This Dad Couldn’t Find a Story That Represented His Family, So He Wrote It!
Mark Loewen, Children's Book Author
I’m a psychotherapist and a dad, and I recently wrote my first children’s book.
Born in Asuncion, Paraguay, I moved to the United States to pursue my counseling career. I met the love of my life in Richmond, VA. A few years later, we became dads through open adoption.
I am the founder of LaunchPad Counseling, a private practice in Richmond, VA. Although I currently work mostly with adults, I spent years as a Play Therapist (Child Therapist). Now I also coach parents to use play therapy principles to build strong, healthy relationships with their children.
Raising a girl opened my eyes even more to the unique challenges girls and women experience in today’s world. I wanted to support in my daughter the best way I could, knowing that as a male, I wouldn’t share many of her experiences. So I started researching and learning more about raising girls. Inspired by watching her courageous approach to everything, I started Brave Like A Girl, a website that focuses on raising empowered girls.
My first children’s book “What Does A Princess Really Look Like?” released on July 1, 2018. It is the first in the Brave Like A Girl series. The book tells the story of a girl’s journey toward expanding her concept of a princess. Her dads help her understand that though a girl can be anything she wants, she doesn’t need to be everything, and she for certain does not need to be perfect. Here is a longer bio, too.
Why I wrote the book: website
My first children’s book came about when my daughter asked me to draw her a princess. I was excited at the beginning but then felt increasingly heavier feeling as I went on. “She has beautiful hair, and beautiful eyes, and a beautiful dress…”
I was reminded of the other day when my daughter asked me to play princess and knight. “What does the knight do?” I asked. “He fights,” she told me. I then asked her what a princess did, to which she just responded, “She looks beautiful!”
So, as I was drawing this princess, I felt as if I, too, fell into the same limiting narrative. I started the picture over, and this time I talked about how the crown meant that this princess was a decision-maker. Her arms were strong because she was a fighter. Her firm voice reflected her authority…
“What Does a Princess Really Look Like?” came out of this interaction. In the story, a girl named Chloe creates her own princess and makes a similar discovery. I’m so glad to share this book with boys and girls everywhere!
What is the book about?
Chloe dreams of being a ballerina princess. But today she is not practicing her twirls or leaping from room to room. Today she crafts her very own princess.
The project quickly becomes more than a simple princess drawing. Chloe discovers that princesses are not just about beauty and glitter. They are strong, vocal, and determined.
And, as she shares her work with her two dads, Chloe also notices that her princess isn’t perfect! She learns that her imperfection -her quirk- makes her unique.
Chloe realizes that she did not create the princess she wanted to be. Instead, she based her princess on who she already is.
I wrote these two recently: