Niles sisters publish children’s book about self-love, appreciation

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

NILES — Two sisters have combined their talents to publish a book they hope will inspire children for generations to come.

Audrey and Aliea Bakerson recently published “The Little Egg,” a story of self-acceptance and appreciation about an ordinary egg that wants to be bright and cheerful like all the other eggs.

Audrey, who recently graduated from Michigan State University with a biology degree, wrote the story while Aliea, who graduated from Western Michigan University in Fall 2022 with a BA in Art from Frostic School of Art, illustrated the story.

For Audrey, the journey to publishing The Little Egg was one almost 10 years in the making. She first wrote The Little Egg when she was a 12-year-old middle school student. ​​The story won the Niles District Library’s Creative Writing Contest in 2014. The story served as Audrey’s outlet as she was dealing with being diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, a spinal condition that effects the lower back. 

“I came into middle school with a back brace,” she said. “Students didn’t quite understand what I was going through and therefore bullied me for it.”

Audrey returned to her story a few months ago and decided to publish it with the goal of teaching kids to appreciate what makes them unique.

“I wanted to get it out there for kids to read and understand self love and that their differences make them unique,” she said.

Audrey approached Aliea, who works at the Judy Ferrara Gallery in Three Oaks, about providing illustrations for the book.

“I really enjoyed being able to let my guard down when it came to the book and just play with color and texture in a way I haven’t done before,” Aliea said. “It actually encouraged me to take up painting because I was less nervous about approaching color after illustrating the book.”

Audrey, the reigning Miss Michigan Collegiate, brings her book with her on visits to Michigan schools and said it has received a positive response with students.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite volunteer activities to do. These kids are brilliant, they’re excited about the whole process and ask questions on how it is to be an author and how illustration works. I’m just blown away by these kids.”

For the Bakerson sisters, “The Little Egg” is an example of perseverance paying off.

“Even if you stop something and put it aside, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back and pick it up again. That’s always the hardest part about being an entrepreneur, you always have these ideas and want to put them out in the world and this is the first physical thing of mine that’s out there for people to use and read. It’s been a great learning experience.

“I used to send it to publishers when I was little and it never got picked up. This time I decided to self publish and now I have tons of copies of my books in people’s homes. It’s pretty awesome.”

“The Little Egg” can be found on Amazon both in print and digital. Audrey will be competing in the 2023 Miss Collegiate America pageant Tuesday, June 27 in Little Rock, Arkansas.