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Strong, Smart, Kind and Brave: the story behind the title

I wrote the book "Strong, Smart, Kind and Brave" in 2021, but the seed for the book was planted years ago. 

When my two sons were younger and wanted me to tell them *personalized* bedtime stories every night, I’d always begin the stories the same way: “Once upon a time there was a boy named _______, and he was strong, smart, kind and brave.” Those are traits I feel are important to believe about yourself and I loved giving them this small reminder each night.

I had a half-formed concept of a children’s picture book for years but I wasn't sure what it was going to turn into. Then, one night in March 2021 I couldn’t sleep - which is very unusual for me, I am blessed with the gift of sleeping like the dead. But that night, a book came to me in small bursts, as I wrote it in my phone's notes. It kept me up until almost 2 am. Looking back, it feels a bit like it was one of Elizabeth Gilbert's magical ideas looking for someone to bring it into the world.

So even though the book didn’t “come” to me until this year, the seed was planted many years ago during bedtime storytelling. Instead of using a gendered child in the book, I updated the story by using “child” and “they” in the story so that ALL children can relate and see themselves in these pages. ❤️