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Letís Talk Heritage!
My name is Deanna Bufo Novak and I am the author
of My Heritage Book
and founder of kidsHeritage, Inc. I would like to take this
opportunity to share a little about myself and my reasons for
writing My Heritage Book.
my interest in heritage extends far beyond the book's timing.
In fact, I have been intrigued by it for as long as I can
remember. I am of Italian descent and have always been proud
of it. As a child, I would ask my great-grandfather about life
in Italy, what it was like coming to America, and why we ate
macaroni every Sunday; among countless other questions. I
adored his broken-English answers and my love for heritage
began. I grew up this way and I always wanted to learn more
about my family and where we came from. Fortunately, I was
constantly surrounded by family, including my
great-grandfather, grandparents, parents, sisters, aunts,
uncles, and cousins.
are different today. Families, like my own, relocate everyday
to different parts of the country. While modern technology
helps us stay close to loved ones, e-mails and digital photos
will never compare to the experience I had growing up. In
addition, modern technology may also hinder a child's heritage
exploration. Today, children may spend more time watching
television or playing computer games than talking, playing,
and cooking with grandparents and great-grandparents. In my
mind, they are being robbed of a truly wonderful experience.
Moreover, the word "family" is more broadly defined than it
was 30 years ago. There are more adoptions and remarriages,
often times causing siblings to have entirely different
heritages and bringing about an entirely new set of questions.
Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I felt a need for her
to learn about being Italian and to be proud of it, as I am,
but also wanted her to learn and be proud of her Polish
heritage from her dad. I knew it would be a balancing act, but
one well worth the effort. At the same time, I noticed that my
mom suddenly seemed even more Italian and my mother-in-law
seemed even more Polish. I realized they had the same feelings
that I did and were trying to teach their granddaughter
something very dear to their hearts, despite the fact that she
was only a few weeks old! They were trying to teach her about
her family, including her family's traditions and her family's
history, and I thought she was a lucky little girl. I also
thought every child should be so fortunate, and the idea for
My Heritage Book
Bresee, the incredibly talented illustrator for
My Heritage Book, and Jim
Brodmerkel, the creative mind who puts it all together, helped
turn my dream into a reality. After finding these wonderful
people to work with, I began my exciting journey around the
world with an enormous amount of research and I enjoyed every
minute of it. I loved learning about so many of the beautiful
countries in this world and all that they have to offer -
their charming traditions, colorful customs, delicious food,
and so much more.
I sincerely hope the children who receive this book will enjoy
reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I also hope
children will be encouraged to learn more about these
fascinating countries and about their family's own traditions.
Finally, I hope children will realize how very special their
heritage is and that they should be proud of it - just as I
wish for my own daughter!
Deanna Bufo Novak