(The following answers were dictated to Hayley’s mom, children’s book author Lori Orlinsky)
What is your claim to fame in the industry?
My mom wrote the book about me! The book is called “Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All).”
What is Being Small about?
The book is about a child who does not want to go to school because she is the shortest kid in her class. But in the book, her mom tells her that being short makes her special!
Were you that child in the book?
Yes. I am short now, too. When I was in preschool, my teachers put a growth chart in my classroom and my name was at the bottom, so everyone started calling me names like shorty, and I didn’t like it. My mom wrote the book because she could not find any books to read to me about how being short is a good thing.
Where can people buy Being Small?
How do you feel now about being short?
I love being short because I can do so many things just because I am short. I am the best at hide and seek because I can find spots no one else can squeeze into.
Bullying is a big problem in schools.
How do you show kindness to others?
I make everyone my friend. Even if they are not nice to me or they are not nice to other people, I tell them they can be my friend no matter what.
You recently won the Star Student Award at your school for showing kindness. Can you tell us about it?
There was a girl named Sumya who was in my class and she did not speak English. Every day she would eat alone at lunch and be by herself at recess. I started drawing pictures with hearts, flowers and balloons for her to make her smile, and then we started to become friends. Her mom told my mom that she is happy to go to school now to be my friend.
What’s a problem you and your mom are still trying to solve?
We want people to know that what makes us different really makes us special. Like me – I’m special because I’m short!
What is your favorite toy or game?
I love Uno Attack because I always beat my mom and dad at it! I also really like the games where everyone wins, like Hoot Owl Hoot and Count Your Chickens because my sister and I always fight when someone loses.
What are you most excited for at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair?
I can’t wa