Local Children’s Author Takes Kids Dreaming “Into The Stars” With Third Storybook
by James Coulter
When Little Ari goes to sleep every night, she and her talking dog, Pepper, go on many amazing adventures. In their latest adventure, they travel to outer space, where they meet an astronaut, Galaxy Joe, who takes them on a galactic tour of the solar system and beyond.
“Into The Stars” is the third installment in the children’s storybook series, “Let’s Go Dreaming,” by Shanita Allen, Lakeland author and Behavior Analyst. Her newest book was released on Monday and is available as a physical storybook and e-book from Amazon. Already, her new book has reached the Top 20 Bestseller’s list in two categories on Kindle
The series follows the young child protagonist, Ari, and her talking dog, Pepper, as they go on adventures together in her dreams. The first book, “Sleep, Tiny Dreamer?” has little Ari learn about her dreams and the many fun things she can do in them.
The second book, “What Is A Dream?” has her learn that her dog can talk, and she learns even more fun things they can do together while she dreams. She has nine books planned for her series, with six more planned soon.
Shanita always dreamed of becoming a children’s book author when she was in middle school. However, throughout her high school and college career, she learned she had an interest in psychology, which inspired her career path.
She currently works full-time as a Behavior Analyst in Hillsborough County, working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She also enjoys writing, which motivated her to combine her work experience with her childhood dream and write her own children’s storybooks based on child psychology.
“I loved writing and reading ever since I was young,” she said. “So that was my goal in life, that was my dream when I was young, to become a published author.”
She published her first book, “Sleep, Tiny Dreamer” in 2018. Her books have since sold an estimated 1,000 copies. Her most significant milestone is having her work featured by local news organizations, including the Lakeland Ledger and Daily Ridge.
Most of all, she loves meeting with children at author events at local schools and libraries. These in-person events were placed on hold over the past year due to the pandemic. While she appreciates virtual events, nothing can replace meeting and interacting with children in person.
“I love that closeness [with] speaking with the children one-on-one [and] hearing about what their dreams are,” Shanita said. “Just that energy you get when you are next to them, and they can see you and touch their books and have lots of hugs because they appreciate your story and what you represent. That is the part that I missed with COVID. So I am looking forward to doing all of that again.”
Shanita will be attending an upcoming event hosted by the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County on Sat., June 26 from 9 am to 1 pm at their location in downtown Lakeland, located at
115 S Missouri Ave, Lakeland, FL 33815. She hopes that with the pandemic winding down that she will be able to attend more events like it soon.
“Now that things are returning to normalcy, it is a much better time to be able to go out and interact with individuals, especially kids, because I missed that,” she said. “I look forward to more events and connecting with children and parents.”
The “Let’s Go Dreaming” book series is available to purchase on Amazon and other online retailers. For more information, visit her website at: https://www.letsgodreaming.com/