Moro woman writes new children’s book

MORO – A “labor of love on a bucket list” has resulted in a great love story for children and older adults – “Ms. Ruby and the Gigi Squad: Friendships come at all ages.

“I couldn’t find one that focused on children’s friendships with older people, how interaction and intergenerational friendships bring sunshine into the lives of older people. I’ve looked for books like this, ”said author Vickie Rodgers of Moro. “Since I couldn’t find a book, I thought, ‘I’m going to write one.'”

Rodgers’ children’s book is inspired by a long-standing friendship with Ruby Foster, of Glen Carbon, who celebrated her 93rd birthday on September 4. Foster’s family members live several hours away.

Rodgers and Foster share a career in nursing – Foster is a retired American junior nurse who served in World War II and Rodgers retired as a professor of nursing last December from Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

Rodgers also accompanied Foster on a 2018 Honor Flight in recognition of Foster’s contribution to the war effort. Foster was the first American cadet nurse to perform an honor flight.

“Not long after the honor robbery, I started taking my grandchildren to see Ruby and get to know her,” Rodgers recalls. “I had also started ‘Something to do for others’ with them. They decided they wanted to go buy Christmas decorations, a tree and decorate for Ruby. It started their relationship with her.

“Older adults love kids and I watched her interact with them. She just loved it – and so did they, ”Rodgers said of his grandchildren and Foster.

Rodgers set out to write and self-publish a book on intergenerational friendships. She hired an illustrator, a graphic designer and an editor. She has also developed her own web page at, where people can pre-order “Ms. Ruby and the Gigi Squad” for delivery from mid-November to the end of November, in time for gifts from. Xmas. In addition, the book will be sold at the end of November at The Charlie Belle Shop and The Bonar Boutique, both in Edwardsville.

Review of “Ms. Ruby and the Gigi Squad: Friendship Comes to All Ages”:

Miss Ruby and The Gigi Squad is a meaningful and heartwarming look at the power of intergenerational friendships. The book challenges stereotypes about age, ability and ability and shows how a friendship between Ruby (an older person) and the Gigi Squad (the younger ones) benefits everyone.

Too often, age segregation has become the norm, but Vickie Rodgers points out the opportunities to bring generations together to share love, support and encouragement. The book also includes discussion questions and kindness projects for readers who are inspired to take action in their own communities.

Miss Ruby and the Gigi Squad is a great example of how each age group can benefit from expanding our horizons of friendship and shows that true humanity has no age.

– Anjali Bindra Patel, JD, CDE, author of “Humanity at Work and Diversity and Inclusion Strategist”

The book contains 28 original works of art by illustrator Vidya Vasudevan. Examples can be found on “Ms. Ruby and the Gigi Squad ”, on which Rodgers also kept his 500 newbie subscribers informed about what it takes to write a children’s book. Rodgers recruited graphic designer and author Sarah Kathryn Frey, of Edwardsville, who also inspired Rodgers with her own children’s book about his service dog, “Alice Eloise’s Silver Linings: The Story of a Silly Service Dog”.

“She’s an amazing graphic designer,” Rodgers said.

When Rodgers discovered a YouTube channel, called #LoveWhatMatters with 27.5 million subscribers, she took a chance and sent a message about her labor of love.

“They asked if they could interview me and the four kids and do a video on YouTube,” Rodgers recalls. “My oldest granddaughter, my 15 year old granddaughter, talked about the stereotypes that people have about nursing homes, where it’s not like stereotypes.

“Plus, you can go anywhere and find an older adult friend,” Rodgers noted. “My goal with the book is to encourage more parents to encourage their children to befriend a senior, in your church, in your neighborhood.”

The book is not just the story of four children – the Gigi Squad, named after their grandmother known as Gigi – who befriended a WWII veteran nurse, but chock full of also practical and fun ideas on how children can meaningfully engage with the elderly. And also how the elderly help children. The book contains all kinds of goodies, like a letter from the Gigi Squad at the beginning of the book, ideas for a “Sunshine Bag”, which can be filled with all kinds of things, like adult coloring books, grooming and scarves, to name a few, and at the end of the book, it features questions to discuss, ideas to put in a Sunshine bag, and cuteness projects, such as a design project. memories.

“Research shows that if young adults have an older friend, it helps fight depression, to have a single adult who cares, believes and listens to them.”

Rodgers recalled a review of her book by an older author who gave a Ted Talk.

“This woman did a Ted Talk two years ago and seemed to be doing it on this book that I’m doing right now,” Rodgers said. “I texted her and she read my book. I was so touched by the wonderful review she gave my book, because she understood it.

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