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Wicklow parent and teacher team up to publish ‘The A to Z of Minding Me’ for children

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Authors Niamh Gogan and Tracey Flynn. Photo: Matthew Thompson

Authors Niamh Gogan and Tracey Flynn. Photo: Matthew Thompson

The A to Z of Minding Me published by Gill

The A to Z of Minding Me published by Gill

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Authors Niamh Gogan and Tracey Flynn. Photo: Matthew Thompson

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A teacher and parent from St Fergal’s National School in Bray have teamed up to write a book that aims to empower children and encourage kindness.

Primary school teacher Tracey Flynn met Niamh Gogan through the school and they discovered a mutual love of working with children. They were both passionate about positive language and its use in the classroom and outside it.

Niamh with an honours degree in psychology and Tracey with her special interest in mindfulness created a synergy that ultimately led to creating ‘The A to Z of Minding Me’.

The picture book’s theme is one of positive affirmation, written to inspires its readers and help them understand the moment in time they may be in. Tracey said: “Each page starts with, ‘I can’.”

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Ironically Covid, a time when children were more likely to use the phrase I can’t, gave the authors time to work on the book.

Tracey said: “We started planning before the pandemic hit and then everything went on hold. During lockdown we started back into the project and would work remotely and independently on specific letters and then catch up on Zooms. We’d work on the same letters, and nine out of ten times, we were just aligned.”

The book is designed to help get the mindfulness conversation started with children. It provides a way for young people to cope with “the day to day life moments.”

Tracey says that children reading it will gravitate towards the word or page they need on a given day.

With 26 letters, not all easy to find words for, Tracey and Niamh managed to find a way to creatively work with them, for example Y is “I can say Yippee!”

Describing the book and how it can be used, Tracey said: “It’s a pick up put down book. You can dip in anywhere.

"The book is full of positive affirmations and this is the magic of the book. We want children to use it as a tool box. It’s not really design to be read in one go from cover to cover. It can be dipped into over and over again.”

Will there be a follow up? Tracey said: “There were so many other letters that we could have also used, but we couldn’t do them all. We had no expectations of how well received this book would be, and right now are really enjoying the moment.

“Some parents and adults have even asked us for a version for them, as they find it very positive too.”

The A to Z of Minding Me hardback is illustrated by Kerry O’Callaghan and published by Gill. It costs €16.99.


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