Wareham author publishes his first children’s book

Ever since she was little, Ellen Reed dreamed of writing a children’s book.

For years, she wrote stories that she threw away — not knowing if her writing was worth pursuing.

“I didn’t believe in myself back then,” she said.

Since then, she has been working on her confidence and feels ready to share her story.

Her first book, “Ballerina Bright Finds Her Voice,” echoes that struggle in a child-friendly form.

The book’s heroine, Ballerina Bright, is a tie-dye dancer with a pet cat and a curiosity about the world. But as she explores, she runs into a literal brick wall, guarded by a mysterious woman who tells Ballerina Bright that she can never break through this wall.

Reed said the woman represents the naysayers people encounter — those who dissuade people from trying or whose sarcastic remarks can undermine trust.

But, like Reed, Ballerina Bright continues. As she explores, she finds three statements written on the wall: “I am confident. I am strong. I have enough.”

These claims were also part of Reed’s journey. She said that over time, and with the help of her family and friends, she was able to “really dig deep” to access that trust.

“I just want kids and adults to know that it doesn’t matter [what others say]”, Red 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 she took special education classes as a child and hoped that by being herself and following her dreams, she could inspire others to know they can do the same.

“I want to be able to spread love and positivity,” Reed said.

She encouraged those interested in writing to start writing, adding that her favorite place to write is outdoors.

“If you really want to write – or if you want to do something – go for it,” she said. “Believe in yourself that you are worthy enough to have your story there.”

A former daycare teacher, Reed hosts online storytimes twice a week on Facebook, and she said she hopes to read her book at some in-person events. She also works with children who need help with reading and spelling.

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.

Angela C. Hale