About June Van Klaveren
As a child growing up on a rather isolated Iowa farm, June Van Klaveren spent many days outside playing with creatures she found. She developed a love and appreciation of all living things and actually became “friends” with many of them. She was particularly attracted to bugs and learned that they can survive without ever coming into contact with humans. In fact, many insects pose no actual threat to humans at all. They are a vital part of our world and play a unique role in enhancing our lives, much like each of us has our own special and unique role to fulfill in this world.
A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, June’s interests in education and communication have continued throughout her life, both personally and professionally. Her love of communication through writing is an essential aspect of her life.
In her professional career, she helped pest control companies market their services, thus carrying over her interest in insects. She was instrumental in the development of an educational program called “Good Bug/Bad Bug” and presented it to several St. Louis area elementary schools and sold it throughout the U.S.
Her earlier writing endeavors included a book on customer service for service related companies called The Edge Up and one called Prayers for Parents for new parents.
Combining her love of insects and her love of children, June Van Klaveren wrote her debut children’s book, Me & Smugg, the Bug, A Story of an Unlikely Friendship. Written specifically to help teach 2-6 year old children about kindness and friendship, it demonstrates how the acceptance of those who are different from us is important to creating a better world for us all.
Quote from Readers
"Smugg, the Bug carries a really big message for young and old. We all struggle with our feelings about differences. This little treasure helps us find the real truth that differences should be celebrated. I’m putting a copy in our church library. " --Maida McCormack
"We gave a copy of Me & Smugg, the Bug to our great-grandson for Christmas. Although he's not quite a year old, his mother has been reading it to him. We want him to learn about friendship and kindness because it's never too early to teach that to a child--and it's a good reminder for adults too!"
--Dean & Nancy Wilson
Me & Smugg, the Bug features a little red bug who has trouble finding friends and a boy whose curious and open-minded nature make him a perfect fit for an Unlikely Friendship. Through a series of good deeds on the boy's part, they become fast friends and even the boy's mom and sister agree that Smugg is "funny and cute and not at all rude."
The book can be read to and by children ages 2-6 and as a bonus, discussion questions are included for parents and teachers.
The messages of friendship and diversity, especially pertaining to those appearing different from ourselves, are the primary themes carried through June’s new children’s book.
The final verse in the story summarizes the lesson:
"When you get to know someone
who's not like you,
you may make a new friend
and they'll make one, too."