Photo by Orione Conceição
"A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men." – Unknown
Fathers, do you know how important you are? Listed on the Fatherhood Resource Hub website, it stated that "Children who grow up with involved fathers experience better mental, emotional, educational, and social outcomes, and are:
*39% more likely to earn mostly A's in school
*45% less likely to repeat a grade
*60% less likely to be suspended or expelled from school
*2X as likely to go to college or find stable employment after high school
*75% less likely to have a teen birth
*80% less likely to spend time in jail."
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk
"Fathers, be your daughter's first love, and she'll never settle for anything less." – Unknown
Wow! The role and participation of a father is vital to his child's success and overall development.
My children are so blessed to have an amazing dad. My husband Bryan had a very involved father. As a result, he learned how to commit himself to loving our children in such extraordinary ways. But I will say that I think my girls, in particular, are a wee bit spoiled. I don't mind it on most days, but on some days, it drives me crazy!
Watching my husband interact with my children inspired me to write a story about the beauty of the father-and-daughter relationship.
In my upcoming book, "Fire-Lit Lovely: A Daddy and Daughter Love Story" the dad takes his daughter, Rose, on a date. They attend a father-daughter dance and have the best time together. Rose understands that she holds her daddy's heart.
Written in lyrical verse, Rose shares how "Magically aglow, I brighten up his days and nights…
I'm his mesmerizing ember...
I'm his bright and brilliant delight..."
As a little girl, she understands the sacredness of their relationship. And it's my hope that once girls and fathers read this book together, they will cherish the beauty of their connection.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
“A little girl giggles when she is denied an ice-cream by her mother. She knows daddy will get her some later.” – Unknown
Dads and daughters have the opportunity to have an extraordinary relationship. One of my fondest memories connected to my father occurred when I was about 3 or 4 years old, competing in my first track and field All-Comers Meet. I was running the 400-meter dash, and the track at the University of Oregon's "Hayward Field" seemed like it went on forever. My dad was a long-distance runner, and since we lived in Eugene, Oregon, better known as "TrackTown USA," he wanted my sister and I to give running a chance.
More than running the race that day, the part I remember most is seeing my dad running along the track with me. I remember him saying, "Run, Yani, Run!" (Yani is my childhood nickname). And even though I wanted to quit because the race was so tough, he encouraged me every step of the way.
Last month, I was taking a walk in the park and witnessed the "IronKids" running half a mile. Seeing parents run alongside their children flooded me with the beautiful memory of my father doing the same for me so many years ago.
Fathers, please don't underestimate the power of your active presence in your children's lives. They really need you. They need your provision, your protection, and for you to take pleasure in their presence.
Knowing that fathers have such an impactful role in child development, I wrote my recent book, "Fire-Lit Lovely: A Daddy and Daughter Love Story." It's the perfect book for dads who want to connect with their little girls ages 5-9.
The illustration below is based explicitly on the memory of my dad supporting me on the day of the All-Comers Meet.
I wrote Fire-Lit Lovely to promote fatherhood, the special connection fathers have with daughters, and to provide an opportunity for little girls to sit in their daddies' laps for storytime.
In addition, I created the companion activity book, "Daddy-Daughter Connect and Bond Coloring & Activity Book."
This activity book takes the beautiful message from the picture book and gives dads a way to continue to build upon the connection.
The activity book, provides over 50 activities that dad and daughter can do together, like word scrambles, play time ideas, crossword puzzles, and so much more! To find out about the upcoming book release please sign up for the newsletter.
I am so excited to share the news about my latest children’s book, “Fire-Lit Lovely: A Daddy and Daughter Love Story.” This story is perfect for fathers with daughters ages 5-9. It showcases a father’s love and adoration for his daughter, Rose, who was born with bright red hair.
Beautifully illustrated, the text reads as a lyrical poem spoken by Rose, who, throughout the story, talks about her beloved and cherished relationship with being “daddy’s girl.” From beginning to end, readers will see the tender way Rose and her father interact and how he encourages her to reach her fullest potential.
I wrote this story because there aren’t enough books about all the amazing Black fathers who love and cherish their children. I am absolutely in love with social media accounts like “Bourgiedads” on Instagram, which put on beautiful displays of Black men actively loving on their children.
I grew up with a loving father, and my children are also blessed with an incredible dad. Fire-Lit Lovely displays the power of a father figure, specifically in his daughter’s life.
Any father of any ethnicity will find beautiful treasures in this book to share with his daughter. They will also enjoy the accompanying “Daddy-Daughter Connect and Bond Coloring & Activity Book.”
Sometimes fathers don’t know how to maximize their time with their daughters, and this activity book provides some entertaining activities that dads can complete with their daughters.
Now accepting bulk orders! If you'd like to receive 30-50% off any of my books please consider ordering bulk. The process is very easy:
1. Fill out the Order Form
Once I receive your order form, I will send you an invoice which will include the total pricing for the books, taxes, and shipping.
