Local Writer Charde Vera Uses Poetry to Teach Children Self-Love
Updated: May 17, 2022
By Charde Vera
My name is Charde Vera. I am a published author of several books and a guided journal. I never in my life thought my poetry would be something I shared with the world, let alone published.
I began my poetry journey years ago when I decided to write my first children's book. The book is called “She Is,” which is a poetry affirmation book that reminds children to love, trust and believe in themselves. Originally, this book was going to be just pictures and affirmations, but I knew it needed more. I knew it needed to be felt, not just read and that’s when I decided to add poetry to the book.
As a child, I would write poetry in my journal for fun and for myself. However, when I decided to add poetry to the book, I had no idea where to start. I began researching and thinking about, “what is a poem?” I wasn’t sure if it had to rhyme or how it needed to sound to be considered poetry. I read many poetry books and got advice from other poets, but it was tough for me because I wanted it to be good. I would take the affirmations and find the definitions of them, put words together that described each one and how I wanted the reader to feel when reading them.
Since my first book is a children’s book, I also wanted the poems to be easily understood and help guide children to want to know more about the affirmations so that they could apply each one to themselves.
One of the poems in my book is led by the affirmation: “She is Creative.”
She unleashes her imagination into the world, flowing through her fingertips like magic. When she speaks the world listens, and her hopes, ideas and dreams become her reality.
I followed the poem with the question, “What does being creative mean to you?”
I added questions at the end of every poem for the children to be interactive and explain in their own words what this means to them.
I really like this poem because when I think of being creative, I think of a flow within you being released into the world.
That is how I felt writing my poems – they flowed through me, and it felt like magic through my pen or out of my mouth. Creativity is using your imagination, all the ideas and possibilities. That reminds me of poetry because it can be as you make it.
Another poem from my book is led by the affirmation: “She is Beautiful.”
She finds beauty in everything she sees from her own reflection to the flowers and the trees. Beauty is her personal art. Its everything wonderful that flows from her heart.
I followed the poem with the question, “What does being beautiful mean to you?”
This poem is very important to me, which is why it is the first poem of the book. I grew up thinking of beauty in such a negative way. It was all about physical beauty.
The picture in this poem is a young girl with an X-ray picture over her torso showing everything inside of her, meaning to depict that her inner happiness, honesty, kind heart were all just as beautiful and important as her outer appearance.
There is beauty all around us and I want children to recognize and remember that. I let the world set the standard for beauty for me as a child and I want children to be able to set and decide that for themselves and feel good about themselves.
One more poem from my book is led by the affirmation: “She is Confident.”
She loves who she is and can love others too. She believes in herself and everything she can do. She wants to succeed and is not afraid of failure because she knows and believes that strength will avail her.
Followed by the question: “What does being confident mean to you?”
This poem and affirmation, to me, are very important. To be able to be confident in who you are is a big deal. Believing in yourself is the foundation of self-confidence. We hold ourselves back and are afraid to go forward with many things when we lack positive belief. So, having that solid or growing foundation of loving, believing, and trusting yourself is crucial. This poem is one I used for myself in releasing this book, reminding myself that I am confident and worthy.
I hope children see these affirmations and hang on to these poems for themselves, to be that reminder for them.
The illustrations are also an important piece to this book. Every illustration was made to match the words in the poem and help bring them to life. Detail was important to me when creating these illustrations, I wanted everything to flow, and I mean, literally, each page flows into the next with drawn wind carrying flowers that each turn the color that will be represented on the next page.
One of my main goals was diversity and inclusivity. I wanted children to be able to see themselves in more books and be able to relate to the characters. As well as appreciating, accepting, and recognizing the differences in other people.
I have two illustrators that brought their talents to this book, one being my nine-year-old daughter, Nayomi. This book is something I needed growing up and I wanted to create something for her to have, something tangible that she could go to daily.
As the idea for the book blossomed, I noticed how incredibly talented Nayomi was as an artist. I wanted her to be a part of this book so I asked her if she would. We planned out all the pictures and she got to work drawing.
Because this was our first book we needed outside help and recruited an amazing illustrator, Aneeza Ashraf, who brought all the drawings to life.
Working with my daughter made creating this book so much more special and made her feel more confident and excited about future books.
I look forward to continuing my poetry journey and seeing where my imagination will take me next.
About the Author
Charde Vera is a U.S. Navy veteran, passionate writer, and a loving wife and mother, who lives in Elmira. She developed an affinity for writing from a young age, which she refined through journaling since age 5. Over the years, she has pursued her passion for writing to become a published author with a journal and several books to her name.
Charde draws inspiration from her love for life and a deep desire to encourage, empower, and guide girls into believing, trusting, and loving themselves unconditionally. Her books and journal are a must-read for anyone who seeks well-contemplated guidance to self-love. Currently, she is working on publishing more books and journals. Learn more about Charde at www.chardevera.com.