Tag Archives: children’s literature


Captain Book Treasure Chest Literacy Program

IMG_8477Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Captain Book’s 100,000th book donation at the Encinitas Library with local children’s author, Sally Pla. Captain Book spreads the love of reading to children all over San Diego county through school visits and free books.

I simply love seeing people give back in whatever unique and quirky ways their imaginations inspire. Captain Book told us about the many thoughtful touches to his program, including a pirate telescope that “sees” beautiful gifts in each child’s heart, treasure chests filled with goodies for kids, and a donated ambulance, converted into a free book delivery truck that Captain Book drives through Camp Pendleton and underserved communities.

If you are interested in helping Captain Book spread the love of reading, check out his website!


Cozy, Holiday Cooking Class with no Hoopla!

IMG_7492Our world has gotten so loud. Kid-friendly has come to mean chaotic, with each kid event louder, bigger, more stimulating than the last. Most kids don’t thrive under these conditions, and for introverted kids or those with sensory processing disorders and/or autism, these environments are incredibly painful and lead to meltdowns.

We are alienating these kids.

This is a primary theme in my chapter book Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas, as second-grader Lexi struggles to cut through the “hoopla” at her school during the holidays, and years to find her own peace. Reviewers have called it a “different” kind of a Christmas story, but I’m not convinced it’s that different from the experiences of many of our kids. The kids who are most likely to suffer from sensory overload are also the least likely to verbalize it. Experts estimate that 33-50% of our kids meet this description (source: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.)

My goal as a children’s author is to work toward a world that honors all kids and their unique, beautiful wiring. For these reasons, I teamed up with Amanda from The Good Food Factory to provide a cozy, quiet holiday cooking class. We turned down the volume and the lights to enjoy some respite and cozy holiday food. Amanda has amazing talent in offering a truly inclusive classroom, providing more stimulation for those who need it, without disrupting those who need quiet.

We read from Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas, we cooked latkes (Lexi’s favorite holiday food from her class party) and we sipped Lexi’s all-time favorite holiday drink, hot cocoa with marshmallows.

It was a cozy, delicious event. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with wonderful, compassionate Amanda. If you’re in the San Diego area, I highly recommend her kids’ cooking classes. And if you’re not, you can check out her kids’ TV cooking show and cook her healthy, kid-friendly food with your kids at home!



Michigan School Visit Tour: Celebrating Your Superpowers to Make the World a Better Place

IMG_6958I had such a great time last week in Michigan on a school visit tour. Though never stated in the text, my Super Lexi chapter books are set in Michigan, where I spent my own childhood. I have such a deep love for the people and the state itself, I include it in the backdrop of most of my fiction. It was so comforting to be back.

The focus of my elementary school visits is to celebrate neurodiversity by empowering kids to use their diverse gifts for the greater good. In my assemblies, I work to illustrate how all people have value, and how we are unique for a reason.

Then, we get into the fun part: we brainstorm ways to discover our gifts by following what we love, and we hammer out easy ways we can apply those passions for the greater good. Last week, I challenged the kids to organize their thoughts on a bookmark that I provided, and to take action that day.


The kids had the most amazing suggestions, including:

  • Start a book club
  • Sell homemade baked goods for a charity
  • Cook food and donate it to a homeless shelter
  • Invite a new student over to play video games
  • Donate old video games to a younger child or a child in need
  • Play soccer with a younger child
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog

I love seeing them light up when they discuss the magic that is already in them.

If you’re interested in an author visit, please email me at emma@emmalesko.com!


My Work Is Featured in the Huffington Post!


I am so excited to be featured in the Huffington Post! I poured my heart into this interview, in the hopes of spreading the message I want all kids to hear: “You are unique for a reason. If society is not valuing your authentic self, that’s society’s dysfunction, not yours. Find your voice, find your power, and fulfill your purpose.”

Click here to read the full interview!


A New Form of Storytelling in Kenya!

Magzi quickly discovered that selfies are hilarious.

Magzi quickly discovered that selfies are hilarious.

I have so many exciting things to share, but perhaps the most exciting for me is my recent trip to Kenya. I had the pleasure of going there with Kids for Peace, who is donating a pre-primary school to the village of Mikei with the help of the kids who will participate in the 2016 Great Kindness Challenge.*

Though she's goofing off in this picture, it's common in Magzi's village to for kids to carry large buckets of water on their heads.

Though she’s goofing off in this picture, it’s common in Magzi’s village for kids to carry large buckets of water on their heads.

