Download “Belinda’s Dandelion” from Amazon

Here are a few pages of a story I wrote about bullying.  If you like it, you might ask your parents to download the entire story.  Here are a few questions before the story begins.

Have you noticed how kids gang up on one student.  It starts with one unkind remark and if the bully gets a laugh from the class, others will join in.

Someone has to be brave and report the bullying.  No one should go home unhappy.   No one should dread or be afraid of coming to school.

belinda-up-2016

Here is part of the story – enjoy.

It was a warm spring day, when a Dandelion woke up and took her first look at a beautiful world. All around her were dazzling colors, wonderful scents and delightful sounds.

There were other plants in the garden. They had also bloomed for the first time. These plants were dressed  in nature’s finest clothes. The little Dandelion was quick to tell everyone how beautiful each one looked.

The Crocus felt the Dandelion’s love and said, “Dandelion, your head is like the color of the sun. You are very pretty plant.”

The Dandelion was happy to live in a garden where plants were friendly and kind to one another.

belindas-dandelion-2-1

 

Night came to the garden. The plants began to whisper goodnight. Suddenly, an angry plant yelled out in the darkness.

“It is NOT a goodnight! We have a weed amongst us.”

“What’s a weed?” asked the Dandelion.

The angry plant made herself tall as she spoke.

belindas-dandelion5-1

“A weed is useless and ugly. Sometimes, it even tries to look like a flower.”

The Dandelion had more questions.

“Who are you? How do you know such things?”

The angry plant twisted her stem and shook her petals.

“I am a perennial. This means that I bloom each year. Tomorrow, the gardener will water the flowers and pull out ugly weeds.”

The Dandelion looked around her. The moon had began to shine her light on the plants. They looked so pretty.

“Lady Perennial,” said the Dandelion respectfully. “I see no weeds in this garden. Everyone is different and each plant is beautiful.”        The Perennial twisted her stem again and hissed at the dandelion.

belindas-dandelion23-2-1-copy-1

“Stupid Dandelion! You are the only horrible weed among us!”

The Dandelion shivered with fear as all of the plants looked in her direction.

A Pansy spoke up.

“Lady Perennial, who decides which plant is a flower and which plant is a weed?”

“Humans made this decision a long time ago.” answered the Perennial.

The Pansy was confused. “But, she looks and speaks like one of us. I don’t think we should put her down by calling her a bad name. That would make us bullies.”

“Weeds have no feelings!” replied the Perennial. “They cannot feel pain like plants.”

The Dandelion did feel the pain of the Perennial’s words. She turned to her friend the Crocus.

“Dear Crocus, you told me that my head was like the sun. Please tell me that the Perennial’s words are untrue.”

Now, the Crocus was afraid of the Perennial. If she stood up for the Dandelion, maybe the Perennial would pick on her, too.

“I never said that your head was like the sun. You, Dandelion are just a lying weed!”

belindas-dandelion23-2-1-copy

Well done, Crocus!” shouted the Perennial. “You spoke like a proud flower. That is the way to speak to weeds!”

The Crocus felt happy even if she did tell a lie.

The poor Dandelion began to feel that she was ugly. She hung her head in shame.

The Rose looked at the Dandelion. She knew that she should act with love in her heart. After all, humans gave Roses as a sign of love on earth.

“Lady Perennial,” said the Rose gently, “I don’t see why weeds cannot live peacefully beside flowers. I think that everyone is equal in the garden.”

To the Dandelion’s surprise, the other flowers began to agree with the Rose.

The Perennial thought about what the Rose had said. She did not think that flowers and weeds were equal. She had made up her mind to hate weeds. The Perennial began to think of a way to trick the flowers into thinking what she believed.

“I come from a rich and clever family,” said the Perennial. Grandfather Perennial fought a war to get rid of weeds. Many, many flowers told him that he did the right thing. Do you want weeds taking over the ground in which you are growing.?”

