Children’s book opens a window to nature

By Laura Smith

News & Record/ Go Triad

Robin Carter used to think running marathons was tough. Now, with two adopted daughters and a recently published children’s book, the yoga instructor from Greensboro is balancing everything, and loving every minute of it.

Carter’s children’s book, “The Aunts Who Didn’t Like Birthday Cake,” is based on her experiences with her own six aunts as a child.

The plot follows the simple story of six aunts who gather fruit each season and prepare fruity desserts for each of their birthdays instead of making birthday cakes. The book’s purpose is to remind families of the importance of getting back to their natural roots, Carter said. Recipes are included.

Carter, 51, who grew up picking strawberries and blueberries and spending time outdoors with her family, says her book will help children learn more about nature versus versus what a child might retain from a computer game.

“I think that we need to conform, and we need to evolve, but I don’t think we need to lose our roots, and I think that we always need to honor the Earth.”

Carter has been working on the book on and off for seven years and says the way her aunts lived with a love for the earth was an inspiration to her. Three of her six aunts are now deceased; the oldest is 96.

Carter, who majored in Child Development and Family Relations at UNCG and directed a preschool for 27 years, also attributes her love for nature to her two and three-year old adopted daughters, Hope Linh and Honour An. Carter adopted the children two years ago from Vietnam.

“They taught me a new appreciation for nature, the earth and living in the moment,” she said. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them; the capacity to love and have your heart full is the most overwhelming and awesome gift.”

It is this kind of love that Carter hopes parents and children will take away from the book, she said.

In addition to writing the book, Carter also drew all the illustrations and has been working her way towards a bachelor’s degree in art at UNCG. She has been taking drawing classes for the past 20 years.

She plans to begin working on her second book in the fall, the plot of which is still a secret and was an idea given to her by her daughters.

“The Aunts Who Didn’t Like Birthday Cake” is sold at local bookstores and is being distributed to first-grade teachers in the local school system to use as a teaching tool.

“This book will help families and children get back in touch with their roots and help them honor the earth as much as they honor a Macintosh,” she said. “I just think nature has a way of giving you solace and peace.”

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