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Life and Work with Lori Orlinsky

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Orlinsky.

Lori, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When my daughter, Hayley was 3 years old, she decided she didn’t want to go to school anymore because she was the shortest kid in class. Her teachers had hung up a growth chart in the classroom, and it was the first time she realized that she was different from her friends. And her friends realized she was different, too. They started calling her “munchkin” and “shorty,” and while endearing to them, it made Hayley feel even worse about her height. I searched for a book with a short heroine who Hayley could relate to. Frustrated no books on this topic existed, I wrote one!

Through clever rhymes and beautiful illustrations, Being Small is a book that teaches kids to accept themselves and embrace their unique differences which make them special!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After I completed my manuscript, I sent out about 200 query letters to publishers and literary agents. I got 199 rejections, but it was the one “yes” that changed my life. There were so many times during this process that I wanted to quit. I knew my book was good, but I was beginning to think it wasn’t good enough. I powered through and kept going because I wanted to show my daughters (ages 6 and 3) that hard work and determination pays off in the end.

Please tell us about “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)”.
“Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)” has gone viral in the parenting community because of its message. Originally, the intent of the book was to make small kids like Hayley feel better about themselves. However, the book has universal messages of self-acceptance, self-confidence and bullying prevention. Parents are using the book as a tool to begin discussions about how to embrace ourselves and how to treat others.

The book is the recipient of a Gold Mom’s Choice Award, the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and is a Reading With Your Kids Certified Great Read. Additionally, I was named a Global Top 10 Finalist in the Author Academy Awards Children’s Book category.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
In general, I think there’s this stigma that women’s emotions cloud their judgement, especially when it comes to business. I hope I live to see the day that a woman becomes President — I think that will set off a chain reaction in trusting and believing in women.

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Image Credit:
Headshot – @Jeff Bolek/FlashBulb Photography

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