“No weed will do that to me!” yelled the Lily.

I’ll stop the story now.

Questions to ask:

  1. What do you think will happen to the Dandelion?
  2. Is there a plant that will become her friend.
  3. Can the nasty Perennial hurt the Dandelion further?
  4. Who is Belinda?   The Story is called “Belinda’s Dandelion.”
  5. Can Belinda help the Dandelion?

You can download the entire story from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

 

belinda-up-2016

Belinda’s Dandelion: Children’s Story to Stop Bullying

Belinda’s Dandelion

Do you think dandelions have feelings?  Do flowers ever insult dandelions by calling them “weeds’?  This is a book about a beautiful dandelion that begins life amongst flowers who love her….until…………    You will really like a little girl named Belinda.  She is kind and a friend to all living things.

belinda-up-2016

I wrote this story because I think bullying is very unfair.  In school, kids get bullied.  It must be hard to come to school each day if you are bullied.   My story is about a dandelion that gets bullied.  Belinda is a kind and strong girl that sets out to rescue the dandelion.

 

Come With Me to Africa

 

Ranger Jabari and the African Animals
Ranger Jabari and the African Animals

Would you like to drive across the Serengeti Plain of Africa in a Landrover Jeep?  There will be Jabari and two of his ranger friends.  They will be looking for sick animals and stopping the poaching of elephant and rhino tusks.  You can journey with them in my story, “Ranger Jabari and the African Animals.”

Here is the cover.  It will be available after Christmas, 2016 as an ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks.

There is a bonus feature of African Myths or stories.  Sometimes, Ranger Jabari tells the stories around the campfire much to the delight of his ranger friends.

 

 

 

Chapter Look at New ebook about African Animals

Here are the Chapters for my new ebook, Jabari and the African Animals – which will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction:  

Come with Me to Tanzania.

Chapter 1 – Rangers On Patrol

-Saving the Animals from Poachers

-The Orchestra of Nature

-Noon: Big Cats Rest while Their Prey Gives Birth

Chapter 2 – Anansi: The African Trickster Spider

–How Anansi Gets the Stories from the Sky God.

Chapter 3 – The Sick Cheetah Cub–

-Life in a Maasai Village

Chapter 4 – Getting Quickly to Night Camp

–  The Lion Quiz

Chapter 5 – Stories Around the Campfire

-Mount Kilimanjaro:  The Fable of Two Volcanoes

-How Jabari Met His Wife

Chapter 6 – The Discovery of the Poachers’ Fire Camp

-A Rush to Head off the Poachers

-The Legend of the Hyena and the Baobab Tree

Chapter 7 – The Shot That Warned the Poachers

–The Poachers Out-Number the Rangers

-The Deadly Puff Adder Snake and Jabari

-Rangers Have Problems Contacting the Army

-Ahmed Goes Into Action Against the Poachers

-Good News from the Maasai Village

Jabari and the African Animals

JABARI AND THE AFRICAN ANIMALS

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 Introduction:

Dear Reader,

I am taking you on an African ranger patrol.  They look after the animals on the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania.  They are also watching for poachers who kill animals.  In this story, there will be a shoot-out between the rangers and the poachers.  It is better that we are invisible so we won’t get hurt.  Being invisible allows us to travel with three great rangers named Jabari, James and Ahmed.  Jabari is the leader and he likes to sing and tell great African stories.  You will learn that there was a time when humans had no stories.  They belonged to the Sky-God and Anansi the Trickster-Spider wanted them.  The Sky-God gives Anansi three great challenges.  Later, around the campfire, Jabari will tell about the fight between two volcanoes that lived on Mount Kilimanjaro.  This is the highest mountain in Africa.

Another story is about the great fight of two volcanoes on Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa.  Are you ready to travel with the rangers and see African animals: elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos and wilderbeest?

Getting Ready to Travel

First, let’s look at the map of Africa. We will be travelling in the country of Tanzania.  Our plane will land at the capital city of Dodoma.  Make sure that you have your passport, camera, suitcase and Tanzanian money.

