Be brave, author uses life lessons to write children’s book

A local author used the pandemic to write a book to inspire others
Author Releases Children's Book
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 12:33 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:00 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Be brave. It’s the message behind a children’s book from a local author, Shelton H. Shelton.

“Sometimes we just have to embrace who God made us to be and then look around and start to notice what others were made to be and value that,” Shelton said about the theme behind her book “Songbirds.”

She wrote the book at the start of the pandemic. “My husband has set up some bird feeders for me and I was watching the birds. I was just writing and praying and doing some journaling and then all of a sudden it just started coming out about the birds and I realized how diverse they are and how it would be so crazy if all the birds looked the same. And thank goodness they don’t, and the creativity behind all that and then it just started pouring out,” she said it reminded her of a real-life story, involving her son, Chip.

“He was a little nervous to start school and he came home after the first week or so talking about this friend of his name Jacob and, and then apparently on the other end of things, this little boy was going home and talking about his friend as well. So, they formed a fast friendship. I realized he wasn’t quite as good in his English yet, Spanish is his first language, and just the most precious child ever, so we instantly bonded.”

The friendship continued to grow and Jacob became a normal part of her son’s life, but then Jacob’s mother passed away.

“I had gotten to meet her and it was kind of like with the boys, we were sort of instant friends. There was a little communication gap, but it was like a mother heart thing... so when that happened we decided as a family to go to them and support them. This is where the story Songbirds kind of goes into being brave because we didn’t really know them very well and we didn’t know if they would even want us there.”

Shelton said when they got there, Jacob’s family embraced them with open arms. “It’s one of those things where you think you’re going to someone else to do something good, but it changes you- there’s a whole culture I didn’t understand and it’s changed our whole family in a good way.”

When Shelton started on the book, she knew she wanted to involve a special friendship of her own. Her childhood friend Paige illustrated the story. “I can’t imagine doing this without her. We help each other. "

Now the two are hoping other people will read the book and be brave too.

You can find the book online. You can also pick up a copy at Wild Birds Unlimited near West Town Mall.

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