Sonya Roberts – Director, Legal and Business Affairs
The Owl Diaries – Rebecca Elliot
Sonya has always been a voracious reader and as the proud mother of a 6 year old, she’s excited to play a part in nurturing a new generation of bookworms. Her daughter Kat is currently embroiled in the drama of Eva Wingdale and her owl pals in The Owl Diaries, a scholastic series for newly independent readers. Kat is really enjoying flexing her reading skills on something that’s not strictly a picture book and Sonya is helping her as she slowly works through the first book in the series. “She’s kind of coming into her own, feeling proud about being able to read whole sentences that aren’t necessarily connected directly to the pictures. So she’s able to start exploring a story.”
Raising a reader has been a delicate balance for Sonya. She gently nudges Kat to pick up a book without making it seem like a chore. She firmly believes that everyone needs time to develop and grow at their own pace. Her own favourite childhood book was Leo The Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus. It’s about a tiger who struggles to keep up with all of his friends until he eventually blossoms in his own time. “Sometimes as a kid, you’re just not getting things at the same time as other kids, so it was an empowering message. All you have to do is develop patience and keep working and you will develop the ability to do this thing that you’re dreaming of being able to do.” Kat also appreciated Leo’s story and Sonya loved watching her daughter root for the determined little Tiger.
Although Sonya eventually moved into the legal field, she started her education as an English major, a decision she can trace all the way back to hours spent with Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. Children’s books opened her eyes to the struggles of people with different challenges and taught her that everyone is an original. “A lot of these stories emphasize the individual and that you can carve out a world for yourself.”