Who are Sammie & Sax? The story behind our children’s adventure book

Friday, September 14, 2018

People have asked me how I came up with the story of Sammie & Sax. The truth is I have always been a storyteller. When my children were little I concocted bedtime stories about "The Kingdom of Good" where they would be the characters in the stories going on adventures, solving the problems of the kingdom and doing good.

Stories are really the way we learn and pass on information. Making it fun and entertaining is the magic of effective teaching. Because Livliga and Kidliga are all about teaching portions: real, right-sized serving sizes; and proportions: how much of each type of food we should eat… I knew we needed a story that would incorporate these concepts.
After more studying I realized that the most fundamental idea for eating healthy is learning about a balanced meal.  A balanced meal is all about types of foods, proportions of those foods and their appropriate amounts at a meal. There are studies that show most people do not know what a balanced meal is today. How can we teach our kids about a balanced meal and healthy eating if we are not clear about it ourselves? That is when it came to me to write a book for young children that their parents and caregivers could read to them. Everybody could learn together and have fun doing it.

I wanted it to be an adventure book with children as the central characters. It needed to be a book where they were charged with discovering the answer to a question posed that needed to be resolved through their experience. And, of course, adventures need to have a bit of magic to them.

Sammie and Sax became the central characters. I chose to have them be a sister and brother. Sammie is an outgoing 8 year old who can’t get enough of fruits and vegetables. She loves to sing and is a fantastic big‑sister to Sax. Sax is 6 and is in the 1st grade. He's Sammie's younger brother, and his very best friend is the mischievous family dog, Rhubarb. Sax is extremely curious and loves to solve mysteries. As is the case in our own family, our kids grew up with dogs that went on many adventures with them.  It seemed natural that Sammie and Sax would have a dog and that he would go with them on their trips to magical lands. That is how Rhubarb came to be.

The book evolved into a mixture of a fairytale and an adventure with a lesson to be learned. In a lot of fairytales there is the vehicle to help the characters to get from one situation to another. Dorothy had her red shoes, Rapunzel had her long hair, and Cinderella’s godmother had a magic wand. Since our book was focusing on healthy eating and balanced meals it occurred to me that our LivSpoon could become the magical tool to help Sammie, Sax, and Rhubarb get from one place to another.

It has always been the plan to make the adventures of Sammie and Sax a series.  There is so much we can teach and share about healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle to our children. Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal is only the beginning.

We also have so many ways we can offer additional information to complement the books and the lessons within them. We have a dish set designed just for children and incorporating the characters from the book, a puzzle, recipes, mazes, coloring pages, and an activity booklet. We even have a DIY placemat that kids can make for themselves.

Most recently we have translated our book into Spanish so more kids can meet Sammie and Sax and learn about healthy eating. It is done as an ebook so it can be made available for a very nominal price ($2.99) and accessed anywhere in the world where children speak Spanish. The characters and some content has been modified in the book to make it more culturally relevant too.

September is #NationalChildhoodObesityAwarenessMonth (NCOA). To get things started off right Livliga has a special Kidliga Sale all September long!  All Kidliga products are 30% OFF with FREE shipping! Use this discount code at checkout: HealthyKids30off. Our designated nonprofit to receive donations from each sale is Children With Diabetes. Please help us help kids live healthy!

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Enjoy! And Live vibrant....or as Sammie and Sax would say, “Zoom, zoom, away!

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