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We Have Arrived in Tanzania

Wow, it’s hot now in Dodoma.  There are about 47 million people living in Tanzania and about 4 million wild animals mostly on the Serengeti.  Let’s go to a cafe and order a cold drink.  Have you enough Tanzanian schillings?  You can order your cold drink in English or Swahili which are the two official languages.

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Let’s take our cold drink and watch planes landing.  There are planes  arriving from the eight countries that surround Tanzania: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Our Taxi is Waiting For Us.

We will take the taxi to the hotel to get a good sleep.  The next morning we will get into our invisible jeep and follow the rangers.

As we walk out to the taxi, we will pass by the Tanzanian flag and a big poster of the President.

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This is President John Pombe Joseph Maguli and beside him is the flag of Tanzania.   There are about 47 million people living in Tanzania.

You walk towards the taxi stand.  A tall slender man shakes your hand and welcomes you to his country.  His name is Enzi.  He laughs and tells you that his name in the Swahili language means “the powerful one.”

 

Enzi likes to talk and he tells you he is proud of his country.

“ We have the highest mountain of all the African countries.  It is called Mount Kilimanjaro.”

He beeps his horn and waves to a friend.

“Do you know that Tanzania might be the oldest country in the world?”

You ask him to explain.

“Well, scientists say that they foundest the oldest human skull here, so perhaps, the first humans may have lived in Tanzania.”

You are impressed and say, “Wow!”

Enzi laughs, “ We have the largest extinct volcano called Ngorongoro and

the  largest lake called Lake Victoria.  He passes you a map and a picture of Lake Victoria.  On the map you can see the Serengeti Plains and you wonder where the rangers are at the moment.

 

 

You look at the window and notice that some people appear to be wearing tribal clothes.  You ask Enzi how many tribes there are in Tanzania and he replies, ‘about one hundred and twenty.’

Enzi turns the taxi into the driveway of a large hotel and you notice that the reception area is filled with African carvings and beautiful wall hangings.  Enzi waves goodbye.  It has been a long flight and you are anxious to have a shower and go to bed.  You pull back the bedspread with its beautiful cover of African wildlife and fall asleep.

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It is very early the next morning, when we approach our invisible jeep. It drives itself and the signs point towards the Serengeti National Park.  The sky has not yet turned blue.  Inside the park, the first animal that you see is a majestic female lion.  She blends in with the orange sun and sky.

We arrive at the rangers’ camp.  We park our invisible jeep just feet away from their fire.  We smell the porridge breakfast cooking and Jabari, the head ranger, removes a hot pot of water from the fire.  He makes three mugs of tea.  We watch as his two ranger friends, James and Ahmed wake up.  If we just sit and watch, we will get to know some things about the rangers.

Gravenhurst Canada: Author Brings Children’s Story to Life and Wins Prizes

 

Gravenhurst author brings children’s stories to life

Gravenhurst Banner 

GRAVENHURST – Her passion for educating children is leading a former teacher down a new path.

“I am retired from teaching but not from life,” said Pauline Gallagher, author of four soon-to-be-released children’s ebooks.

According to Gallagher, a Gravenhurst resident for the past 18 years, her stories Mrs. Claus and the November Visit, Belinda’s Dandelion, The Bouncing Blue Ball, and Unicorns Come at Night, will soon be offered on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple ibooks.

“The best feedback I received was to have Mrs. Claus and the November Visit win in the Canadian Library Association’s annual contest,” she said. “Fourteen stories were chosen and mine was the only children’s winner.”

Gallagher said her holiday tale centres on a child named Oliver Grant who lives in New York City. When the boy writes a letter to Santa during the month of November and Santa is too busy to respond, he sends his wife to help Oliver with his problem.

Gallagher, who taught in Barrie, said her new profession wasn’t in her plans for her retirement, but when she spent a year working as a librarian in a quiet library she began passing time reading children’s books. It was then she said she noticed a need for more interesting stories. But when she decided to take on the challenge herself, she said her results weren’t much better.

“It was absolute garbage. I thought (to myself), don’t even think of writing,” said Gallagher with a laugh. She said she decided to give up at least short-term and that’s when everything fell into place.

She credits a late night “vision” for pulling all the pieces of her story into focus.

“I stayed up all night writing it,” she said, admitting sheepishly that she didn’t go to work the next day for fear of losing momentum.

Gallagher said despite her passion for writing, getting her stories published was difficult because she couldn’t afford to hire an illustrator.

“Annick Press, Toronto, which at that time, published Robert Munsch, seriously considered my stories,” she said. “(They) took them to two (American) publishers’ conferences but they were unsuccessful. I did not have an artist at that time. Now, fast-forward to 2016 and I have used the images of Public Domain to bring these books back to life.”

Gallagher said she is taking on serious issues in her books, while providing an entertaining read.

In Belinda’s Dandelion she focuses on the issue of bullying and mob mentality using a garden of flowers with one weed to relay the message.

In Unicorns Come at Night she deals with death when the beloved horse of a young girl passes away.

“The loss of a pet is a pain shared by children and adults,” said Gallagher, explaining the idea of the book came to her after visiting a pet cemetery in Boston, MA.

“(I) read memorials with tears in my eyes,” she said, noting the story ends with a “happy twist.”

Each of Gallagher’s stories includes a bonus section of facts and information and she said she has four more expected to be available soon.

Gallagher also hosts a blog site childrenandteensstoriestomotivateandinspire.com where she posts updates on her writing, as well

How Anansi Became the Story Teller: Pauline Gallagher’s eBooks

HOW ANANSI BECAME THE STORY TELLER

Anansi - the Trickster
Anansi – the Trickster

Note: I took the basic story and rewrote it – Pauline Gallagher

I have a new ebook coming out called “Ranger Jabari and the African Animals.” Jabari and his two ranger friends are travelling the Serengeti Plains to look for sick animals and to prevent poaching.

During rest breaks and around the nightly campfire, Ranger Jabari is asked to tell African folk tales.  Here is one called “How Anansi Became the Story Teller.”  This ebook should be on the shelves before or just after Christmas, 201

Ranger Jabari and the African Animals
Ranger Jabari and the African Animals

 

Once there were NO stories in the world. The Sky-Go, Nyame, owned them all.images-4

 

One of the many faces of Name, the Sky-God
One of the many faces of Name, the Sky-Go

The trickster spider, Anansi, knew that he would have great power if he owned the stories.  He could tell the stories and humans would give him food, money and precious gems.

Anansi - the Trickster
Anansi – the Trickster

“How much  money do you want for the stories?” asked Anansi, trying not to be too interested.  “I don’t have much money?”

“Ha! Ha!” thundered the Sky-God, Nyame. “I don’t want money. What would I do with it up here in the sky? I want to send you on challenging adventures.  I want to see you fight and sweat and struggle.”

images-15 images

“What would you have me do? O, great one.  O, magnificent one!”

“Don’t try to flatter me, Anansi.  I know you are the trickster!”

Anansi hid his face to show that he was sorry, but he wasn’t sorry at all.

He wanted to trick the Sky-God and anyone he met.

Nyame watched Anansi and decided to put great challenges his way.  Nyame hoped that the trickster would fail and he would still keep the stories.

Anansi - the Trickster
Anansi – the Trickster

“Here is a list, Anansi.  Bring back Onini the Python, Osebo the Leopard, and the Mboro Hornet.”

Anansi was worried and said to himself, “I will either be strangled, eaten or strung to death.”

“Scared Anansi?”

Anansi listened to the Sky-God as he laughed and laughed until the laughter turned to thunder and it rained.

