Literary lessons

One Mizzou student and published author is teaching children the importance of appreciating different cultures.

Dec. 21, 2018

Many people dream of writing a book. Cydni Robertson, a doctoral student in Textile and Apparel Management at Mizzou, can say that she turned that dream into a reality. Robertson’s children’s book “Mae and Louise: The Heritage Festival,” was published this fall by Baobab Publishing.

Picture of Cydni Robertson holding her children's book

Cydni Robertson, a doctoral student at Mizzou, recently published a new children's book geared toward culture.

“My mom works as a librarian at a university and my father has owned a bookstore for many years,” Robertson said. “Books have always been an important part of my life. I was inspired to write a children’s book to share my love of reading with another generation.”

During her undergraduate career at Mizzou, Robertson studied abroad in Peru and El Salvador. This experience still resonates with her today.

“Studying abroad, I began to appreciate many unfamiliar cultures by finding the similarities within people instead of focusing on the differences,” Robertson said. “I wanted to find a way to introduce new cultures to my readers.”

The book, “Mae and Louise: The Heritage Festival” is the first of a series geared toward those on a third to fifth grade reading level. It aims to not only bridge the gap between picture and chapter books, but also it strives to help its readers find confidence, become culturally competent and understand the importance of good character.

One of Robertson’s favorite memories throughout her time at Mizzou was participating in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Alpha Chapter’s annual Miss Black and Gold Pageant. The pageant brought her many lasting friendships and improved her self-confidence.

Robertson’s advice to current Mizzou students is to use all resources available, write thank you cards often and to make self-care a priority.

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