Anne Marie Martens & Marjorie Joys - Authors
Anne-Marie Martens and Marjorie Joys, co-authors of The Twins Mia & Mateo Daddy’s Little Helpers are a true team. Mother and daughter as well as writers, the pair are passionate about writing children’s books.
Anne-Marie Martens is a mother of four, grandmother of three; her background teaching kindergarten and elementary age students led her to the conclusion that speaking more than one language is the future – and it’s never too early to start. Writing a bilingual children’s book was always her dream, and writing with her daughter seemed perfect.
Marjorie Joys felt the same way. The mother of a 4-year-old, Marjorie has worked with children for many years as a childcare provider. “Writing a children's book with my mother has always been a goal, we have a great relationship - our strengths complete each other and we make a great team,” she enthuses. She also studied art in Belgium, which helped the pair create a strong visual rhythm for the book, winningly illustrated by Brazilian artist Vanessa Alexandre.
The Twins Mia & Mateo Daddy’s Little Helpers was inspired by the mother/daughter team’s first-hand knowledge of many sets of twins. “Twins will be a team no matter what,” she attests, adding that she was fascinated by “their special connection, their way of helping each other, and covering for each other.”
Marjorie and Anne-Marie realized there are few children’s books about twins available for children ages 2-8, and decided to fill that gap – as well as adding an exciting bilingual element in French and English.
Mia & Mateo's characters were inspired by the duo’s work with multiple twins – and they say that their goal with the book is for children to recognize themselves in the story: helping a parent, participating in everyday life, making mistakes, and trying to fix them.
The illustrations grab the attention of younger children, while older children can practice their English or French, and even learn another language. The book also includes two pages of vocabulary words to inspire children and their parents to read and learn together. The pair plan to have the same book released in an English and Spanish language version, as well, soon. The authors believe that speaking another language gives children a powerful tool to feel comfortable in exploring the world.
“We love the feedback we get from reading to children. Reading books is very important in a child's growth and mustn't be replaced or forgotten,” Marjorie says.
Anne-Marie adds “I have witnessed that moment when you look at a child and see a big kid - not a baby or toddler. All of a sudden, they are grown up, something is changed in them and they are becoming more independent little beings. All these years working with children of all ages, that was my true inspiration for the characters of our books.”