Callista Gingrich Shares Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride on The Mike Huckabee Show
The Mike Huckabee Show
October 3, 2012
Mike: Welcome back to the Mike Huckabee Show, on this Wednesday, a debate day in the United States of America. Newt and Callista Gingrich are good friends of mine and Callista did a children’s book called Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride. Well the first one was called Sweet Land of Liberty, it became a New York Times Bestseller for children, the story of Ellis the Elephant who went across the nation to see how America became an exceptional nation. Well Ellis is back! Callista has a brand new book in the series, this one is called Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride, and Callista Gingrich joins me here today. Callista, great to talk to you gain.
Callista: Thanks Governor, it’s great to be with you.
Mike: So I get the impression you are having a lot of fun writing these books for kids.
Callista: I am, we have fallen in love with Ellis the Elephant. I write these books because I love America, and I believe that America is an exceptional nation, and I believe its more important now more than ever that our children understand why we live in such a special nation.
Mike: We clearly have so many kids growing up that don’t understand not only how special, but how unique the United States of America is and the opportunities that it gives to them as citizens and the fact that they are free to dream their dreams and see them come to fulfillment.
Callista: That is absolutely right, and unfortunately many of our children are not learning our American history. A recent survey found that a majority of fourth graders couldn’t identify Jamestown as our first English settlement, most fourth graders didn’t know why the Pilgrims left England, and fewer than a third of all eighth graders could explain why the colonies fought England during the Revolutionary War. So we have a lot of work to do and it’s really up to all us of to help our children learn what it means to be American.
Mike: You know I’m convinced that even though the book isreally targeted for four to eight year olds, Callista, having been a lot of places in the country, I’m convinced that there may be some adults that may ought to read about Ellis the Elephant who don’t know that much about America either.
Callista: Absolutely. I got an email from my mom today, andit just made me smile. She said. “I’ve just read your book and I think the age range should be four to eighty!”
Mike: (laughter) That’s great! Well I know you had a terrific reaction to the first book, it became a bestseller. This one chronicles Ellis going around the colonies and really taking sort of a geographical journey around the thirteen colonies. What are some of the things that I am going to learn in this book?
Callista: That’s right. Well, in this book Ellis discovers how America began, as he learns about our original colonies. So, we began in Jamestown, we then go to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, to the purchase of Manhattan from Native Americans, and learn a variety of unique attributes of each colony. It’s kind of interesting — something that I didn’t know before writing the book, that in New Hampshire, there was a rule that each village, that had more than fifty people in it, would have its own school — placing a very high value on education. Also, we discuss in Rhode Island how Ellis learns about Rodger Williams and his quest to make freedom of religion a basic human right. And finally in Georgia, Ellis learns about the fallen and underprivileged who were given a second chance by working their way out of debt, rather than going to prison. There are so many remarkable stories in Colonial America to be shared with our children.
Mike: You know you were just talking about that Georgia story, Callista. It kind of hits close to home because my understanding of my own family history is that my ancestors weren’t exactly bluebloods that landed in Massachusetts or Virginia. They were folks that were dumped out of the debtors prisons in Great Britain and dumped on the shores of Georgia. So, typically if your ancestry is Georgia, it means you probably, lets just say this, they were glad to get rid of you somewhere. And then you ended up with a hard scrabble life and my folks had to just work and eek out a living, and step in front of the law the whole time. You were talking about how to get out debt, I’m thinking gee that’s my ancestry, I’ve got to read this book to figure out what they were like.
Callista: You bet! The colonists were such good role models, they embodied many of the values and traits that we like to see in our presidents, in our leaders, and in our people today; you know they were values of hard work, integrity, perseverance, and resourcefulness, and they really enabled our very first settlers to survive, thrive, and build this great nation.
Mike: Well I hope the book is a huge success. Again its called Land of the Pilgrims Pride, it is out now and is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. I know it is going to be a big hit just as the predecessor of this book was, all about Ellis the Elephant. Before I let you go Callista I want to ask about the debate tonight. You have been in that audience, like Ann Romney and Michelle Obamawill be, watching your husband up on the stage. What is that like from a spouse’s prospective, when you are sitting out there in the audience and you can’t really say anything in his ear, you can’t go up on stage and tell him to calm down or spice it up? Tell me about what you are thinking and feeling out there.
Callista: You are sending a lot of positive energy. You know Newt was always a pretty good debater, so I had a lot of confidence in his ability. I always felt that he had prepared his whole life for those opportunities. But you know there is a lot of adrenaline and energy — and you pray before hand and you collect your thoughts and you just really hope all goes well. Tonight is a very important night for Governor Romney, he really needs to differentiate his policies from President Obama’s policies and he needs to convince the majority of Americans why he the better choice. So, it’s really an important evening for him.
Mike: Well it really is. And his policies are dramatically different and if he can’t communicate that then he is really in trouble, we are all in trouble.
Callista: But I do think that if he is as assertive and direct as he was with Newt in Florida, he will do just fine.
Mike: (laughter) You know that’s a good point because he was, he really took command of that stage. I remember everyone thinking that he was floundering before that because he didn’t have a good debate in South Carolina, then he came back in Florida. So, maybe that will be his model for it. Anyway, best of luck on the book, I hope it’s a huge success. Callista give my best to Newt and I hope to see you guys real soon.
Callista: Thanks Governor, take care.