World Book Day 2019 Author Feature:
Suzie Books are a series of children’s stories to help children cope with new situations. My non-verbal autistic son relies on visual aids and social stories to support his understanding of new places and situations which is why we love Suzie’s books so much. So to celebrate world book day 2019, I have asked Charlotte Olson the author of Suzie Books a few questions.
Learning About Autism with Suzie and Cruzie has been sent to every primary school in the country. This is a fantastic achievement, tell us how this happened and how you feel knowing your book is in every primary school educating the next generation about autism?
I was approached by a lady called Jo-Ann Costa Manuel and we met in London to talk about doing an anti-bullying story, this then changed to teaching young children about Autism and including others.
Between us, myself, Jo-Ann and her daughter Sienna put together “Learning about Autism with Suzie and Cruzie”. We are all extremely delighted and feel very grateful for the funding from John Caudwell and us being able to get it into every Primary school in the UK. When I do think about it, I can’t quite believe that it has happened. I am really pleased to be a part of it and help bring it to life.
Did you always want to be an author?
I never had any thoughts about being an author and I still rarely call myself one to this day, but I love what I do and what I have achieved so far.
Which was the first title you wrote? What was the inspiration for Suzie Books?
My first title was Going to the Park, which never got published. I then wrote “Toilet Time” and “Going to a Funeral” around the same time and they were the first to get illustrated and published.
I suppose my son was the inspiration, I figured if Suzie could help other families with the same experiences we had then it would be great in helping children prepare for a new situations. Many children on the Autistic spectrum don’t like change, so if Suzie and Sammy can help ease any anxieties and explain what might happen to a child, it may make things easier for both children and their parents.
How did you choose your characters Suzie, Sammy and Cruzie?
Suzie was a character that I created back in my college days, Sammy just fell into place with Suzie, and Cruzie is based on Jo-Ann’s son and Sienna’s brother.
You have an autistic son, what does he think of your books and does he have a favourite?
In his words, my son thinks the books are “good” and his favourite is “Suzie goes to a Funeral”.
Which of your books was the hardest to write?
I think the “Suzie Goes to a Funeral” was the hardest to write, we had a death in the family in which my son and daughter both attended the funeral, therefore I felt I had to choose the right wording but make it positive at the same time.
Which of your books is currently the most popular?
Suzie and Sammy go on an Aeroplane and Learning about Autism with Suzie and Cruzie are the most popular books at the moment.
What was your favourite book as a child and what was your favourite children’s book to read to your son?
My favourite books as a child were Topsy and Tim and The Mr Men, my son loved for me to read to him the Maisy Mouse books and Kipper the Dog books.
To find out more about Suzie Books you can visit http://www.suziebooks.co.uk/
Have you read any Suzie Books by Charlotte Olson? Which is your favourite let us know in the comments.