Along with the excitement and anticipation of starting school for the first time (or a new grade), also comes, for many little ones, anxiety and fear. For kids (and parents!) who are experiencing these jitters, there’s an insightful new picture book, Cooper and Me, the first in a series of books that invite children to explore life with a lovable Labrador Retriever, Cooper.
Cooper and Me was illustrated by 11-year-old Alexa Peters and co-written with her mother, Monique Peters. The idea was inspired by Alexa’s own experiences on her first day of school. A talented young artist and writer, Alexa wanted to give back to others in a meaningful way through her art. Starting at a very young age, Alexa created illustrated stories about her daily experiences, and from the pages of her sketchbooks came the idea for her first book, Cooper and Me.
Through rhythmic verses, Cooper and Me tells the story of a young girl who is nervous as her first day of school approaches. She is frightened about leaving home and doesn’t want to go without her best friend, her dog Cooper. Fortunately her mother finds the perfect solution to help the little girl overcome her fears – a small replica of her beloved pet she can take to school with her. In Cooper and Me, the story of a child’s worries about starting school has evolved into a timeless tale about overcoming separation anxiety and trying new things – basic emotions all people experience throughout their lives – but this time, written by a child, for children.
The story behind Cooper and Me also offers an inspiring example of families working together to help others. In addition to helping young children gain emotional resilience and confidence through their books, Alexa and mom Monique wanted to go beyond that to help less fortunate kids. Their search for an organization to which they could donate a portion of the proceeds from the Cooper and Me book led to a charitable alliance with the Happy Hearts Fund, founded and run by Petra Nemcova, the supermodel who was directly affected by the tsunami in Thailand. Happy Hearts improves children’s lives through education and sustainable programs in areas devastated by natural disasters.
I received a copy of Cooper & Me to share with my child. This book is great for those kiddies starting school for the first time!
For more details about Cooper and Me, please check out the brand new, interactive website: www.cooperandme.com.
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