Catholic University professor and Washington resident Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love has gone from being an unknown, first-time children’s book author, to the Best Seller’s List, in six weeks! In a Cinderella story, she submitted her manuscript for You Are My I Love You, without an agent, to the unsolicited submissions “slush pile.” Penguin/ Putnam/ Philomel signed her, and paired her with internationally acclaimed illustrator Satomi Ichikowa. The publisher realized their gamble had been worth it when they had to quadruple the size of the initial printing due to strong pre-release sales. The book was chosen by the Children’s Book of the Month Club as a featured selection and on the Barnes and Noble Children’s Bestsellers list, all within weeks of the book’s release. The foreign language rights have been purchased, and You Are My I Love You is being translated and published in German, Japanese, French and Korean.
Maryann lives in Capital Hill and is active in her Jesuit parish in Washington, D.C., St. Aloysius Gonzaga and their sister parish, Holy Trinity in Georgetown. You Are My I Love You arose out of her work with children, especially the Peace Kids volunteer group in the Sursum Corda housing projects of Washington. The book celebrates the parent/ child relationship, chronicling a day in their life together. In reassuring verse, a teddy bear parent and child play piggy back, mess in mud puddles, splash in the bubbles during bath time, read books, and pray together before bed. In working with children in the housing projects literally in the shadow of the nation’s Capitol, Dr. Cusimano Love became convinced that these children suffered from more than material poverty. What the children really want, and what parents may be strapped to provide, are parental presence and time. “The best gift parents can give their children is the gift of themselves, of their time and attention. For many single parents or families struggling to survive, time is at a premium. But more than a new pair of Nikes or the latest Play Station computer game, time and attention is what these kids crave, and what they need to develop important values, language, social, and behavioral skills,” says Dr. Cusimano Love.
By day Dr. Cusimano Love is an associate professor of international politics at Catholic University; she also teaches graduate courses at the Pentagon. She is a specialist in U.S. foreign policy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the International Policy Committee to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, an advisor to U.S. and foreign government officials, and a board member of the Jesuit Refugee Service. She has written several books on international relations, including most recently Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda (St. Martin’s Press, 2000), and Globalization and U.S. Foreign Policy: Unplugging the Cold War Machine (forthcoming). She earned her PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, her MA from the University of Texas, and her BA degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
In contrast to her international politics profession, where there are few happy endings, Maryann’s passion is writing children’s books. She trades in her power point presentations for a box of Crayolas, as she impresses upon children the idea that they can do anything in her school presentations (Upcoming appearances include the National Press Club Book Fair, the National Institute of Health Children’s Inn, the Fairfax Fall for the Book Festival, and the Children’s Literature Conference at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania). Maryann has been working with children since she was a teenas a clown, story-teller, singer, puppeteer, and caregiver. Now all those skills are coming in handy, as she visits grade schools, libraries, and book stores, exciting children about reading and writing. Born in Buffalo, NY, and raised in Bethlehem, PA, Maryann wrote her first children’s books at ages six and seven, illustrating them herself and sewing them together with yarn. At eleven she persuaded her mother to take her to a writer’s workshop at Villanova College offered by Jan and Stan Berenstain, creator of the “Berenstain Bears” books. “The book is not glitzy or high tech, but it reminds us that spending time together is a blessing, and is key to building healthy communities, whether in our families, at the local or at the international level.”
NOTE: Author is an experienced presenter on television, radio, in public forums and print. She has appeared frequently on national programs and is a very articulate and pleasing interview subject.
Additional information available at author’s website – http://www.maryannlove.com
Current Titles Are In Print and Available from Penguin:
You Are My I Love You
$15.99 US $23.50 Canada
Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love