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Photo by Tammy Waite

For many parents, it might not dawn on them until later in life to consider what they want their legacy to be. Siobhan Scott, on the other hand, has always known she wanted to leave her children something both tangible and lasting and finally had the opportunity when she published The Little Trash Truck Keeps the Neighborhood Clean.

Scott, who spent the majority of her young life in California and England, moved to Virginia to attend George Mason University where she earned a degree in Criminology. “I nannied for seven years while I was in school and always watched my sister’s children,” Scott said. “I’ve spent a lot of time around children.”  In the years since, Scott has gotten married, moved to Bristow, and had two children of her own — her older son will be four years old and her daughter will be two years old in October. “I plan on going back to get my teaching credentials, but in the meantime, I’m a stay at home mom and working on some fun projects like this book,” Scott said. “I always knew I wanted to write a children’s book.”

During the pandemic, Scott’s son Bryson would always run around the house on trash truck days, “ripping the blinds open and trying to see the trash truck,” she said. “Even before anyone was awake, he would never miss it.” Eventually, we decided to make up a song about it to the tune of Wheels On the Bus. “We were always singing in the house. We made everything into a song. He was really receptive to it and was loving it,” Scott said. “We sang it for weeks and then my daughter started singing along with us. I knew I needed to write it down and get it copyrighted.”

After doing some research, Siobhan found Fx Color and Studio, an illustrator based in Kolkata, India in a Facebook group she’s part of. “It’s amazing how well connected we are now — the illustrator is based in India,” Scott said. “Despite being in a pandemic and being isolated, I was able to connect with these groups and it became something positive for me to work on during that time.” After finding the illustrator and getting the book copyrighted, it took about six months to take the project to the next step — publishing.

Scott found an independent publisher called Mirror Publishing, based in Alabama, and the book was officially published in May. Through her publisher, she was able to get the book published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. “It was a really great response. We had 250 printed first,“ Scott said.

Siobhan has been involved in many outreach initiatives, one of the first being presenting the book to the family-owned business that inspired it — Shifflett’s Waste Services. “I took my son down and wanted to present them with a book because it was their truck that kept coming by,” Scott said. “They were really overjoyed and want to work with me to do classroom events and community outreach with children in regards to environmental issues.” 

Scott has also been invited to local preschools and book fairs to come and read the book. “I’m putting together goodie bags with trash truck related items like coloring books for the kids,” Scott said. “Because the book is to the tune of Wheels On the Bus, I had a friend of mine who plays guitar record it as a song and put it on YouTube and that seems to be a hit with people who have bought the book, as well.”

For Scott, this book was as much a passion project as it was a way to leave behind a legacy for her children. Siobhan is extremely passionate about donating to local nonprofits and organizations with literacy programs. “Inner City Inner Child (ICIC) is an organization that provides books, literature, music programs, for inner city, low income neighborhoods in DC,” Scott said. “I donated 100 books to their Reading For Life program, but I want it to be an ongoing effort. Depending on book sales and who reaches out, whoever wants to contribute, individuals, organizations, etc. they would be able to buy books from me and I can ship them directly to this organization. I look in my playroom and there’s a bookshelf full of books and it breaks my heart that there are so many kids out there who don’t have that, so It makes my heart happy that my book could make an impact in a child’s life. I want children to have these books even if they can’t afford to buy books, especially during the pandemic.”

Every year, ICIC donates books to DC’s low-income early childhood development programs to stock their classroom libraries. “They also send children home with a backpack filled with books,” Scott said. “It’s so early on, but I want this to be something that as I’m doing well I can also help. 100 books is just a start, but I want to be able to do more.”

The Little Trash Truck Keeps the Neighborhood Clean is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble for $9.99.

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