I had the time to put together a post this weekend. Now that I've started teaching, time is few and far between. However, a friend reached out to me about this book and I decided to spotlight it. The book is On Your Way! by Mike Purewal
On Your Way! is a rhythmic book, yielding a superhero vibe that takes the young reader on a magical journey to space and back down to the center of the universe. The book touches upon the mental obstacles we all face like anger, worry, and fear, assuring that they are natural but can be overcome.
In his own words- "I experienced severe burnout, due to stress-related health issues from the intensity of my working life. I’m now an advocate for mental and physical well-being. Being a #GirlDad, one of my priorities is to impact the next generation.
My daughter Bianca is the main character illustrated in On Your Way! We are South East Indian, an underrepresented community in the children’s book industry."
Describe your journey to becoming a children’s author?
I worked corporate for twenty years culminating as a Vice President of Sales. In 2020, I experienced severe burnout, due to stress related health issues, from the intensity of my career. For the majority of my life, I didn’t feel like I made a positive impact to society. I decided to make a change leaving corporate to pursue a path of passion that includes writing. My ultimate goal is to bring more laughter and joy to the world for both children and adults alike when they are snuggling together enjoying one of my books!
What is On Your Way! about?
On Your Way! is a rhythmic story that inspires children to be adventurous, imaginative and explore what’s around them and within them. Yielding a superhero vibe, this magical journey will take children all the way from outer space to the center of the universe! With rainbow trees, rocket ships, dances with the stars, and tapping into the powers of the universe, this story inspires immense creativity.
Are there secondary messages in On Your Way!?
Absolutely. The book has a mindfulness component by touching upon the mental obstacles we all face like anger, worry, and fear assuring that they are natural but can be overcome. Mental health and wellness are such critical issues in our society and I want to ensure that children are heard and understood. Another central theme throughout the story is encouraging children to get off their electronic devices such as their tablets and TVs to explore the world and make new adventures!
What was it like having your daughter illustrated as the main character?
It was an incredible bonding experience with Bianca! At the onset of production, I sent my illustrator pictures of her to be utilized in the story. Every time there were creative revisions, Bianca and I would sit down and she’d give me her perspective! I’ll forever cherish those moments when we’d discuss what we loved and what needed changing. For Bianca, it was so cool for her to see the illustrations evolve and seeing herself as the main character! Given this, it was natural for me to dedicate this story to Bianca, which I hope she cherishes for the rest of her life.
Why is it important to you having BIPOC representation in the characters?
I’m a huge advocate of increasing BIPOC representation for authors and young readers. On Your Way! features children from all backgrounds, with the main character a South East Asian girl. I rarely saw children that looked like myself represented in books growing up. This needs to change. I wanted Bianca to feel seen and heard in her lifetime. This is a story that she can see herself in.
Buy it Now!
On Your Way! by Mike Purewal
Olympia Publishers / Distributor: Ingram
On Sale: October 27th, 2022
Ages: 4-8 / Pages: 32
$10.99 USD / $14.99 CDN – Paperback