Hello, the Little Philosopher is a part of the Philosophical Family Group, a family business owned and operated by the Romano Schmitt Family (Chris and Ande, Zoë and Zach). We live in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York on our 55-acre Philosophical Family Farm. We are a family of writers and artists. The Little Philosopher focuses on providing books to families who enjoy thinking together.
Ande has worked as a writer, illustrator and creative educator for over 27 years, conducting classes and workshops for children and adults in Philosophy for Children, writing and illustrating philosophical children's books, teaching in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the remote mountains of Costa Rica and researching and presenting programs for National Park Service visitors. Chris is a talented artist and editor with a particular interest in how people interact with nature and the environment. He has worked as an Environmental Scientist for over 26 years. Chris and Ande were best childhood friends and are celebrating 36 years of friendship in 2017 (and 18 years of marriage)!
In 1999, before the kids came along, Chris and Ande began working together to create picture books for children that were philosophically based yet also fun and inspiring. Together, we self-published our first three children's books, Birdie and the Rock (about choices and problem-solving), Inside Bear (about embracing and loving emotions) and To Bee (about discovering self-identity). We developed creative programs and activities based on the books and presented these programs to children in schools, libraries and community centers.
When Zoë and Zach came along, Chris and Ande began home education as the best way for us to maintain the connection we shared as a family. As part of our family learning, we offered fun, philosophical classes for little kids called "The Plato Players". These classes focused on specific philosophical concepts applied in a way that young kids could understand and enjoy. As Zoë and Zach grew, we continued to modify the classes to meet their needs and the developmental stages of the participants. Also at this time, when Chris needed to travel for his work, the kids and Ande joined him -- exploring and learning about the culture, nature and history of each area.
Today, based upon our family experiences and artistic and writing talents, we create books and activities together as a family. Zoë is an accomplished artisan and contributes her talents in fine arts, sewing and crafting to each activity. Zach has a tremendous gift for research and poetry. He loves to read and write about the facts that he finds and contributes his research and poetry to our books.
Throughout this journey, we have found that being, thinking and exploring together have been the most influential components of our joy as a family! We learn, we love and we grow through our thoughtful, intimate connections not only with the topics at hand but with each other as well. Our greatest hope as a family business is to introduce other families to the fun and joy of thinking together through our books.