Alumna publishes book promoting unconditional love
Jessica Simon got the idea for her book “Guess What? I Still Love You” after finding herself repeating the phrase to her children after they misbehaved.
The book contains illustrations of children getting into trouble. Under each illustration is a short rhyme about the misbehavior, followed by the phrase “Guess what? I still love you.”
Simon graduated from Central Michigan University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in journalism. She now lives in Milwaukee with her husband and three children all under the age of three years old.
“They are relieved to hear (I still love them),” Simon said. “Of course I still love them. Even though their actions may have been bad, they are not bad kids and that no matter what, I still love them.”
Having three young children is a recipe for mischievousness, she said. Simon recalled the time her oldest son flushed a plastic teddy bear down their toilet. The bear got stuck and Simon’s husband had to remove the toilet from the floor to remove it. She said it’s also common for her kids to sneak away with crayons to color the walls and countertops.
Simon said she has always had the desire to write. She started writing the book in small bursts by putting notes into her phone as the rhymes popped into her head or when the kids did things she wanted to remember.
“When I started to put all the phrases on paper, it all came together after a few rounds of edits,” Simon said.
She then found an illustrator online who understood the vision of playful children-like drawings. Simon purchased the rights to the images so she could publish them.
“Once the creative was nailed down, I was able to focus on finding a publisher,” Simon said. “I self-publish, so I had to do a lot of research to find a publisher that I connected with and that offered the things I felt were important for my book.”
The reception to “Guess What? I Still Love You” has been fantastic, Simon said. She used social media and her website to promote the book, and has also had the help of other CMU alumnus, friends and family to help get the word out. She has done book signings and readings at local libraries and elementary schools. The book is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites, which Simon says allows it to have a global reach.
Simon said she believes the book has a mass appeal is because it’s funny to parents and grandparents, and it also reinforces to kids that they are loved no matter what.
“I will absolutely give my book to my kids,” Simon said. “I have already set aside books for them so when they grow up they will have a copy to read to their children. We also have the book in our own collection and read it to them before bed.”