Hello! I’m Ann Morris when I write in English and Ana Morris when I write in Spanish. I am bilingual and writing is my mission. I use it to communicate a message and teach children how to learn in a fun context. I primarily write Children’s Picture Books, but I have done essays and poetry as well.
My stories are based on true experiences with family members. There is always a curious child, a patient adult, and a learning experience in the story. The stories always show a way to learn how to find the answer to the questions at hand.
I am a former Spanish teacher and always wished I had more elementary Spanish books to share with students in class. I also taught English to some children from Spain and wished I had more children’s books they could relate to for improving their reading comprehension. Now I do both. I write for the native speakers and for the language learners.
I also worked for a while with the state workforce division of Iowa and helped Latinos as well as people from around the world seek work and community resources to find help for their needs. I always emphasized to them that strong English skills and a high school degree would help them with their confidence, as well as help them find better work. I always want to help people find ways to make themselves more self-sufficient and more proud of their situation. I always treat people with respect. It is so easy, but so many people have not had that experience.
My first book was about my son Mikel and me. “Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk”/”Mami y Mikel dan un paseo” have been well received. The first printing was by the first self-publishing company I tried. The quality of the books was not what I had hoped, so I had it republished by another company that paid more attention to art consistency and formatting. I love it now! In this book, Mommy and Mikel spent some special time together and went for a nature walk. Mikel was full of questions and enthusiasm. He even spotted an animal by the river that we did know know. We went to the library to learn what it was. Mikel and I are both white and blonde, so I had us portrayed the way we were when the story happened.
My second book pair was, “Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!”/”¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!”. This one was about my niece and me. I changed the story a bit to give it more interest and used Latinas in that book, as Erin and I are both blondes, also. This book is about my flower garden. I have always loved flowers, and Erin has, too. She would come to visit, and one day noticed a colorful “worm” in the garden on some milkweed I had overlooked. We used the Internet to discover that it was a Monarch caterpillar. We followed its life cycle, watched it create its chrysalis and even were present to see it emerge! It was a wonderful experience. Another thing that was exciting about this book was that I received an award from the Moms Choice Awards for it! That really made me proud!
I am currently working on my third book pair. This one is “Everything Is Different!”/”¡Todo está diferente!”. The true characters were adults visiting England for the first time. I substituted my nephew and his dad as the characters to show the reactions to a new culture, a different accent, different money, different history, different driving habits, and many new things that my nephew observed. He learned that things can be different and still be acceptable, an important concept for all of us today! In this book, Brett and his dad will be African-American. I want to rotate races and ethnicities to include all of my readers, so they all feel welcome to read my books.
I am self-published. That means I pay to have my books printed, but I do all the promotion, advertising, marketing, scheduling of events, and it keeps me very busy. One of the activities I love the most is reading to school children. We have fun as I tell them my stories and answer their questions. I even read to a bilingual school in Spain! I was so happy to visit them! I know I will have more opportunities to do so. I also schedule book signings, participate in interviews and blogs, I’ve been interviewed on air by two Latino radio stations in Spanish, I have a website and a Facebook page, I use a lot of social media to reach as many people as possible. I love participating in art fairs and author fairs…I’m open to all opportunities! I really do love what I do!
I love education, and I love languages. I think it is so important for people to learn to know each other as individuals, without judging them by stereotypes or group impressions. I have two groups on Facebook for learners of English that are from different parts of the world and different religions. The rule is we don’t discuss religion or politics or things that would offend anyone. We work to get to understand each other and where we are from. The group members love this and are thankful for a peaceful, safe place to practice their English. That makes me happy.
I hope you will want to learn more about me and my books! I will give you a list of places where you can learn more about what I do and where you can find my books. I’m glad I had the chance to introduce myself today. Thank you for reading about me!
My books are also on other bookstore websites and on consignment in several locations, but these are the ones that will tell you something about me, too.
“If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin unto its nest again, I shall not live in vain.”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1856)