By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
BRIDGETON – LaShelle White-Corley said she noticed her young son Caleb, 6, had a lot to say – to everyone – while at home as the family sheltered this over the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Corley, who was already a local published author, said she thought why not take that experience and turn it not a book, with Caleb and older son Calvin, 11, leading the way.
Her boys agreed and ran with the idea. Calvin is a sixth grader and Caleb a first grader.
On Sunday, at the Culture Shop of South Jersey expo at the Alms Center, the family promoted their book “I Have A Lot to Say.” In 2015, LaShelle Corley wrote “Hooray! Hooray! Dad’s On His Way,” a book that helped children understand parental incarceration and to break the cycle within a family.
In the current book, Corley said it was a way to turn the negative – the coronavirus pandemic – and turn it into a positive.
“We were actually in the car driving and the idea of the book came up,” LaShelle Corley said. “I’m a children’s book author myself. We started June. I had it published end of September and we had a good response. Parents and kids say they can identify with it. They love the illustrations. Most importantly, they said they identify with the message. It’s been very positive.”
Calvin Corley said he believed doing the book was a “good idea to try something different.”
“I learned how to how to make a book and the process,” the young Corley said. “The book gives (other children) a chance tell people what they have to say. You’re actually helping other kids who may not stand up for themselves and talk.”
Caleb was a little more shy for the interview, saying it “felt good” to be part of the book.
“Yes, it makes me proud and special so other kids can learn how to read and be special,” he said.
LaShelle Corley, who added they all had help from her husband Dyron, said it was good that the public see positive messages coming from a family of color and hopes that resonates with those reading it and the community in general.
She said those interested in finding out more about the book and purchasing it, they can write to her at email@example.com.
“We live in uncertain times but in those uncertain times, there’s opportunities,” Corley said. “We have to be able to see the positive. Let’s work together and be positive for our kids.”
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