As we near Christmas, it can be challenging finding gifts for children that are not only fun and entertaining, but educational as well. Children’s book author, PRG Collins, has written a book series called Life Lessons for Kids that aims to help parents and guardians teach their children important life lessons in a nurturing and enjoyable way. Topics such as stealing, honesty, bullying, positivity, diversity, equality and being yourself are covered in the nine books currently in the series.
We sat down with PRG Collins to chat more about his Life Lessons for Kids book series.
After a successful career as a business owner with a background in IT and software, you decided to pursue your hobby of creative writing. What inspired you to write Life Lessons for Kids?
No matter what career you follow there is that much-looked-forward-to time when you come home to your family after working. When my 4 kids were all under 5 I wanted to tell them nighttime stories as they got older, going from bedroom to bedroom with my creative juices needing to be firing! From ages 4-8 they all wanted stories and responded to them, but my problem was when they wanted the same story again on another night I had to try and remember what I’d told them! So I began to fill up cassettes with stories as a back-up, and put a player in their room if it wasn’t a made-up new story they wanted but a previously told one. Many years later, all the kids in their 20s and 30s said: “Dad, you need to tell your stories to the kids out there who are like we were once!” So I began the process, basing my stories on animals both farmyard and wild, all stories with a Life Lesson such as don’t steal, watch out for cars, learn to swim, clean your teeth, be fair, learn to listen and being yourself. Luckily a publishing company came along and now nine of my stories have been published, another 30-odd being illustrated for later publication by my super illustrator ‘partner’.
How have you found the transition from business owner to children’s author?
There are some similarities naturally. Sensible guidelines, team work, correctness, credibility and meaningful content. But the desire to arm young children with the capability to face new challenges, to cope better with emotions, to learn a lesson without being harmed before they do, and to bring awareness to our future adults of the good, the sensible, the adroit … just equipping them with some life skills learned early on via farmyard and wild animal stories.
What’s your favourite book in the series and why?
I particularly like ‘A Zebra called Hoops’. It’s a tale about Special Needs but the main gist of the story is that we are all the same despite how we might appear on the outside. When the zebra dazzle leader painted black horizontal stripes on the zebras’ backs, giving them a checkered look, and then painted vertical stripes on the zebras whose lines ran differently, horizontally and thus making them appear different, they all looked the same!
When you were a kid, what was the most important life lesson you were taught and how has it helped you in your adult life?
When I was a kid I remember wanting some guidelines on how to meet the needs of each day be it related to school, friends, family, lifestyle…almost a “How to” book. When I got some of these guidelines I think I faced the days better prepared.
What do you hope children and their parents/guardians will gain from reading your books?
I would love to think that kids in the 4-8 year age group could read a Life Lessons for Kids book and remember the lesson that the animal learned and hold that memory themselves as they went about their daily lives, growing, learning and better-equipped to face the emotions and situations surely coming their way.
Tell us a bit about you.
I’m just a dad.
You can learn more about the Life Lessons for Kids books here
You can also follow PRG Collins on Instagram: @lifelessons_forkids