The Touching Story Behind This New Book Aimed To Get Kids Outside

by A. Rochaun
Encouraging More Adventure and Less Screen-Time

It’s no secret that being a kid in 2018 looks a lot different from being a kid 10 or 15 years ago.

Many of us can remember the days when children spent time outside of the home playing with friends and interacting with their surroundings. Now many children, my own included, have replaced outside playtime with inside screen time.

I’m not going to get into the dangers of too much screen time here. We’ve heard that conversation a million times. And by now, we all know there are pros and cons to nature-based and electronic-based play.

Like most things, during playtime, it is important that children have a good balance of indoor and outdoor play. That way, children can benefit from computer literacy skills without being disconnected from the world around them. Any resource that encourages movement toward that balance is a good thing.

Reading is a skill that is often taken for granted in our current day and age. During my childhood, reading books gave me the ability to travel to places that I could not afford as well as meet individuals who looked very different from those I interacted with on a daily basis. It’s also excellent for providing children with a foundation that promotes inclusion as well as a love for learning. Having resources that encourage diversity is very important to me and to a lot of parents.

My Little Red Wellies is one of few examples of kid lit designed to increased the screen-time/environmental balance by motivating kids to get outside and interact with the world around them. And the background story is quite heartwarming.

Lorne and his wife Delane are the author and illustrator of My Little Red Wellies. The story follows a young girl through a variety of outdoor adventures while she’s wearing, you guessed it, red rain boots — and she refuses to let any weather conditions slow her down.

For those of us who are not up to date on English dialect, the author explains what many of us refer to as rain boots are referred to as “Wellies” by folks in England. You can also receive a pair that says “My Little Red Wellies” on the inside upon ordering the book. How cool is that!

Not only that, but the reason the boots are included is just the sweetest. According to the book’s Kickstarter page, these cute lil’ boots serve as a way to take the actions that occur in the tale and replicate them in real life.

“This way our readers can get out and recreate the scenes of the book and make up their own. Our hope is that this book and boot combination will motivate families to build a more active lifestyle together,” says Delane.

Delane, the illustrator, is a self-taught artist who, at age 14, was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy which causes her daily uncontrollable seizures.

The two fell in love and welcomed a son while in college, and the family spends minimal time apart in order to make sure that Delane has someone available (typically Lorne) to assist in the event she has a seizure. The author even discusses how their 4-year-old son has learned to contact him when the seizures occur. And all of those factors were at play in the hard work and dedication that led to the creation of this book.

Their primary goal when writing this book was to encourage other families to be active together and enjoy getting out regardless of the weather. Lorne and Delane “want the story to live beyond its pages.”

But they don’t just hope that people will be out and about in their red wellies. They encourage those who support the book to document and share their individual adventures by using the hashtag #mylittleredwellies. From there, supporters will be able to follow the hashtag and see other families out and about in their “wellies.” Pretty cool, right?

“The social aspect of the book provides an opportunity for children and parents to be creative together,”, Lorne notes.

Connecting readers via social media is a really unique way to encourage family togetherness while experiencing the best the world us has to offer. And what kid doesn’t love to jump in some puddles?

We parents fight the screen time battle every day, but maybe this book and these red boots could actually make it a little easier.

Who knows, maybe they’ll have a sandal version for adults by next summer.