Local Children’t Book Author Launches Third Book
By Abby Meaux Conques
From a professional career in the medical field to writing and publishing her own children’s books, Rebecca Ventre has immersed herself completely into both worlds. The registered nurse who cared for patients for 10 years traded in her scrubs for writing materials, and just recently published her third children’s book. “I definitely think having 4 kids gives me way more material than I could ever work with,” she said with a smile on her face. She left her job as a nurse to be a stay-at-home-mom for her four children, 4-year-old twins, a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old. The Lafayette native will always have a place in her heart for patient care, but feels like her attention needs to be on her family at home right now. “They keep me walking the line between crazy and fun,” she said while chuckling.
Ventre had an appreciation for poems and stories since she was a young child, noting Shel Silverstine as her favorite childhood author. “I have always loved writing poems and stories, and I am thankful for my amazing parents that encouraged me in countless ways,“ she explained. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t love to write, and one day decided to follow her to nudge to write and publish her own children’s book.
Inspiration struck her after a long, hard day at home. “I sincerely thought I had done a good job that day! I had a tough day with the kids but I really kept my cool, consciously trying to remember daily little hiccups as memorable moments that I will miss when they grow up,” she said. “I guess I wasn’t so bubbly at bedtime that night…and after reading several bedtime stories requested by my second daughter, she giggled and told me, ‘There should be a book called the grouchy mom!’”
Later that night after all the kids were asleep, Ventre set up her laptop in bed and wrote her first children’s book, The Grouchy Mom. It’s about a little girl that has a very grouchy day, even though that’s not exactly how she sees it. From not being willing to try a bite of her homemade breakfast, to complaining about getting dressed and putting on shoes, this story is almost too relatable for parents.
“There were a few things I knew I wanted the story to have: fun illustrations and to be entertaining for parents since we’re the ones that have to read the books to the kids,” Ventre explained. After months of picking through freelance illustrator profiles, Ventre finally found the perfect match for her stories in Russian children’s book illustrator, Darya Shchegoleva. “We have such a mutual respect for each other’s work and have worked together so well that we really feel like we know each other, even though we haven’t formally met in person…yet,” Ventre said. “I tell her about the landscape, weather and culture here and I send her pictures so that she can get every detail in her illustrations to resonate with my readers. She even adds my children’s own artwork and likeness into portions of the books which makes them feel that much more special.” Ventre says Shchegoleva mentioned she’d like to visit Lafayette one day during one of our famous festivals. “I’d love for her to really make it down here and see what the Lafayette I love is like,” she said.
Ventre’s second book, My Sneaky Parents was born from the idea that when kids go to sleep, they worry about their parents staying up and enjoying all of their toys and snacks. It’s an entertaining read for the whole family and fun for big imaginations. “That story came after one of my children made me promise I wasn’t going to eat her favorite snack after she went to sleep. I couldn’t help but laugh when I thought about what they really think it is that we do after we finally get them to sleep,” Ventre said.
Both of Ventre’s above-mentioned books received the gold Mom’s Choice Award, a globally recognized organization that establishes the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.
Recently, Ventre added another published piece to her collection, Mom University, which was just released in September. Ventre says, “This story playfully captures some of the challenges of motherhood and gives a glimpse of the ‘rigorous’ training it takes to become a mom! In the end, the reader will see why all the training was so worth it. It has the same fun rhymes and colorful illustrations as the other two books that people have come to love.”
In a world that can sometimes be rough tangled in with equally tough days of parenting, meaningful times like story time before bed are proven to have huge impacts on children and adults alike. “My goal is to give families a moment away from reality, where they can sit together sharing a laugh or making their imagination run wild,” said Ventre.
All of Ventre’s books are available for purchase on Amazon in paperback or hardback, and in our opinion, would make great holiday gifts for loved ones while supporting one of our area’s own children’s authors.