About the Creators
Rena Rosen, Emylee Cadiz, and Becky Lewis are people whose lives have been touched by differences. Rena was born with a condition called craniofrontonasal syndrome, and Emylee's and Becky's daughters were born with the same condition. Craniofrontonasal syndrome is a very rare (1 in 120,000 births) craniofacial condition that causes the skull sutures to be fused at birth and results in facial differences.
Shortly after Claire and Aubrey were born, we formed a friendship over social media and developed the idea for this book. We are passionate about inclusion, kindness, representation, and empowering achievement. And we see a gap in representation of kids with differences in children's books. So we are creating a book that has role models who mighty kids can identify with and who encourage them to dream big.
About Rena Rosen
I'm the founder of The Art of Compassion, an organization that is dedicated to building a kind, inclusive and accepting community for people of all differences and abilities, together, as one tribe. I'm also a preschool educator and the co-author of the book "The Courage to Be Kind", a children’s book dedicated to instilling kindness and awareness of differences. For the past three years, I've shared my vision on behalf of The Art of Compassion through social media, collaborations with similar mission-driven organizations, and public speaking opportunities. I've taken my life experiences, having grown up with craniofacial anomalies, and made it my mission to make a positive impact with what I have learned.
It’s so important to me to have a book relatable to any child regardless of their difference or disability that encourages them to dream big and work hard to accomplish their goals. Dear Mighty Kids encourages empathy, connection, and showcases courage and strength. So many lessons can be learned while getting lost in this book of belonging.
About Emylee Cadiz
I am a mother to three amazing kids. I am also a nurse and an independent consultant for a children's book company. Books have always been an important part of mine and my children's lives. To this day, my 20 year-old would rather read than do anything else.
Sadly, I had never realized how underrepresented people with differences or disabilities are in children's books until I gave birth to my 2 year-old daughter, Aubrey. Aubrey was born with the rare diagnosis of Craniofrontonasal Dysplasia. From her moment of birth until now she has had 1 major skull reconstruction and two other minor surgeries, multiple therapies, and countless specialty doctors and orthotic appointments. She amazes me every step of the way.
I am so inspired by Aubrey and feel incredibly blessed to be her mom! I want her to always know how strong and capable she is and to always believe in herself. I never want her differences to hold her back from achieving her biggest dreams! Because of this, I want to provide her with every tool I can to encourage her. Dear Mighty Kids is a book that is desperately needed and lacking in literature today! I want to fill this literacy void and have this book on my shelf the moment my Mighty Kid is old enough to hear about the triumphs of other Mighty Kids!
About Becky Lewis
I'm a mom to an amazing two year old, Claire. In her short two years, she has already had two major skull surgeries to reconstruct her skull and give her brain room to grow. She wore a helmet for six months when she was a baby and went through lots of tests and therapies. She proves time and time again that while she might be a little peanut, she is mighty! One of her favorite things to do is read books and she is working on saying lots of new words. Nothing is stopping her!
When I was pregnant and found out I was having a girl, I was thrilled and began filling up her bookshelf with books that contained strong female main characters. Girls are underrepresented in children's books and I feel strongly that children should be able to read about strong characters who they can identify with. When Claire was born and diagnosed with craniofrontonasal syndrome, I realized I didn't have many books that had main characters with differences. So I began looking for books. I found some amazing books, but main characters with disabilities or differences are very underrepresented in children's books. I want Claire and other mighty kids to have a book that is full of main characters who have differences and are the heroes of the stories. I want my daughter and other kids with differences to grow up believing in themselves and believing that they can achieve their dreams, whatever those dreams may be.