New Children’s Book Teaches Kids How To Think Before They Speak


“I believe no child is born with a desire to hurt other people through their words or actions,” says Shirin Zarqa-Lederman, child and adolescent counselor and mother of five. “Being unkind frequently stems from a child’s lack of understanding how to accentuate the positive while being honest at the same time.”

In her new children’s books, The Tweeville Series, Zarqa-Lederman focuses each book on a life skill or social skill that fosters friendships and positive relationships. The series is meant to demonstrate positive social behaviors that children can absorb and emulate with their own peers. Each book introduces a character from the town of Tweeville (“twee” means innocent and “ville” refers to a place) who “trots” along town demonstrating a particular skill through random acts of kindness.

The themes of the first five books are inspired by a skill one of her children has or is developing, but will also include other characters as the series develops. The first volume, Zavis DaMavis (Sept. 2014), demonstrates the importance of following the “golden rule” by treating others the way you want to be treated. The second volume, Harraf Namrattle(February 2015), demonstrates the importance and practice of thinking before we speak. The underlying message of each book in the series will be treating others with kindness.

Perfect for ages two to eight, the primary themes in The Tweeville Series and topics Zarqa-Lederman would love to discuss include:

  • Bullying can be unintentional, simply because children do not know how to communicate a positive message while still voicing their opinion to their peers
  • Children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder can benefit from learning how to think before they speak
  • Parents need to learn how to teach their children to be kind instead of reminding them how to act
  • Think before you speak is not the same thing as “say something nice or don’t say anything at all”
  • With reason, there are a number campaigns to curb the effects of bullying behavior but there also needs to be efforts to understand the bully and help him/her learn more appropriate ways to socialize

The Tweeville Series is based on my favorite childhood books – the Dr. Suess collection and Aesop’s fables – incorporating fun, rhyming sentences and characters that demonstrate age-old valuable lessons in a whimsical, humorous tale,” adds Zarqa-Lederman. “My goal is to entertain, educate and engage my readers while enjoying a good story.”

Shirin Zarqa-Lederman is a wife and mother of five children. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she was born, raised and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University College. She is a Board Certified Professional Counselor and is licensed in New Jersey. Her 17-year counseling career has focused solely on children and adolescents and their families.

Most recently Zarqa-Lederman’s practice has transformed into “mobile” therapy, where she counsels in a client’s home rather than the traditional counselor office. This allows her to experience a child in his/her element – a much more natural setting. Her attention has been focused on children and adolescents who have difficulty socializing with their peers, developing and maintaining focus on daily tasks, and managing behavior within a school setting, as well as a familial setting. She utilizes experiential therapies, which is a process she explains as, “if you can experience it you can feel it, and if you can feel it you can choose whether or not to recreate it.”

Learn more about Shirin Zarqa-Lederman at and and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Dont’ forget to share the kindness using Be #Kind/ Be a #Tweeviller

The Tweeville Series is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Archway Publishing, NetGalley and wherever books are sold.


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