Writing books has always been a dream for Yoga Calm founder, Lynea Gillen. But it hasn’t always been an easy path.
Her first children’s book, Good People Everywhere, was panned by her writing group, because it didn’t fit the typical children’s book model. “Their feedback was so harsh that I put the book aside for years and almost didn’t finish it,” she recounts. She ultimately did finish the book and it went on to win four national book awards.
What helped her to hold on to her dream was the support of her friends and family. And the children she read the book to— they loved it!
So, it’s especially meaningful that her second children’s book is about dreaming big and finding community support.
Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream
As a child and family counselor, and former school teacher, Lynea Gillen helps children to realize that their dreams are beautiful and important in her new book, Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream. The book emphasizes the strengths in sharing dreams with others, which leads to discovering ways to deepen community through making dreams come true.
This soothing children’s picture book shares an enchanting tale of one little chicken who has the courage to make her dream come true with the support of the wise moon and her barnyard friends. Little Banty Chicken decides to take Moon’s advice and share her dream. First she thinks of Squirrel, who has always been very friendly and listened well. Squirrel loves the idea and goes with Little Banty to tell Cow, who offers to help.
Each night the dream gets bigger as each of the animals who hear about Little Banty’s dream offers to help in some way. The day of the party—during a full, harvest moon, of course—the animals work together to prepare while the Farmers are away. Then they all enjoy the pleasant surprise when the farmer family arrives home.
Sweet, vibrant illustrations by Kristina Swarner and the rhythm of one person’s actions rippling out toward a positive outcome will engage readers of all ages. It inspires young and old to share their dreams, work together to help others, and take that important time together to celebrate life.
More than just a bedtime story, or an afternoon read, its uplifting message is also perfect for the classroom, where it ties in with lessons on community-building, character education and nutrition education. It also includes bonus activities to inspire children to identify, share and work together to realize their dreams.
Here’s what Kari Hulsey, a fourth grade teacher in Oregon says this about Little Banty Chicken:
“I love this book and the message that telling others of your dreams is empowering and allows those dreams to blossom! I can’t wait to read this in my classroom!”
Parents love Banty, too:
“This book set me to dreaming my own dream before I got past page 5. The book also reminds us that everyone needs a “moon” with whom to share big dreams. Both the
text and illustrations feel enchanted! It should also help children to think of nighttime—which is often scary to a small child—as a special magical time that they need not fear.
—Melodie Davis, Columnist, blogger
Check out Lynea’s other award-winning children’s book, Good People Everywhere