Why is Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift such a valuable book for children?
My book is valuable for children because it is a timely and timeless story.
In the tumultuous world we are living in, I believe Princess Shayna is an invaluable book to help children to navigate and steady themselves when they feel the world has been turned upside down.
The universal lessons within Princess Shayna are critical! Children learn how to demonstrate respect, acceptance, and compassion for others, who may look or live in a manner that is different than theirs, and who might have a dissimilar perspective, feelings, behavior, and/or intention. They also discover how to effectively communicate and harmoniously work together and tear down walls that have been built around themselves in their classroom, home, and/or community.
My book also helps children learn how to deal with life’s triumphs and tragedies. It is bibliotherapy, which is an effective teaching tool for children to learn how to express empathy by relating to the story’s characters and feeling that their personal problems are less threatening.
Why did you write Princess Shayna’s Invisible Gift?
I wrote this fairy tale version of my What Color Is Your Brain?® book because I knew children and adults could easily relate to a fairy tale because it speaks to the heart and soul of the child within all of us. As a mother, grandmother, and educator I believe that every child deserves to feel loved, safe, encouraged, and confident within a trustworthy home, school, and community environment!
The story confirms that life can present difficulties, but with healthy self-esteem and a loving, trustworthy, and encouraging environment, individuals can courageously overcome life’s obstacles and change those challenges into opportunities.
I know it is crucial to acknowledge, explain, and teach every child that: “No one is perfect. You do not have to be perfect to be loved. Not even Princess Shayna is perfect; the princess has Type 1 Diabetes.” This message also is meaningful to children and adults who face physical, mental, educational, or social challenges in their lives.
What is your personal back story of Princess Shayna?
My back story began when I attended a Creative Problem Solving Institute conference. After my certification class, I relaxed by going to a story-telling class. The instructor told us to select one of the Renaissance scenes that were taped on the classroom walls and feel free to write about what we saw. I selected one of a princess in a forest and began writing. I could not stop writing because of the creative flow in my brain felt like a tidal wave.
When I returned home, I told my husband Jordan about my experience, and he encouraged me to continue writing my story. As I continued the creative process, I realized that my writing was autobiographical. It was a joy to bring my beloved family members into the story and incorporate copious details from my childhood. It is said that authors often write from their soul, and I was!
What is the “Invisible Visible Gift”?
The “Invisible Visible Gift” is the gift of self-esteem. It is invisible when you give it to
someone, but visible upon them when receiving it. King Alexander and Queen Sylvia nurtured their daughter in a loving and secure environment; in which they were able to give Princess Shayna that gift that she would share with the villagers of the Kingdom of Kindness, while on her Vision Quest.
To give and receive the “Invisible Visible Gift,” there must be a high level of trust (openness and sharing of ideas and belonging) and trustworthiness (expressing a sense of cooperation, support, and acceptance) between the gift giver and the receiver.
At what age can children begin to enjoy Princess Shayna?
Parents and teachers can begin reading Princess Shayna to their children and students when they are in kindergarten, or when it is apparent the child is mature enough to understand the story.
Since the book is a chapter book that includes the Gift Giver Guide questions, at the end of each chapter, older children can read a portion of a chapter or complete a chapter, depending on their attention span. The Gift Givers Guide can be utilized when it seems appropriate for the readers and /or listeners.
To keep younger children’s interest in the story, I encourage teachers and parents to only read a few pages at a time and then talk about the messages within the storyline. I also encourage parents to read the book first. Then they can also use the Gift Giver’s Guide as a picture book to elaborate on the pictures and questions depending on the child’s age.
I designed the book so children could personalize the pages by coloring the beautifully detailed black and white illustrations.
Girls easily relate to Princess Shayna as a strong, courageous, and independent heroine. But boys enjoy reading it to!
Matthew – “I really love this book because instead of the princess being captured or kidnapped, she is very brave and she’s the hero of the book and she saves the Kingdom of Kindness from Meevillain’s Cloud of Chaos. I really love that about this book. It is amazing!
Kevin – “I am orange. My brother is like a boy Meevillain. Your book is the best. I am going to buy it one day. If you are only one color, you must be dull!”
Brian – “Your book teaches kids about the different kinds of people. That is a good idea. I like it is that we sit together because I made a new friend.”
Jeremy – “I think that the value of Princess Shayna is learning how to be responsible for the changes in your life, how to respect people who are different than you are, and be nice to other people, even when there are obstacles in your life.”