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

New 84-unit seniors housing in Saanich constructed to Built Green standards

Mount Doug Manor an example of Built Green on a big scale

UPDATED: Bail conditions released for Esquimalt man facing multiple sexual assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Saanich teen takes her karate skills onto the world stage

National champion Olivia Brodie will compete at the 2018 Junior Pan-American Karate Championships

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Most Read