Meet children’s author, Lo; through her series “Little Pampu and the Chocolate Bunnies,” (Little Pampu Rides an Airplane, Little Pampu Meets a Unicorn) kids everywhere now have Little Pampu, an adorable brown rabbit who, along with her family of bunnies, encourages and inspires children, while taking them along for the ride to follow their dreams. Here, Black Chicago Woman spoke with Lo about children’s storytelling, the importance of getting kids back into books and what’s next for Little Pampu.
Black Chicago Woman: Talk about what inspired you to create Little Pampu and the Chocolate Bunnies.
Lo: The inspiration actually came from a dream I had where I created the character of one of the chocolate bunnies and from that, I created the story. I had my son create/draw [the character] Little Pampu that followed the first drawing that I did. It was something I felt I had to do because part of Little Pampu’s story is that she has all these adventures in her sleep. Most people have revelations when they’re dreaming in their sleep but I wanted to make it to where Little Pampu would inspire children to follow their dreams, too. Every adventure that she had would eventually come true and her family of chocolate bunnies would assist her in making them come true.
Black Chicago Woman: Children’s storytelling, especially when it comes to children of color, is a very specific niche. As a newer author in this industry, what challenges have you faced so far?
Lo: Unfortunately, one of the challenges has been getting our people to realize that our children should read because a lot of times, it seems to be more about appearance instead of intelligence. It’s very important that our children do realize how strong they can be and that if they follow their dreams and if they’re trying to achieve and if they have hope, then they can really do something. A lot of children aren’t doing that, so we need to encourage more of them—and even some parents—to do the same thing. The biggest challenge has been not only that but also getting people to realize that there are other characters besides the mainstreams ones like Disney or others they see on television. You can introduce your kids to new and different characters.
Black Chicago Woman: In some ways then, technology can be looked at as both a blessing and a curse when it comes to getting kids back into picking up books and reading.
Lo: In my opinion, the most important thing to have which is extremely simple is a library card. They have books at the library—you can find your own adventures by reading books and even if you have a Kindle, you still have to read it. Children need to have the ability to research, read, use their imagination and dream, and you can do that by reading.
Black Chicago Woman: The Little Pampu mascot can be seen all around Chicago at schools and various events involving young children. Talk about those visits and their overall impact.
Lo: Once they see Little Pampu, the children are so excited because she is something larger than life. A lot of the children are very curious and they approach her and want to touch and hug her and they ask plenty of questions. They ask all kinds of questions that let you know they’re even concerned about her. She is so approachable—it’s almost like she’s someone that they want to take care of or know more about. That’s the impact and effect she has.
Black Chicago Woman: What do you like most about writing and creating for young minds?
Lo: What I enjoy the most is telling the story and when I’m actually reading it to kids, I love seeing how interested they are. It also gives me an opportunity to have a little fun myself—I get to relive my childhood through them.
Black Chicago Woman: What’s next for the Little Pampu series? Will she have a new adventure soon?
Lo: Next up is Little Pampu Goes to Rome because…I went to Rome last year! [Laughs]. I also want to translate the second book (Little Pampu Meets a Unicorn) and the third book, which is in the illustration phase, into Spanish. I’ll also be putting out different versions of reading levels for each book because I want to be able to have stories that children can grow into and grow up with. I want them to grow up with Little Pampu like we grew up with Disney and Mickey Mouse and so on, so that they may introduce their children to Little Pampu. The goal is to keep Little Pampu going.
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