editor to review the stories, so I contacted the Loft again to suggest someone help me with its English version. I was fascinated that several agents specialized in different fields of literature and, of course, I chose one dedicated to children's literature. At this moment I laugh because this was the point where my odyssey began. All the stories, without exception, were returned with comments and suggestions to change the context, characters, scenes, tone, etc. I was not clear about the main idea in several of them: that my sentences were sophisticated for the audience I was targeting or that sentences to give a good sense of humor had no place in English.

I remember writing “the ladies” to refer to some flowers and plants, and my editor did not understand what I was talking about; it would sound funny in Spanish, and anyone would catch its meaning. In other words, changes were needed due to cultural conditioning and ambiguities. The editor's positive comments were focused on the themes of the stories and the approach to diversity, such as having two moms in one story and eating habits in another one. Her input was crucial in polishing our book. 

While I was changing, adjusting, proofreading, and formatting the stories, an illustrator created 24 fabulous images to enhance its presentation. Great book content with colorful images came up! I published it on Amazon, and it is available for sale now. Its name is Kids’ Awesome Decisions by Amparo González and Natalie Luengas. I am promoting it through as well as safety programs at schools. Each page is written in English and Spanish; therefore, the reader can be monolingual to enjoy it and learn a little bit more about South American culture. It's also ideal for immersion and bilingual schools to reinforce the target language. 

Our book is a beautiful gift for children to strengthen themselves while making decisions with ethical approaches for a healthier society. The Loft’s contribution to our project has been invaluable. Thank you!