Children’s Book

Claudia
van Zuiden

Hello! Besides working as a solution focused coach & trainer, I love reading and spending time with my family. When I am not working, I love to be in nature and to write about things that matter and are meaningful to me.

I am so happy that to share the first book about Norah with you all!

I so loved writing the story of these two amazing friends. Would you like to know how they became friends and how their story gave them a purpose and a sense of hope, not only to themselves but also to many others?
Click here to purchase the book for the UK and here for the Netherlands, so you can find out!

The Story of Norah the Polar Bear

Sometimes in life you feel such an urge to do something that you thought you never could.

That’s how this started. In 2012, I had been sitting in Ceremony with 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in Nepal who came from all over the world to shared their wisdom with a group of about 200 people, including me, my daughter Pema Doma and my friends Sabitha en Ram from Nepal.

The Grandmothers spoke about our responsibility as humans to take good care of this beautiful planet that we live on. To leave it better than we found it. To re-kindle the relationship we have with nature and each other and with our hearts. Before this event, I also met Greta Huuva, a Sami elder from Sweden. She very generously took me under her wings and shared with me the most valuable ways in how to live in balance with Nature for nearly a decade. She taught me the ancient stories of the bear and how they represent strength and kindness, skills that we all need in life.

After these life-changing periods, my life changed on so many levels. I became more aware of my responsibility and started to encounter more and more events which made me decide to write a book for children.

Children are the future and are exposed to a world that has been damaged in many ways. I want to give these children hope for their future rather than fear.
The story I am sharing with them is about Hope, Friendship and Solutions for taking care of the Earth. The story is about a Polar bear called Norah, who goes through a very difficult experience due to the effects of Climate Change and due to people who are very greedy. She ends up in a Zoo and she gets befriended with a boy called Marcin. Marcin has the gift of being able to hear Norah’s thoughts and Norah can hear his thoughts too. Together they come up with a plan to take positive steps in challenging times and put them in action. It is a story about resilience, compassion, ethics and action.

There are also reflective questions at the back of the book. They are solution focused questions that look at skills, strengths and past successes and accomplishments. The book is written in English for an age group of 4 to 12 but could be to 95 and above really. We are never too old to change our behaviour or to become more mindful of how we think, act and relate to ourselves, others and the whole world at large. I hope that this book will inspire many to make a positive impact and that it may benefit limitless beings and Nature as a whole. – Claudia van Zuiden

Here is what people say about the book:

Norah the Polar Bear’ is a beautifully written story about how climate change is impacting our world today.  However, it is much more than that. Woven throughout the story you will learn about solution focused thinking and skills, resilience, the benefits of living in a mindful way, the importance of ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ and how everything is always changing. 

As a former teacher and head teacher, I believe this would make a very good book study for a class.  The discussion points at the end of the story provide many opportunities for further learning. 

As a Granny to a growing brood of grandchildren, I think it would be a lovely book to snuggle up with, to nurture an interest in the ever changing world that we are living in today. Our grandchildren are our future!”  – Gillian Watt, Former Headteacher Monymask Primary School, Founder AndBreathe, Scotland, UK.

“I love the book! I am in awe at how many important messages and themes you managed to cram into it whilst still keeping the overall feeling simple and uncluttered. The characters are endearing. I love it’s positivity. My instant reaction was that I wanted to share it with all my colleagues and shout “Read this to your class! As well as being what children need to hear and discuss, it hits LOTS of outcomes on the curriculum. I will wait until it is published then recommend it to everyone.

Your book was an absolute hit with the children. They love Norah. We read the story in two parts. I then gave the children little pieces of paper to write down their very first thoughts after listening to it and what they would like to say to you. The children, I think, have fallen in love with you through your words. They were full of encouragement and want you to write more stories. You will love reading their comments.

They are so excited about it all. You and your book have really captured their imagination.

I wish you lots of success with your book. It really is wonderful. I’m not saying that because I want to make you happy, it genuinely is amazing. I know lots of teachers who are looking for a positive way to engage children in learning about climate change and you have created it.

This uplifting book provides a refreshingly positive approach to addressing the challenges of climate change with children, in a way that is filled with inspiration and hope. Claudia’s captivating characters instantly befriend the reader, opening their eyes and hearts to the wonders of the world. Their friendship creates a strong space where children can feel safe in the knowledge that they can dream big and find solutions to the challenges facing our natural world. This is the book those working with young children have been yearning for. Not only does it tackle the complex topic of climate change in a way that is pro-active and filled with hope, it quietly teaches children valuable skills and attributes to support them in achieving their dreams. Every classroom should have a copy of this book. It is sure to become a well-thumbed favourite tale as Norah and Marcin settle themselves in the hearts of children around this beautiful world.” –  Lorna Lees, Mortlach Primary School Teacher, Dufftown, Scotland, UK.

“Hi Claudia, I loved the book. It is so good that you love animals. And please can you write a part 2?”  – Isla, age 8 years, Scotland UK

“Hi Claudia, I loved your book, it was amazing. Next time can you make another book because it was good and if you have Teams, you can call the teacher and read the book to us please?” –  Alexis, age 9, Scotland, UK

“Dear Claudia, I think your story is  very good. I think you should keep writing stories as it was amazing.” – Leah, age 7, Scotland, UK

“The story is brilliant. You should keep writing stories.” – Louise, age 7, Scotland, UK

“Hi Claudia, the book was good. I felt happy about that book. ” – Donald, age 7, Scotland, UK

“Hi Claudia, the book was amazing. The best I ever I read.”  – Jack, age 8, Scotland, UK.

“Dear Claudia, I loved the story. I think children will love it. Please make this story into a book.” –  Lexi, age 8, Scotland, UK

“That was brill! Keep on writing more stories!” –  Dylan, age 8, Scotland, UK.

“To Claudia, kids should hear this.” –  Adam, age 7, Scotland, UK.

“Dear Claudia, I loved your book. I want to buy it.” –  Alfie, age 9, Scotland, UK

“Reading this book transported me to a place of wonder. Thank you for writing this lovely story. I really appreciated the themes of relocation and isolation and what it means to belong, gently illustrating how we can adjust to new ways of being and respond to our new environment in positive ways when we least expect it. Sometimes the connections we find with beings different from ourselves are surprising. This tale uses the innocence of childhood and a pure desire to bond to make even the most unlikely interactions possible.” Magi Winmill-Hermann, UK

Let me know on my Social Media Platforms how Norah became your friend too!