Children and YA Writers Talk Podcast

Where’s My Football?

On October 6, 2018, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann Nye West who helped produce and publish her granddaughter’s children’s book, Where’s My Football?

About the Book: Where’s My Football is a lift-the-flap board book for toddlers written and illustrated by Mairead Nye when she was 12.  The book tells the story of a little boy named Johnny who has lost his football and is looking all over the place for it.  Little children can lift the flaps and follow along with Johnny as he searches for his lost football under his bed, a chair pillow, the trampoline, an upturned trash can, and in his closet as their parents read the story to them. Mairead’s little brother inspired Mairead to write the book, and her grandmother helped her publish it.

Where’s My Football? has earned three literary awards:

  • Creative Child Magazine’s Board Book of the Year
  • The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Bronze Medal for the Best Book by an Author Under the Age of 18
  • A CIPA EVVY Merit Award

The book has lessons of independence, problem solving, self-reliance and perseverance as Johnny searches for and finds his lost football by himself

It can also be a valuable tool in encouraging little boys to read, which studies show is becoming a major problem.

  • A 2010 report by the Center on Education Policy states that in every state and in every grade, boys are trailing behind girls in reading. They even  called this lag, “the most pressing gender-gap issue facing our schools.”
  • Boys have scored significantly lower than girls in reading at all grade levels every year since 1992 on the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the first year for which NAEP scores are available.
  • The gap grows larger, not smaller, as children get older, such that, by 12th grade, more than twice as many girls as boys scored as “advanced” in reading on the 2015 NAEP.
  • Boys are also for more likely than girls to be identified as learning disabled in reading.

Where’s My Football? may also be a great interactive book for young children on the autism spectrum. Shannon Sullivan, co-founder of the Community Autism Store in Aurora, and the mother of an autistic child had this to say about the book:

“The simple, colorful illustrations depict Johnny’s changing emotions as he loses, searches for, and eventually finds his lost football. The lift the flaps help children to engage with the fun, relatable story, and the book includes wonderful, functional vocabulary — preposition and lots of useful nouns — that create many opportunities for language development and communication. The bright, colorful illustrations give them the opportunity to explore color and shape and the lift the flaps provide a sensory experience which can stimulate attention and foster calm.  Sharing this book is a good way for parent to connect with their children.”

More Testimonials:

“I bought this book for my friend’s grandchildren. Her seven grandchildren love looking for ‘the football.’ Interactive books are such a wonderful way to keep children’s attention.” – Sherri D.

“My eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter still love reading this book after having it about year now. In fact my son brought it down to breakfast this morning. And even though my daughter can’t ‘read’ yet, she was reciting each page to our one-year-old over breakfast when it was her turn with the book. Great, fun little board book for kids of all ages!” – Veronica Y.

“I recently received this book and read it to my granddaughter and grandnephew, both toddlers. They loved it and keep saying, “again, again!” I probably read it at least a half dozen times and they never tired of the book. It didn’t take long for them to figure out how to life the flaps and they loved lifting them to help Johnny find his football. I am amazed that a 12-year-old wrote this book! The book is great for little kids and is a great gift. I highly recommend it for anyone with toddlers in their family.” – James W.

“Our son Benjamin received this book for Christmas. Since he has received this book, it has become his favorite. He reads through it at least twice a day.” – Leslie and Andrew Leach

Read more about Ann and Where’s My Football?:

Listen to the Podcast here.

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