August 12


How Can I Help? by Ruth Spiro

My educator friends are struggling. I’ve had conversations with close personal friends across six feet of open space in my backyard, as well as with those I barely know across many miles on social media. I hear you, I’m afraid for you, and I believe that your voices are the ones we must prioritize in any decision about what “school” should look like this year.


When most of us see someone struggling, the reflexive response is, “How can I help?” For the past six months this question has been on my mind daily. Sometimes the answer is clear. More often, it is not.


As a children’s book author, I delight in engaging with young readers at school visits, book festivals and conferences. Of course, none of these will be happening this year. True, these are opportunities to promote my books – but more importantly, these interactions nourish my creative soul and help me stay connected to the world in which my readers live.


Today, as I scroll through my calendar and delete the many cancelled events, my question is this:


“How can I help?”


I ask this not only for myself, but on behalf of the many authors and illustrators who are unable to visit classrooms this year. Educators, we know you’re struggling to adapt and create meaningful learning experiences for your students in an uncertain, frightening environment.


“How can WE help?”


We have:

  • shiny new books (and old favorites) for all ages, fiction and non-fiction
  • teacher guides
  • writing workshops
  • research strategies
  • personal expertise on every imaginable topic


(Please understand that due to copyright, as well as personal financial constraints, it’s not possible to make our books available for free and most publishers have established guidelines for sharing read-alouds on public platforms.)


Like you, we mourn the loss of a “normal” school year. We cherish memories of speaking to hundreds of wiggling kids sitting “criss-cross applesauce” in a gym, or reading silly stories written in workshops. We ache for the return of an average, uneventful day.


So, while it may be too soon for you to predict what your needs will be, there’s no hurry. We’ll be here. When you’re ready, we hope you’ll reach out and let us know how we can help.


Ruth Spiro is the author of the Baby Loves Science series which includes Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering and Baby Loves Coding. These innovative board books introduce complex subjects to little listeners in an age-appropriate and engaging way. Ruth’s STEM-themed picture book, Made by Maxine, is about a creative young Maker who knows that with imagination and recyclables, it’s possible to invent anything. The second book in the series, Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever is forthcoming in February 2021. Ruth hopes her books inspire kids to ask questions, explore the world and when it comes to their futures, DREAM BIG! Connect with Ruth on Twitter (, Instagram ( or visit