Jeanne Mansfield

Why I Started Writing:

Part of my volunteer job at Bookworks, Goodwill-Suncoasts Children’s Literacy Program, was cleaning donated books for underprivileged children in HeadStart classes. Other volunteers read to the children, then gave each child one of these “gently loved” books. I realized how important it is to introduce children to books at an early age. I also noticed a need for fun books for toddlers. I believe if you “hook” a child on books at an early age, that child will never be illiterate.  

The idea for I Talk with My Hands came to me when I discovered a book of Braille for children. This sparked story lines and the idea to collaborate with Gail Lenhard on this project.  

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

All authors influence me in one way or another. Picking just a few is difficult. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' The Yearling amazed me. Barbara Kingsolver has a wonderful storytelling talent. I am a diverse reader who enjoys being whisked away to other countries, into peoples’ lives, even magic kingdoms like Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King.  

Books I Have Written:

Really! and Absolutely! are self-published books that stimulate imaginations for toddlers. They are fun, interactive, humorous, colorful, and educational. Young “readers” find colorful cats doing very un-cat like things while learning the first eight colors taught in preschool. Baby elephants teach numbers one through eight, while cavorting through the pages. 

What I'm Working On Now:

Gail and I are working on the next in our series addressing challenged children. This book follows an eight-year-old blind boy who uses his special skills to solve a neighborhood mystery. The working title is I See with My Ears.  

The third book in my toddlers’ series is close to completion.

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