what's the message?
Carla's writing mission is to teach children empathy by creating lovable sea creature characters who find themselves struggling in fishy predicaments. In this parallel under-the-sea world, characters face injustices that represent the real-world inequities our children are likely to witness and/or personally experience. Kids will fall in love with the books' sweet characters and cheer for them when they encounter hardship.
Carla's story arcs intentionally present opportunities for parents and teachers to guide children's thinking about how readers develop empathy for each character, how this empathy can be extended to other children around them, and how to preserver through troubled waters.
The book Hugh Manatee for President comes with a free Parent/Teacher Lesson Manual to support adults in their conversations with children about building empathy, social awareness, character traits, drawing inferences, and self-to-text connections.