Anansi went under a big leaf to avoid the rain.  He began to think of the stories and it gave him courage.  He was the trickster and there were only three challenges.  He would win!

Anansi went to where the Python lived.

Python
Python

He spoke out loud, “Creatures of the forest, I do nto think Python is as long as a palm tree.  I will cut one down and we can measure him.”

Slowly, one by one birds, creatures and insects came out.  Then, slithering up to Anansi came Python’s wife, Aso.”unknown-3

She looked Anansi in the eye.  “My husband is longer than any palm tree.”

The Python appeared, he was really, really long. images-17

He agreed to lie along the fallen palm tree. Anansi shook his head.  “Python you cannot make yourself completely straight, so it is hard for me to measure you.  Let me straighten you out by tying you to the palm tree.”

Python agreed and the Python was easily captured.  The villagers watching were scared of Anansi’s magic tricks and so they carried off the Python on the tree to where the Sky-God would appear.

images-4

“One down – two to go!” Anansi said to himself.

Anansi heard the sound of the leopard.  He dug a deep hole and the leopard fell in.  Anansi made himself larger than the leopard.  He offered his web to lift leopard out of the hole.  Leopard was now stuck in Anansi’s webs and the trickster brought him to where the villagers had put the Python on the pole.

“Two down – one to go!” laughed Anansi.images-5

To catch the hornets, Anansi had to trick them into thinking that it was raining.  He filled a big calabash with water.

“It’s raining, “ Anansi shouted as he held a banana leaf over his head and poured water.  Nothing happened.  Anansi then poured water over the hornet’s nest and yelled, “It’s raining, it’s raining!”  The hornet came crawling out of their flooded nest.  They shook the water off themselves and looked stunned.

“Hornets, come and crawl into the empty calabash.  I can give you this as a gift.  This can be your dry new home.”

When the last hornet was in the calabash, Anansi sealed the opening.

“Three done – none to go!” cheered Anansi.

When Nyame, the Sky-God awoke early the next morning.  He heard Anansi calling.  Nyame pushed the clouds apart and looked at the captured Python, Leopard and Hornets.

Before giving Anansi all the stories, the Sky-God warned him, “Anansi be careful of the words you use in the stories.  They can bring love or hate and war or peace.”

The End.

Look at for my coming ebook called “Jabari and the African Animals.”

Belinda’s Dandelion: ebook Story About Bullying

As a young person,  you know about bullying.  Maybe you have seen it happen to other students.  Maybe it has happened to you.  Hopefully, you were not the bully, but if you were – you can say “sorry” and start again.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone needs to be the best person that he or she can be.   Here is part of the story.   I hope you like it.

belinda-up-2016

 

 

It was a warm spring day, when a Dandelion woke up and took her first look at a beautiful world. All around her were dazzling colors, wonderful scents and delightful sounds.

There were other plants in the garden. They had also bloomed for the first time. These plants were dressed  in nature’s finest clothes. The little Dandelion was quick to tell everyone how beautiful each one looked.

The Crocus felt the Dandelion’s love and said, “Dandelion, your head is like the color of the sun. You are very pretty plant.”

The Dandelion was happy to live in a garden where plants were friendly and kind to one another.

belindas-dandelion-2-1

 

Night came to the garden. The plants began to whisper goodnight. Suddenly, an angry plant yelled out in the darkness.

“It is NOT a goodnight! We have a weed amongst us.”

“What’s a weed?” asked the Dandelion.

The angry plant made herself tall as she spoke.

belindas-dandelion5-1

“A weed is useless and ugly. Sometimes, it even tries to look like a flower.”

The Dandelion had more questions.

“Who are you? How do you know such things?”

The angry plant twisted her stem and shook her petals.

“I am a perennial. This means that I bloom each year. Tomorrow, the gardener will water the flowers and pull out ugly weeds.”

The Dandelion looked around her. The moon had began to shine her light on the plants. They looked so pretty.

