Saturday Chelsea Clinton celebrates her daughter, Charlotte’s, first birthday with “lots of balloons and bubbles” including Sesame Street character balloons. Charlotte loves the “Sesame Street” including her stuffed Elmo and the Grover book “The Monster at the End of This Book.”
Even though Charlotte has not yet seen an episode, “Sesame Street is already big in our house,” Clinton said in a phone interview Thursday.
Charlotte is part of the inspiration behind Clinton’s new book “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!” — a book to encourage kids and teens to become informed about the issues facing their communities and their world, as well as to get them active in creating solutions. Clinton will be at BookPeople Oct. 8 reading and signing from her book.
She says she had been thinking about “It’s Your World” before she became pregnant, but the pregnancy and motherhood added more attentiveness to the project. “I felt even more inspired and enthusiastic about trying to write (It’s Your World),” she says.
She remembers reading “50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth,” when she was in elementary school. She became part of creating that school’s recycling program. She also would cut the plastic rings around soda cans and glue them onto cardboard. Then she would had out the cardboard to her friends, neighbors and grandparent’s neighbors to encourage them to cut the rings to protect birds from choking.
“I hope ‘It’s Your World’ impacts one kid the same way ’50 Simple Things’ impacted me,” she says.
Clinton continues to volunteer at a variety of organizations as she did throughout her childhood. Many of her volunteer work in high school and college were kept private. Only now as an adult does her service work sometimes get publicized, she says, specifically to encourage others to volunteer as well.
Growing up in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., she knew she was growing up “blessed” compared with the people around her. Her grandmother told her she needed to “expand her circle of blessings. It had a profound impact on me,” she says.
“It’s Your World” not only outlines the problems of poverty, diseases, access to education and gender equality kids in American and around the world face, it highlights organizations and kids that are making a difference. Some of the featured kids she knew about through the Clinton Foundation, on which she serves as vice chair; others she heard about through the organizations she highlighted and through other inspirational kids she found.
On the book tour, she’s now been able to meet face-to-face with some of the kids in the book. “It’s so fun,” she says.
Rather than telling kids what they should be passionate about, she’s a big believer in adults asking kids what moves them. Some kids will read the whole book and then decide what they want to do, she says. Other kids, might just read the portion that they care about. She sees the book as helping them have information to be informed.
For her own daughter, she says, “I hope that Charlotte feels a responsibility to help make an impact on whatever she cares about. As a mom, I can help her find her way.”
She’ll wait for Charlotte to tell her what issues she really cares about. “I can’t wait to hear the answer to that.”
“It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!”
$18.99, Philomel Books
Chelsea Clinton book-signing and reading
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 8
Where: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
Note: Tickets are required to join the signing line and available by purchasing a copy of “It’s Your World” from BookPeople. One ticket admits up to four family members. The line for signing will be a first-come, first-served line on the day of the event.