The image of an eight-year-old Kendra Kramer approaching her mom to say she wanted to write a book remains vivid in the memory of Cheska Garcia-Kramer.
“It was one afternoon, and she goes, ‘Mama, I want to write a book. I will give you a topic and then I’ll start it, and then we’ll answer each other,’” Cheska related to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
This was how Cheska's venture into children’s books started.
The subsequently titled Team Kramer Healthy Habits and Values children’s book series became a passion project for the celebrity mom since then.
PEP.ph spoke with Cheska during a special meet-and-greet with Team Kramer at the National Book Store Branch in Glorietta Mall, Makati, for their book signing.
Team Kramer is headed by husband and wife Doug Kramer and Cheska Garcia. Their children are Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin.
BE INTENTIONAL. Through the children’s book series, Cheska said she hopes busy parents will be encouraged to spend more time with their children.
She said, “I hope that these books really encourage parents to be intentional with raising their children.
“That’s exactly why when you read my books—all my six books—laging kumpleto yung family because children should not learn things outside their home.
“They should learn inside their home, and parents should be there always to guide their children, to teach them.
“Doing it as a family is really important. I’m really passionate about it.
“I hope that these books will do just that—encourage parents na children should learn from them and not elsewhere.”
In a separate interview with PEP.ph, Doug related what it meant to be “intentional” with raising children.
He and Cheska intentionally exposed Kendra to reading, which led to her development as a writer at a very young age.
The basketball star said, “It all started with being intentional in teaching them and inspiring them to read.
“It provided them that spark, and [Kendra] wanted to write them.”
As a family woman, Cheska is determined to be her children’s number one mentor about life, the best there is.
And the books have become her way to inspire other families to spend more time together.
Cheska related, “You know, these books are very personal to me.
“These are the things I remember.
“I can hear my mom reminding me when I was still a kid, and then now, me being able to do this with my children.
“I’m able to impart whatever my mom taught me to my own children, and see the value of having your parents and having them around to teach you."
She said writing the books confirmed to her the importance of doing things as a family, “My favorite part is just remembering the things we do as a family."
Of course, as a dad, Doug was proud of his first daughter’s early achievement.
“So proud, so proud!
“I’m so proud of them because, number one—you know, I feel like God blessed us, but it’s one thing to be blessed and to be a blessing to other people.”
Just like Cheska, Doug hoped that their family’s children’s book series would inspire families to spend more time with their kids, especially when growing up.
BOOKS FOR A CAUSE. The Team Kramer Healthy Habits and Values children’s book series is a project with the non-profit, children’s welfare organization, Children’s Hour.
Cheska remarked, "I didn’t want to just write a book just to say, ‘Oh, Team Kramer has a book.’
“No, that was never my intention.
“I did this for Children’s Hour… A portion of these proceeds will go to Children’s Hour to rehabilitate libraries, to make reading corners, and even build libraries if we make enough money.
“At the same time, hitting two birds with one stone, for parents to read these with their children and do these bonding moments with them.”
Portion of the proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the rehabilitation of libraries and reading corners for the less fortunate children.
Sharing some pictures from yesterdays book signing event. ?? : Yesterday, I felt so privileged to be able to share the purpose of these Team Kramer books and be side by side with all the people who made this project possible. Thank you to my @sterlingnotebooks_ family for putting premium to these books yet making it affordable for all, our illustrators (Ford,Randy, Irish, Kathy and Faye), my editor Christelle, my manager @chergioskos and our beloved assistant @rodalynlabong, @nationalbookstore and ofcourse @childrenshourph. ?? Thank you also to our media friends who came and those who bought our books yesterday. ?? One of the things I really am praying for is for more people to support our books so that we can gift our less fortunate brothers and sisters a nice reading corner, rehabilitate public school libraries and if we make more money build libraries nationwide. : Doing this book is like hitting two birds with one stone. These books are not just to help and share to those who are in need. I also hope it encourages parents to do things with their children. For parents to be their children's first teachers. For parents to do things together as a family. That values are not just what is right and good, but is also according to God's will and teaching. I am a strong believer of the family unit and it's importance. A stable, and functioning family unit. The best gift we can give our children is to belong to a family... And the byproduct of that is a good future for the generations to come. ?? : Lastly, I would like to thank those who already bought our books.?? I love hearing how you and your kids love it! Thank you! ?? I heard in some National Bookstores they already started replenishing their 2nd batch. Hooray! ?? : All this I give praise and thanks to God. This wouldn't be possible without Him. Its not always easy but He makes all things happen. ??