Author Feature: Christina Dankert

CHRISTINA DANKERT

Christina Dankert is a children’s book author, elementary educator, and literacy enthusiast. As an educator, she believes books are a beautiful way to continue to learn and grow. She believes all children should be able to find themselves in picture books. It is through children’s literature and reading to the children in our lives, that will change the world.

If Christina could be any character, she’d pick Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic Schoolbus. As a second grade teacher, she would love to have a magic school bus to go on exciting, learning field trips. Christina has even dressed up as Ms. Frizzle for different reading weeks and loves it. “Get messy. Take chances. Make mistakes!”

Christina’s book, which is about to celebrate its FIRST birthday, The Kindness Machine is about how to spread kindness in a variety of ways. It is an interactive picture book that teachers have been utilizing in their classrooms to get their students talking about the different ways they can be kind to others.

In The Kindness Machine, the students learn the concept of loving yourself and showing kindness to yourself. “Instead of getting frustrated, tell yourself that you can do it. If you make a mistake, tell yourself that it’s okay if you can’t do something right away. Just keep trying until you can. Always believe in yourself, know that you can do anything, and that you are amazing!”

On a particularly challenging day at an early stage in trying to get this book published, a friend of Christina’s, who had read the manuscript, reshared this line with her for encouragement.

Trudy Ludwig, Jacqueline Woodson and Patricia Polacco have all been writing inspirations to Christina. Their stories are beautiful and carry incredible meaning with room for discussion. Based on Christina’s upcoming projects and her current publication – this is definitely an important aspect of her own writing.

Straddling the line betwen a plotter and a pantser, Christina finds that it really depends on the day what kind of writing style she has. Some days, she outlines first and then jumps into writing. Other days, there is a burst of inspiration followed up a flurry writing and typing.

What’s Up Next, for Christina Dankert?

After a beautifully successful year of spreading kindness, and managing to get a copy of The Kindness Machine in all 50 states, Christina is on to the next project. A children’s picture book on empathy and another one inspired by her grandmother. She plans on completing a few picture book manuscripts by the end of the year and then turn to her writing group for some feedback. After those read throughs, she’ll work on polishing them up to a shiny perfection and then it’s off to publishers!

“The empathy manuscript is inspired by my students,” Christina said. “As second graders they are naturally pretty empathetic. However, there is always room for growth and discussion regarding kindness and empathy. Picture books act as a springboard for a variety of conversations to comfortably happen both during and after reading in both homes and schools.”

As a teacher herself, Christina is definitely the expert on those kiddos. But being a working mother, finding time to really focus on her creative projects is difficult.

Advice from Christina

For Christina, making sure she carves out time specifically for writing is important. Otherwise, it doesn’t get done. “I have great motivation from my writing community where we meet online several times a month to encourage one another and hold each other accountable.”

So the takeaway here: give yourself the time. “My advice to other writers, regardless of your genre, is carve out writing time, find a writing group and keep dreaming. There are quite a few speed bumps on the writing journey, but keep working towards your end goal of sharing your story with the world.” Like many other authors that I have interviewed over the years, finding that writer support group is a balm for your writing soul. It provides support, inspiration, and sounding boards for your ideas.

Author Fun Fact

I grew up playing piano and took lessons for 8 years. Although I can no longer read music as quickly as I used to, I play almost every day, creating my own songs. I have written a manuscript about a little girl who learns to play piano, with a theme of perseverance that I hope to publish one day.

If you are interested in connecting with Christina Dankert, make sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Goodreads! I don’t know if you have any interest in this, but here is a link to offer a free printable to your audience that goes with the book. They will also be added to my email list. 

Bonus! If you join Christina’s mailing list, you can even download a printabe copy of The Kindness Machine to share with the kids in your life! Join here!

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

The Kindness Machine

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Published by CorinneAnderson

Writer. Editor. Reader. What else is there?

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