Being a parent is about raising the child you have, not the child you thought you’d have.
And if you are fortunate, says author JJ Allen, that child just might be the teacher who makes you the person you’re supposed to be.
The Carolina Forest area author’s most recent book, “You’re My Favorite Everything,” is a love story from a parent, or grandparent, to a child.
“You’re my favorite amusement park ride, I will always be a safe place to hide,” says one of the gorgeously-illustrated pages, while another says, “You’re my favorite window with a view, You’re my favorite color and hue.”
The mother of four and grandmother of nine, Allen made very sure that the characters in her book strongly resemble the ones in her life.
“I write more content to create one picture than there are words in the story,” she says about the descriptions she submits to the illustrator.
“Writing a book is easy, publishing one is a painful labor of love.”
“You’re My Favorite Everything” is available online through Barnes & Noble for $15.95 in paperback and $24.95 in hardback.
There will be a book signing Saturday, June 29 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in The Market Common.
Every child will be provided with a goodie bag, so that even if their parent doesn’t buy a book, the child will not leave empty-handed.
Self-employed in the travel industry, Allen travels extensively and is very involved in children’s literacy and Wounded Warrior projects.
Profits from book sales are always put back into purchasing more books for children with reading issues.
Allen’s first book, “There’s a Bug in the Tub and it Won’t Get Out,” published in 2015, is about what she has called “the purity of the relationship between grandchildren and grandparents.”
That book was co-authored by Allen’s granddaughter Delilah, who was 7-years-old at the time. That book is available through Amazon.com.
Allen’s nine grandchildren, the inspiration for her books, range in age between 6 months old and 11 years.
“As parents, we think we’re here to teach our children, but they are here to teach us too,” she says.
“When I had my first grandchild, I didn’t realize I needed her way more than she needed me.”
Telling her children and grandchildren that they’re loved isn’t just about saying so, Allen believes.
It’s about spending time with them, making sure they know how special they are, and specifically, how special they are to you as a parent or grandparent.
The local author wants her books to encourage parents and grandparents to help their children and grandchildren find their own happy places in life.
“Life is given to you by God, liberty is given to you by living in the United States, and happiness is given to you by going after it,” she says.
Allen’s third book, “Proof of Tooth” is being edited and will be released shortly.
That book is the result of a grandchild’s tooth getting lost after it fell out during a sleep-over at Allen’s house.
She explained to the child that they could just leave a “proof of tooth” certificate for the tooth fairy.
Allen’s Facebook page is JJ Allen, children’s book author.
She is also the founder of the She Key Society, a site dedicated to the empowerment and encouragement of women.