“Lady Perennial,” said the Dandelion respectfully. “I see no weeds in this garden. Everyone is different and each plant is beautiful.”        The Perennial twisted her stem again and hissed at the dandelion.

belindas-dandelion23-2-1-copy-1

“Stupid Dandelion! You are the only horrible weed among us!”

The Dandelion shivered with fear as all of the plants looked in her direction.

A Pansy spoke up.

“Lady Perennial, who decides which plant is a flower and which plant is a weed?”

“Humans made this decision a long time ago.” answered the Perennial.

The Pansy was confused. “But, she looks and speaks like one of us. I don’t think we should put her down by calling her a bad name. That would make us bullies.”

“Weeds have no feelings!” replied the Perennial. “They cannot feel pain like plants.”

The Dandelion did feel the pain of the Perennial’s words. She turned to her friend the Crocus.

“Dear Crocus, you told me that my head was like the sun. Please tell me that the Perennial’s words are untrue.”

Now, the Crocus was afraid of the Perennial. If she stood up for the Dandelion, maybe the Perennial would pick on her, too.

“I never said that your head was like the sun. You, Dandelion are just a lying weed!”

belindas-dandelion23-2-1-copy

Well done, Crocus!” shouted the Perennial. “You spoke like a proud flower. That is the way to speak to weeds!”

The Crocus felt happy even if she did tell a lie.

The poor Dandelion began to feel that she was ugly. She hung her head in shame.

The Rose looked at the Dandelion. She knew that she should act with love in her heart. After all, humans gave Roses as a sign of love on earth.

“Lady Perennial,” said the Rose gently, “I don’t see why weeds cannot live peacefully beside flowers. I think that everyone is equal in the garden.”

To the Dandelion’s surprise, the other flowers began to agree with the Rose.

The Perennial thought about what the Rose had said. She did not think that flowers and weeds were equal. She had made up her mind to hate weeds. The Perennial began to think of a way to trick the flowers into thinking what she believed.

“I come from a rich and clever family,” said the Perennial. Grandfather Perennial fought a war to get rid of weeds. Many, many flowers told him that he did the right thing. Do you want weeds taking over the ground in which you are growing.?”

“No weed will do that to me!” yelled the Lily.

The Perennial continued to tell lies.

“Grandmother Perennial told me that weeds cannot be trusted. They might look and act like flowers, but they are dirty and stupid!”

“I think you are a little unkind!” said the Rose. “Should we not give the Dandelion a chance? Let us not judge her by the way other Dandelions may have acted.”

The Perennial shook her head.

“Rose, you are a beautiful flower, but I do not think that you are clever. Only clever flowers know that flowers are better than weeds!”

“That’s right!” shouted the Lily.

The Rose wanted to be popular in the garden. She forgot about loving. She wanted the other flowers to think of her as beautiful and clever.

“My Rose family would not like weeds living near them. The garden will no longer be a special place if weeds live here. It will become a wild jungle.”

“Well done, my clever and beautiful Rose,” laughed the Perennial. “This is a garden of clever and beautiful flowers who know they are better than weeds.”

“Death to ugly weeds!” yelled the Marigold.

“Yes, death to all ugly weeds!” screamed the Perennial hissing and spitting in the direction of the Dandelion.

Soon, every flower was yelling hateful words. They had ganged up on one small plant and they did not feel ashamed.

The night became darker as the flowers shouted mean words. The moon took away her light. The stars hid behind the clouds. Mother Nature cried, and her tears fell as rain.

belindas-dandelion-book

The little Dandelion was now alone. It did not matter to her if she lived or if she died. She sobbed herself to sleep. Tomorrow, the gardener would pull her out of the ground.

Unknown to the Dandelion, a little girl named Belinda had been looking out his window. Of all the plants in the garden, she liked the Dandelion the best. She would water all the plants and the Dandelion because she had love in her heart. She would explain to the gardener that she wanted her lovely Dandelion weed to live with the flowers. Surely, he would understand.

belindas-dandelion-gardenerjpg

 

End of Sample Story.

