New Storybook Series “Let’s Go Dreaming” Takes Children On Bedtime Adventures
by James Coulter
“Sleep, tiny dreamer. Where will you go tonight? Will you swim across the ocean? Or will you take a flight?”
Nothing prepares children for bed like a good bedtime story. Even after their storybook adventure is over, a new journey only begins once they drift off to sleep.
Just where will your little one go in their dreams? That’s a question that a new children’s storybook series, written by a local author, poses and hopes to answer.
“Sleep, Tiny Dreamer” is the first in a 7-part children’s storybook series that helps little children learn about what they will discover when they dream.
Each story has little Ary and her talking dog Pepper go on amazing journeys every night when they fall asleep. Sometimes they’re uncovering the mystery of a missing caterpillar; other times, they’re helping out a person who speaks a jumbled-up language.
The very first book in the series, “Sleep, Tiny Dreamer”, helps prepare children for a good night’s sleeping by discussing the countless possibilities they will experience while dreaming.
“Sweet Tiny Dreamer is a very inspirational story about where your little one will go when they go to sleep, what will they be, what do they want to see, where they will want to go; so it is a story filled with hope and innocence, just inspiring young minds to dream big,” explained Shanita Allen, the author of the series.
Currently residing in Lakeland, Allen is a behavior analyst with more than 16 years of experience serving individuals with developmental disabilities in the Hillsborough County area.
Last year, she was inspired to follow her childhood dream of becoming an author and writing and publishing her own children’s book series. As a child, she loved to read, and she wants to encourage other children to read.
Growing up, there were very few children’s books that featured young female African American characters. So as an African American woman herself, she wanted to write a story to help provide better representation for young black girls, she explained. She also wants to encourage more children to read, and more parents to read to their children, especially in this growing age dominated and obsessed with technology.
“I would like to encourage [kids] to get back to reading because I feel like in today’s time there is a lot of focus on technology like cell phones and tablets and social media, and I want to bring it back home and encourage children and parents to read,” she explained.
As a behavioral consultant, Allen utilized her experiencing working with young children, especially those with developmental disabilities, when writing her stories. One upcoming story will involve a character who has difficulty talking with others, serving as a metaphor for individuals whose conditions inhibit communication skills.
Allen had written several manuscripts for her book series over the past year, receiving feedback and support from a local writer’s group, Writer’s At Unity, at Unity Church in Lakeland. There she was encouraged by the group’s leader, Evelyn Rainey, a local author and former agent and publisher, to self-publish her storybooks.
Since publishing her first book nearly a month ago, Allen has had her expectations—or rather, what little she had—more than exceeded with glowing first reviews on Amazon.
“Great children’s story that captures the imagination and is entertaining to the little one,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “The illustrations are great. This book will be a classic in our nightly rotation of bed time reading.”
Allen has hosted many book readings and signings throughout the Polk and Hillsborough County area. Recently, she hosted a special presentation at New River Library in Wesley Chapel which included a puppet show. Currently, she is working to get her books into the Polk County Library System.
Currently, she is planning on publishing the reaming six storybooks within the series. She would also love to start a non-profit organization to donate her books and others to schools in under-privileged areas all around the country and world. She had big expectations for her dreams, and she hopes to encourage young children to likewise follow their own dreams.
“I want them to reach for the stars and do what they set their mind to,” she said.
“Sleep, Tiny Dreamer” is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Tiny-Dreamer-Shanita-Allen/dp/173337390X/
For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.letsgodreaming.com/ Or visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/letsgodreaming11/