An interview in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Desiree Blanchard, the author of My Home Filled with Love
Desiree Blanchard is an Early Interventionist and a Positive Parenting Practitioner. She completed her Master’s degree in Human Kinetics, where she evaluated certain child health behaviors in a daycare setting. Desiree also has many trainings and certifications in early childhood development.
In this interview, we discuss My Home Filled With Love, an inclusive 38-page children’s book that shows what healthy, loving relationships look and sound like.
As a Positive Parenting Practitioner, you wrote My Home Filled with Love because of how a loving home impacts a child’s mental health, future success, and ability to love others. What else would you say drives you and guides you in working and writing for children?
Desiree Blanchard: Child development has always fascinated me, and I love watching a young child’s mind at play. I decided to write this book when my first child was born and after having lived experience raising a child. I saw first-hand how influential parents can be on young children and how parenting can impact a child’s behavior, learning, and healthy development. Ultimately, I wanted to give children a voice, from their perspective, what makes them feel loved, seen, and happy. My goal is to support and nurture positive relationships from the start. I hope this book can prompt that discussion about the parent-child relationship.
Can you tell us more about your work experience and how it led to the publication of My Home Filled with Love?
I completed a master’s degree in Human Kinetics, where my thesis project examined certain child health behaviors in daycare settings. I also work as an Early Interventionist, going into homes to help parents with their child’s overall development. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of working with families and observing them interact with their children. I am forever learning, but all these experiences have shaped my views on parenting and how important it is to raise children with kindness and respect and recognize what is going well.
My Home Filled with Love is an inclusive, 38-page children’s book that shows what healthy, loving relationships can look and sound like. Can you describe a little more about what readers can expect?
Readers can expect what seems like a typical day in a child’s life from things like getting the child ready for daycare, preparing meals together, taking care of them when they’re sick and bathing them. Parents will find many of the examples relatable to their children. The book’s pace stems from positive parenting and parent-child attachment concepts.
The story is told from the child’s perspective to her parents. Why did you choose to write it from this perspective?
As parents, we don’t realize how impactful our actions or behaviors can be on a young child or how much a gesture that may seem so small to a parent can turn around a child’s entire day. Something small like smiling at them or waving while they’re coloring a picture can go a long way and change their day around. Life is always moving in the fast lane, but we need to take a step back and watch and learn from our children. Listening and learning from a child what makes them loved can prompt parents to recognize that their behavior or parenting substantially influences their learning and development.
Since the message of your book applies to educators, guardians, and childcare workers alike. What kind of feedback have you received from adults who have read your book?
So far, the feedback has been positive. Parents enjoy the simplicity of the interactions between the parent and the child and how the connections are not created through toys or gifts but rather through the presence and kindness of the parents. It was also said that it’s a great bedtime read to summarize a child’s day and have a quality discussion about how things went during the day with the child. They also shared how much they enjoyed reading the story from a child’s perspective since it differed from a typical children’s book.
What feedback have you received from kids?
A few children shared that they love reading this book with their parents before bed and talking about similar scenarios they did during the day. Some other children also spoke about how much they love their home and their parents, like the character in the book.
Your book includes messages that can be found in the story, things to discuss after reading, and customizable pages such as a coloring page, mazes, and blank pages for drawing or writing. Do you have any tips on how your book could be used in the classroom and home settings?
The activities in the book help augment the usefulness of the book as a learning tool. They are a great compliment to the story to help with healthy discussions with young children about love in the home and what that looks like for each child. There is no correct answer to what love can look like, so reading the book and doing the activities in a classroom can also teach other children about the diversity in homes.
The illustrations by Hayley Moore are very loving and depict a diverse cast of people on the pages. How does the artwork make you feel?
The artwork was my choice! It was important to me to share diversity in the characters because it benefits all readers. I wanted children to see themselves in the characters and reflect on their own experiences regarding love in their homes. The child’s unique experience may be similar or different to this story, but what’s important is the bond between the parent and child when reading this story and potentially learning something new.
Being your first published book, what has surprised you the most about the publishing experience?
So far, the experience has been fun. The book has been almost three years in the making, and it’s all very exciting to finally see it come to life. I can’t wait for families to get their hands on a copy! The publishers have treated my book like it’s theirs and care about its success. They also treated me with kindness and respect and kept me involved throughout the fun process.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about My Home Filled with Love, your writing, or yourself?
This children’s book isn’t just about love between a parent and child but more of an educational tool to prompt discussion and elicit change in the home. My goal is to promote healthy relationships and development and set children up for success. It’s important to take the time to listen to our children and learn about their unique needs to improve our relationships with them in a respectful and nurturing way. Parenting takes work, and this book is a great conversation starter for a parent to recognize any unmet need and seek further resources to support them in their parenting journey.
Written by Desiree Blanchard
Ages 3+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Tabletop Teaching LLC | ISBN-13: 9798985961355
Publisher’s Book Summary: This beautifully illustrated children’s book is more than just another cute rhyming story. My Home Filled With Love shows kids and parents what a nurturing environment at home is all about. With this story, kids will learn more about how much you, as their parent or caregiver, love them with every choice you make.
My Home Filled With Love is a must-have for new parents, old parents, and all the parents in between! Written by Desiree Blanchard, Positive Parenting Instagram Influencer and Early Child Interventionist, this book is a perfect gift for parents looking to create a nurturing and inclusive environment for their kids!
Buy the Book
Learn more about My Home Filled With Love here.