Central Saanich’s Lara Beattie and her grandmother Holly have published a children’s book called #SuperTalker and Ugh! the Drug Bug. It’s about how self-esteem and confidence can enable kids to stand up to drugs. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Young author’s first book tackles self-esteem

A simple little ditty, shared between a grandmother and granddaughter, has led to a new children’s book by an 11-year-old author, all about self-esteem and saying no to drugs.

Lara Beattie, who lives in Central Saanich,says she woke up one morning “and out of the blue, by gramma began reciting ‘Little Suzie Walker is quite the little talker, she knows just what to say to keep the drugs away’.”

It was that saying — and her inquisitive and creative mind — that sparked the idea of a story in Lara’s mind and had led to the publishing of the book #SuperTalker and Ugh! the Drug Bug.

Lara’s already a young writer, said her grandmother, Holly Beattie, during an interview at their Central Saanich home. She added she also talks with Lara a lot about the issue of drugs and drug use. Lara is about the age where children are curious, asking questions and beginning to have opinions about such things. Holly was a school teacher for many years and knows it’s a good thing to recognize this, and for parents to have meaningful conversations with their kids.

Lara agreed and said she wanted to write a story about a confident character who is able to resist temptation — and feel good about their choices. Lara said she’s been writing creatively for a long time, especially about cat tribes in the forest and dragons. This latest book is her first officially published work and became a summertime project for herself and her gramma.

The story is about Suzie Walker, the #SuperTalker. She’s an empowered young girl who is able to talk back to anyone offering drugs — like Ugh! the Drug Bug. Suzie meets the Drug Bug, who targets kids and tried to get them hooked on drugs.

“But the Drug Bug doesn’t see how much self-esteem she has,” Lara said.

Suzie is able to build a tower of self-esteem to overpower the Drug Bug, who is eventually squished by an elephant character that represents the strength in everyone. Each of the book’s illustrations — also drawn by Lara — include the elephant.

“It’s a metaphor of how to stay in the light,” added Holly. “The message in the book is about self-esteem, being able to recognize it and how to use it in order to make good choices.”

Lara and Holly spent the summer writing outlines for the book and the illustrations. Holly said it was important to make sure the book was written from a kid’s perspective, so that it might spark positive conversations between children and their parents and teachers.

And it seems that their book has resonated with some of Lara’s classmates, friends and even at her school. She attends St. Joseph’s School in Saanich and she has a buddy in Grade 1. She read it to her and Lara said her buddy drew a picture of Suzie for her.

The book has even got the attention of some teachers who used it as an example in their classrooms and it could soon be in the school library. Holly added they printed on about a dozen so far back on Oct. 25, and they have already been spoken for.

Lara is very happy with the reception — and attention — her book has gotten so far. She said she really enjoys writing and hopes to turn it into a career (as well as being a doctor and a singer!).

To find out more about #SuperTalker and Ugh! the Drug Bug, email smidjinpublishing@gmail.com or visit their website (still in progress) www.smidjinpublishing.com.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

Langford barber shop donates cuts for veterans’ cause

Hair cuts raise funds for Wounded Warrior Run, which travels from Port Hardy to Victoria

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read