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A children’s book published by Lilly De La Cruz in December 2020 titled “Growing Up: A Max Adventure.” The book follows the character Max as she navigates turning 4-years-old. De La Cruz said the character Max is loosely based on her daughter Alivia.
Leader photo by Thomas Wallner/Contributed photo

Learning by doing: Lilly De La Cruz makes impact through writing, actions

To learn by doing and make an impact through action is the mantra that has inspired former Graham resident Lilly De La Cruz to break into children’s books and help women in her life coach position in Des Moines, Iowa.

De La Cruz worked in marketing before becoming interested in publishing and book formatting. She was self-taught in marketing and wanted to teach herself another trade and saw a children’s book as a great way to start. She was able to work with an illustrator in Japan and a book formatter in India on the children’s book that was published in December 2020 titled “Growing Up: A Max Adventure.” The book follows the character Max as she navigates turning 4-years-old. De La Cruz said the character Max is loosely based on her daughter Alivia.

“On her fourth birthday she was literally running around saying a lot of these things that are in the book. I decided to take it from that poetry format and write it the way it is written (in the book) which is obviously a very simplistic thing because I thought how can I use this to teach my kid to read and write. And so it is actually very helpful for that because you can identify the repetitive words. It’s perfect for that preschool age range. That was another thing I got to learn a lot about,” she said. “The second book is about the character which is loosely based off of her (Alivia), but then also kind of based off my experiences. (...) The character goes back to Mexico City to meet some of her distant family and the whole story is about her loving it there and loving that family and culture, but then loving her family and culture, again, in this still very simplistic way (that) you can be both things. You can be Hispanic and an Iowan or whatever the case is.”

For the rest of the story, see the June 5 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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