Using Storytelling To Teach Children To Celebrate Their Uniqueness

April 20, 2023
Christine Solomon is an internationally recognized, award-winning actress. The multilingual Canadian has been featured in various cinematic productions, stage plays, video games and commercials since being cast in her first theatre performance at the age of 5. Solomon has served on the Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Television Nominating Committee and been an official juror at various prestigious film festivals across the country. She has spent a great part of her career supporting affirmative causes, including Building for Americaʼs Bravest, the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada and GiveBack360 and is a strong advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion.
This story took place in United States

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When I was a little girl, I was different. While other kids played outside, I enjoyed staying in and working on my unique creative projects. I had my own opinions. I was pretty vocal about my likes and dislikes, and when someone told me I couldn’t do something, I would turn around and prove them wrong. While that may have seemed strange to some, I felt unique.

I grew up in a society where everyone wanted to fit in, so I tried to stand out. I realized early on that standing out gets you noticed and gives you more opportunities and that being your authentic self helps you succeed in life.

Sadly, bullying and cyberbullying are global problems in the world in which we presently live. As a result, I feel compelled to use my voice and platform to raise awareness and teach kids to celebrate their uniqueness and let them know that they are capable of realizing anything their hearts desire. That’s why Odd Ed was born.

I’ve always wanted to write and publish a book for children. Nevertheless, some people advised me not to bother, claiming that I am an actor and not an author, that I know nothing about this industry, and that it would be a waste of my time as I would be opposed by well-known children’s book authors. But I did not listen; I followed my heart. I firmly believe in being true to myself, and even though I knew nothing about this field, I did not allow that to stop me from attempting to impact kids through my book.

I faced many obstacles while publishing this book, but I never gave up. I knew those challenges were learning opportunities to help me move forward in life. I also believe planting seeds in children’s minds at a very early age will significantly improve their lives and have a powerful impact on their growth. Children should be taught courage, love, self-acceptance, as well as tolerance since we all have distinct talents.

The main character of the story, Ed, is an egg who stands apart from his siblings in terms of appearance and personality. This makes his siblings regularly make fun of him. I decided to portray Ed with spots on its shell as a result of my rosacea to teach kids that people with skin conditions shouldn’t be judged by their appearance.

Along with his siblings, Ed sets off on a journey that not only helps his brothers and sisters learn important lessons about what it’s like to stand out and be kind but also helps Ed feel proud of his uniqueness.

I believe reading Odd Ed will teach readers two essential things.

First and foremost, the book will teach readers that every one of us is unique and that our distinctions make us thrive in life; it will also teach children kindness and mutual support and, most importantly, to embrace who they are. Secondly, it will teach children organizing skills and how to be environmentally conscious. Moreover, it will help them develop a love for reading. I made tremendous efforts to provide as much detail as I could in order to teach kids new things they may not be aware of.

It feels great to see that Odd Ed has touched many lives. I continuously receive messages from parents, kids, and people who have read the book, telling me how it has impacted their perspectives and their children’s lives.

Ultimately, writing this book sets an example of never underestimating your capabilities. People who advised me against publishing a children’s book were surprised to see my book sold in several large bookstores such as Barnes and Noble The Grove flagship store (one of the hardest stores to get your book in) and receive the amount of media attention it did, including being featured on Global TV Montreal. My experience with publishing this book has helped solidify my conviction to always listen to my heart. Don’t let others limit you from what you can accomplish, and even more importantly, believe in yourself.

The moral of my personal story is that you should never give up. Do what feels right for you, and never underestimate your capabilities. There’s a little bit of Odd Ed in all of us who are destined for greatness.

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