Monday, January 25, 2010

Andrea Zimmerman - Children's Book Author

Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat

by Andrea Zimmerman

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, family friend or teacher, most of us are always looking for ways to help us raise the special girls in our lives from the inside out. Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat? is a book that can help you do just that. It's a fun read with whimsical color illustrations. The book guides the reader through addressing the serious issues of negative self-talk, self-confidence, poor body image and bullying in a way that young girls can relate to without feeling preached at.

What's especially wonderful about this book is that it engages girls ages 6-13 as well as adults. It gives the readers a valuable tool to create fun, proactive dialogue around these very important topics. As an extra value, the book includes a helpful discussion guide that can be used to create a constructive conversation around these topics.

Andrea Zimmerman lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with her daughter Zoie and a very sweet Havanese dog nicknamed "Cha Cha". Andrea finds that raising her daughter as a single mother is a very fun, but often enlightening endeavor. From her adventures, trials and parenting tribulations, Andrea is often inspired to share her experiences with others through creative writing.

Andrea grew-up very close to where she lives today in Maple Grove, but she spent a couple of years away in Grand Forks, North Dakota for her undergraduate degree (and pilot's license) and ultimately she finished her B.S.B. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Writing has always been a favorite activity; Andrea was first published in high school for her poetry. She spends her day job as a successful small business owner working with real estate companies and financial institutions and she enjoys writing articles for related industry magazines.

Why the book was written
Andrea wrote the book after a particularly trying morning with her nine year old daughter, Zoie -- the drama of the day was clothing with Zoie being afraid if she wore one of her Abercrombie outfits again the girls in her class would make fun of her (again). There was much crying and frustration involved and after Zoie was finally on her way to school, Andrea headed to the bookstore.

Why the bookstore?
Well, like any girl from the age of 6-20, Zoie was prone to say "Enough talk Mom!" after about a minute of listening to Andrea trying to walk through issues that needed to be addressed. Andrea needed some help, something she could give Zoie to initiate conversation without all the words coming from "Mom".

Unfortunately, it was not the first time that she came back blank without a book that might help her sit down with Zoie to address the mornings issues in a more constructive way. The bookstore had lots of books, but the ones she found were either too babyish or directed at adults/psychology. So, this book is the start of Andrea's journey into author hood - to deliver a solution that she and others can use to initiate tough conversations with our wonderfully complex pre-tween/tween girls.

Self-publishing Experience
So far, the self-publishing experience has been fun and informational for Andrea. At the start, Andrea knew she didn’t want to wait to see if a publisher would pick up her book. Writing a book was a “bucket list” item for her – something she had always aspired to do. She didn’t expect her inspiration would come in the form of a children’s book – that was a surprise!

It took Andrea from May to December 2009 to complete the book – she feels that was quite an accomplishment given she is a single mom and runs a successful small business. Andrea believes everyone has at least one book in them and with the tools available today – why not!

Her purpose for writing the book wasn’t motivated by money, Andrea feels very strongly about the book’s message and that we need to do more proactively with young girls’ attitudes with their own bodies and how they address other girls in their lives. The level of verbal abuse associated with what one is wearing, who one is talking to, how one looks, etc., that goes on even between friends by the age of nine is almost incomprehensible. She hopes this book will be used as a tool to change these attitudes in a fun, respectful way.





  1. It's so tough when puberty hits and girls get caught in those awful body-image traps, so a book like this is a really good idea.