If you wish to read the entire story then here is what to do.

Down load it on to your kindle, iPad, laptop, computer or iPhone.  Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks and other distributors.   Please tell your friends.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit: Winner Canadian Library Competition

mrs-claus-small

The above ebook for children is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks.  This book was a winner in the Canadian Library Association’s Competition and was published in Winners’ Circle 6 (anthology of short stories).

Here is a wonderful look into the person of Mrs Claus.  It outlines how she met Mr. Claus and how on their wedding day, they vowed to make a difference in the world.

Oliver: New York Boy With Problems

Mr. Claus hands his wife a letter from Oliver.  He intends to runaway.  Santa is very busy in November with toys to make.  He asks Mrs. Claus to take care of the problem.  Mrs. Claus climbs into the sleigh and Rudolph take off across the North Pole.  Below them is Santa’s workshop.  They head south and cross the aqua-blue ocean with its crystal icebergs glistening in the light of the moon.

Can Mrs. Claus solve Oliver’s problem?   This is a award-winning ebook waiting to be placed in the hands of a child.

 

Canadian Author by Gravenhurst Newspaper

Gravenhurst author brings children’s stories to life

Gravenhurst Banner 

GRAVENHURST – Her passion for educating children is leading a former teacher down a new path.

“I am retired from teaching but not from life,” said Pauline Gallagher, author of four soon-to-be-released children’s ebooks.

According to Gallagher, a Gravenhurst resident for the past 18 years, her stories Mrs. Claus and the November Visit, Belinda’s Dandelion, The Bouncing Blue Ball, and Unicorns Come at Night, will soon be offered on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple ibooks.

“The best feedback I received was to have Mrs. Claus and the November Visit win in the Canadian Library Association’s annual contest,” she said. “Fourteen stories were chosen and mine was the only children’s winner.”

Gallagher said her holiday tale centres on a child named Oliver Grant who lives in New York City. When the boy writes a letter to Santa during the month of November and Santa is too busy to respond, he sends his wife to help Oliver with his problem.

Gallagher, who taught in Barrie, said her new profession wasn’t in her plans for her retirement, but when she spent a year working as a librarian in a quiet library she began passing time reading children’s books. It was then she said she noticed a need for more interesting stories. But when she decided to take on the challenge herself, she said her results weren’t much better.

“It was absolute garbage. I thought (to myself), don’t even think of writing,” said Gallagher with a laugh. She said she decided to give up at least short-term and that’s when everything fell into place.

She credits a late night “vision” for pulling all the pieces of her story into focus.

“I stayed up all night writing it,” she said, admitting sheepishly that she didn’t go to work the next day for fear of losing momentum.

Gallagher said despite her passion for writing, getting her stories published was difficult because she couldn’t afford to hire an illustrator.

“Annick Press, Toronto, which at that time, published Robert Munsch, seriously considered my stories,” she said. “(They) took them to two (American) publishers’ conferences but they were unsuccessful. I did not have an artist at that time. Now, fast-forward to 2016 and I have used the images of Public Domain to bring these books back to life.”

Gallagher said she is taking on serious issues in her books, while providing an entertaining read.

In Belinda’s Dandelion she focuses on the issue of bullying and mob mentality using a garden of flowers with one weed to relay the message.

In Unicorns Come at Night she deals with death when the beloved horse of a young girl passes away.

“The loss of a pet is a pain shared by children and adults,” said Gallagher, explaining the idea of the book came to her after visiting a pet cemetery in Boston, MA.

“(I) read memorials with tears in my eyes,” she said, noting the story ends with a “happy twist.”

Each of Gallagher’s stories includes a bonus section of facts and information and she said she has four more expected to be available soon.

Gallagher also hosts a blog site childrenandteensstoriestomotivateandinspire.com where she posts updates on her writing, as well as other interesting resources for parents and children.