Interview with author Julia Cook
Julia Cook is nationally recognized as an award-winning children’s book author and parenting expert, and her books have been referenced in such publications as Parent’s Magazine, The New Yorker, Green Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo.com, DrLaura.com and BabyZone.com has. She has also been featured on CNN’s HLN News, and several large metropolitan networks.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Julia became actively involved in teaching children how to ski, an experience that led to a love of teaching in general. Julia now lives in Fremont, Nebraska. Her Master’s degree is in Elementary School Counseling. While serving as a guidance counselor, Julia often used children’s books to enhance her classroom lessons.
She has presented in thousands of schools across the country and abroad, regularly speaks at national education and counseling conferences. She has published nearly 100 children’s books with a wide range of characters and social development topics. Her books showcase her innate ability to enter the worldview of a children who can then use her storybooks to grow. Julia gives children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”
The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home.
Tell us about yourself
My love for teaching children started when I became a ski instructor at 14 years old. This love led me to a career of teaching middle and elementary aged kids. As a teacher, I was always trying to reach my students in creative ways. In 2002, a school counseling position opened up in my district and I applied and got the job. I loved being a school counselor, and often used bibliotherapy to teach my students great people skills.
Tell us about your books
In 2005, tattling became a huge problem at my school and I couldn’t find a book that seemed to work with my kids, so I wrote a story to read aloud to them. Later that week, a teacher came into my office and told me that my story had worked and the tattle problem was no longer a problem. She encouraged me to do something with the book, so I contacted a publisher and they took it! Fast forward 17 years…there are now 137 Julia Cook titles in 9 languages. They are used throughout the world and over three million books Julia Cook have been sold.
What was your inspiration to write your book(s)?
The inspiration behind all of my books is to offer life-long GREAT PEOPLE SKILLS in a creative way. Kids do not come with instructions, and teaching them how to get along with others in our great, big complicated world is a challenge. We must teach our children to solve their own problems. My books do just that. They model positive parenting and teaching strategies and offer kids problem solving tools in an entertaining way.
My hope is that these stories can always remain timeless. For that to happen, I realize that each book must be considered a work in progress. People change and it is my job to revise the books effectively, so that kids and adults can continue to enjoy and learn from them.
What is the biggest takeaway readers will get from reading your books?
The biggest take-away from reading my books is that every book teaches a GREAT PEOPLE SKILL in a fun, applicable and entertaining way.