As a storyteller, I was particularly thrilled with my assignment: to film a day-in-the-life of a wonderful, funny and joyful 10-year-old girl, Magzi. The purpose of the video will be to share her story with kids across the world so they can donate coins for her school during The Great Kindness Challenge in January. Last year, over 2,000,000 students participated, and that number is growing. Magzi’s current school moves from vacant building-to-building, and has few desks and text books. I am confident that Magzi and her 160 classmates will have a beautiful new school with books and furniture and many of the other things on her wish list by next summer.

The best part of this project is giving Magzi a platform to use her voice and to be heard. I am a passionate believer in the necessity of exposing kids to diverse stories so they may expand their worldview and cultivate empathy. I would never write Magzi’s story; it is hers and hers alone. All she needs is the audience, and I am doing my best to remain a silent facilitator.

This is my first video of this kind, and I am truly hoping that I can create it in a way that captures the beauty of Mikei, and the radiance of the children who live there. They made it as easy a possible. The footage is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to share it!

Magzi and her friends in their current school yard.

Magzi and her friends in their current school yard.






*The Kindness Challenge is a movement that encourages schools to devote one week each school year to performing as many acts of kindness as possible using a checklist of 50 suggestions. It’s free, fun, and transformational. Sign up your school here!


Huffington Post – You Are Unique For a Reason: An Interview with Author and Advocate Emma Lesko

Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution – An Interview with Emma

Kids for Peace, Great Kindness Challenge: Children on Autism Spectrum Overturn Commonly Held Myths about the Disorder through Kindness

Geek Club Books: Emma Lesko, an Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in Children’s Literature


Author Q&A on Goodreads!


I will be answering questions regarding my chapter book SUPER LEXI and the upcoming sequel, SUPER LEXI IS NOT A FAN OF CHRISTMAS (Nov 4, 2014), on Goodreads for the next week!

Please submit your questions or those of your kids here!


Some of the Q & A’s so far:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

As a little kid, I never got into “kid-friendly” activities. Overnight camping trips, field trips, school performances, carnivals, class parties, you name it, they overwhelmed me. I did not like them. But in the 80s, kids’ perspectives were not validated as well as they are today, so I frequently faced grown-ups who told me all kids liked that stuff. No one really believed me.

I decided to write SUPER LEXI about a second-grade girl who hates musical performances & staring eyeballs because I think kids need to be told there’s more than one way to experience the world. There is power in the written word. I thought if a grown-up wrote a book that says it’s OK to see the world this way, then it would be official for whatever kid needs to hear that.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

As a kids’ author, the best thing about being a writer is by and large the audience. I love children and I have so much hope and belief in them. The very nature of evolution promises that they are capable of doing greater things than I am. I simply love being a doorway that they can walk through on their own journeys to greatness.

Will there be anymore books in this series after the Christmas book? (Cade, age 8)

It’s so nice to hear from you, Cade!

I do have a few more ideas for SUPER LEXI books and hope to complete them, but there are no official releases scheduled after the Christmas book comes out in November. When I do have release dates on future books, I’ll announce them on my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/EmmaLeskoAuthor

Thank you for your question!

More questions


Win a Signed, Advanced Copy of Super Lexi!

What’s your Superpower?

Submit your child’s drawing of his/her superpower by 11:59 (PST) on Sunday, February 16, 2014 and win a signed, advanced copy of my upcoming chapter book, Super Lexi. One winner will be selected by raffle and announced on Monday, February 17, 2014.

Submission example:


Please have your child include his/her first name and age. Please do not include last names.

Submission Process
Submissions will be accepted through Facebook, Twitter or email.

Increase your Child’s Chances of Winning

  • Facebook – I will post all submissions to a Facebook photo album within 24 hours of your submission. Ask your friends to “like” your child’s image. Each like counts as an additional submission.
  • Twitter – Ask your Twitter followers to retweet your submission. Each retweet counts as an additional submission. You must include my Twitter handle @LeskosSuperLexi.

Winner selection process
The winner will be selected at random in a raffle. Each entry, Facebook like and retweet will count as 1 “raffle ticket.”

Legal Stuff
All entries must be drawn by children 12 years old and under and must be submitted by an adult 18 or over. When you upload or otherwise submit content to Emma Lesko for this contest, you give Emma Lesko a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. By submitting to this contest, you attest that you have the necessary rights to grant this license for any content that you submit to Emma Lesko for the purposes of this contest, and that you are of at least 18 years of age.

Thanks for participating – and good luck!