Local writers help children find their voices through literature

Columbus, Ohio (W.C.M.H.) – NBC4 Today In the latest edition of our author series, we introduce you to Paula Johnson Neal. Paula, who has worked as an early childhood educator and administrator for over 25 years, her love for children led her to return to her dream of writing.

“I've always been a huge bookworm, and I knew I would write a book ever since I was a kid.” Paula Johnson-Neal is the author of “I'm Gonna Have a Good Day” and “Breathe, Gabby Breathe.” I am the author of “.

Like many people, Neil's dreams of becoming a writer were put on hold as he grew up and had other responsibilities.

“At the age of 49, I decided to write and publish a children's book.”

Neil decided to use her writing talent to help young children find the power to control their emotions.

“Everything happens in early childhood. They're learning to walk, they're learning to talk, they're learning everything. But one of the things we sometimes don't teach them is when it comes to their mental health. , social-emotional health,” Neal said. They must be taught how to self-regulate their emotions and how to express themselves. We need to teach them that and model it. ”

Taking Gabby, the main character of her book, as an example, children can relate to her actions.

“They may act similar to her. They can't see it themselves, but they can see everything wrong with her. They know that, so they still It's amazing,” Neal said.

These books also help address the lack of diversity in children's literature.

“We all say that representation is so important, and it’s true. On the flip side, we can feel unworthy, worthless, unheard, unseen. So you're just invisible,” she said.

The feeling of being invisible, not only in books but also in everyday life, can affect a child's ability to see themselves in their dreams and imagination. This is one reason Neil says representation is important, not just in the characters, but also in the writers and illustrators who tell the stories.

To learn more about Neil and purchase her book, please visit:www.paulajohnsonneal.com. You can meet Neil this weekend at the Ohioana Book Her Festival at the Columbus Metropolitan Library main branch. The event will be held Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature 120 authors and illustrators.

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/columbus/local-author-helps-children-find-their-voice-through-literature/ Local writers help children find their voices through literature

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