Wareham author publishes first children’s book
Since she was a kid, Ellen Reed has dreamed of writing a children’s book.
For years, she wrote stories that she threw away — unsure whether her writing was worth pursuing.
“I didn’t believe in myself back then,” she said.
Since then, she’s worked on her confidence and feels ready to share her story.
Her debut book, “Ballerina Bright Finds Her Voice,” echoes that struggle in a kid-friendly form. Reed moved to Wareham in elementary school and graduated from Wareham High.
The book’s heroine, Ballerina Bright, is a tie-dye-clad dancer with a pet cat and curiosity about the world. But while exploring, she runs into a literal brick wall, guarded by a mysterious woman who tells Ballerina Bright she’ll never be able to get over that wall.
Reed said the woman represents the nay-sayers people encounter — those who dissuade people from trying, or whose snide remarks can undermine one’s confidence.
But, like Reed, Ballerina Bright keeps going. Through her explorations, she finds three affirmations written on the wall: “I am confident. I am strong. I am enough.”
Those affirmations were part of Reed’s journey, too. She said that over time, and with help from family and friends, she was able to “really dig down deep” to access that confidence.
“I just want kids and adults to know it doesn’t matter [what others say],” Reed said. “If you believe you can do it, the universe is the limit. You can go so far if you believe in yourself.”
Reed said that she took special education classes as a child, and she said she hopes that by being herself and following her dreams, she can inspire others to know they can do the same.
“I want to be able to spread love and positivity,” Reed said.
She encouraged those who are interested in writing to just start writing — adding that her favorite place to write is outside.
“If you really want to write — or want to do anything — just go for it,” she said. “Believe in yourself that you are worthy enough to have your story out there.”
A former daycare teacher, Reed leads twice-weekly online story times on Facebook, and she said she’s hoping to read her book at some in-person events. She also works with kids who need help with reading and spelling.
New Englander Shayna Yacyshyn illustrated the book. Reed said their vision for the project was aligned from the start. Yacyshyn was able to include some of Reed’s favorite things: A white cat and butterflies make appearances throughout the book.
Reed’s book is available online. To find her work on Facebook, search for Story Telling with Ellen or her group, called Reading Made Easy.