2. Send in Your Payment
3. Books Will Arrive in 2-3 weeks
It's as EASY as 1 -2- 3!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Keep Moving Forward, Henry!
Available on Amazon.com
Written by Ayanna Murray
Illustrated by Estefania Razo
A young Henry Luvert risks his life as a firefighter.
He is one of the first Black firemen in Eugene, Oregon.
His job is to be fearless and rescue people from danger – but what happens when other firemen start to treat him differently because of his skin color?
Follow him as he fights fires and racism at the same time.
Young readers will follow the heroism of young firefighter Henry Luvert in the new children’s book, Keep Moving Forward, Henry!
As the book explores the experiences of one of Eugene’s first Black firefighters, young people will learn about the obstacles that can come with being a trailblazer.
Luvert, who also served as a hoseman with the Eugene Fire Department, had the dangerous responsibility of being the first to enter the fire and last to leave burning buildings.
“You have to be brave to serve as a firefighter,” recalls Luvert, who also served as an emergency dispatcher. “I’ve experienced discrimination all my life,” he reflected, “I just never thought I would have to fight fires and then fight racism in the fire department."
This beautifully illustrated story highlights the complexity and struggle of someone dealing with racism and discrimination. In this picture book, Luvert’s resilience will inspire readers to never give up.
Teachers and parents alike can use this story to spark amazing discussions with youth. It allows young readers to empathize with those who experience the effects of injustice and invites them to think about how they treat people who are different.
Author Ayanna Murray is the daughter of Henry Luvert and an entrepreneur, teacher, and speaker. Ayanna creates thoughtful stories that teach young people about self-determination and the power of perseverance.
Originally from Eugene, she lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and four kids. For more information please visit www.ayannamurray.com.
Empathy/Racism/Equality/Respect/Justice/Black History [Ages 7-12]
Paperback, 8 x 10 inches, 40 pages
ISBN: 978-1-954781-00-9, $9.99 U.S.
I woke up last Saturday to such a beautiful surprise! So many people downloaded the "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!" e-book that it became Amazon's #1 New Release in Children's Prejudice & Racism category!
Since I was a child--I've had the intention of combating racism and prejudice. At the time, I thought that if I could become a U.S. Ambassador then I could travel the U.S. and the globe and influence others to see that people of color are just people. I wanted to share the message that we are all apart of one race--the human race.
Well, I didn't become a U.S. Ambassador but I still feel called to carry the message: that although we may look different, eat different foods, have varying cultural traditions--we all deserve the right to be treated with compassion, dignity, empathy, respect and kindness.
As I was reflecting on having a book become number one in the category of race and prejudice--my eyes were peaked when I came across this post on Facebook: "If children are old enough to experience racism, white children are old enough to learn about it."
The topic of race is something that many children of color have to grapple with at a very young age. For me--it was when I was 5 years old and in kindergarten. I remember a boy in my class called me a "nigger."
If children are capable of name calling, bullying, ostracizing, etc....then they are definitely old enough to learn how to respectfully treat people who look different than them. But many parents are hesitant to broach this subject with their kids. In fact, I had a white homeschool mother tell me she didn't teach about slavery until her kids were in high school. She wanted to protect them from such a harsh subject. In my mind, I was thinking how in the world do you teach our countries history without talking about the millions of enslaved Africans who helped build it? Shocking--right?!
But before you get mad at her--to be fair--the school systems really aren't much better. That's why I feel so honored and privileged to write about this topic to make it easier for parents and teachers to address issues of race and prejudice. I want to see change and I know it can actually happen if we address it with the children.
So when I got this picture (below) from a teacher in Texas--my heart exploded with joy and thankfulness. If the children catch on to the message---then brighter and better days are ahead for all of us!
Click here to learn more about the background of "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!"
I am soooo close to launching the paperback edition of "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!" but in the meantime I wanted to offer you all the opportunity to read the story for free on Amazon Kindle (March 22-26th 2021)!
So many people have asked how they can support me during this time and today I would answer that by saying:
1. Read the E-Book (English and/or Spanish version)
2. Write a PPR which stand for "Positive-Professional-Review" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Focus on commenting on the story itself, the plot, the message/themes, illustrations and of course if you would recommend others to buy.
3. Share the E-Book with individuals who will also write a review. Ask them individually--this will ensure a better response.
Reviews are a wonderful way to give social proof and give potential buyers the confidence to buy the book. So thank you in advance for any help you can give to spreading the word about "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!"
I'm so excited that I will be launching my new children's book this month, "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!" As I get closer to the release I am looking to build a launch team to help me spread the word and write Amazon reviews.
I have such a wonderful community of people who want to support my work and help spread awareness of this project so if that is something that you are interested in, please consider joining my launch team!
All you have to do is click here to get started.
I'm super happy to announce that my next children's book "Keep Moving Forward, Henry" will be launched next month and it will be addressing themes of justice, empathy, and overcoming obstacles.
I'm so excited that the picture book will have an accompanying coloring and activity book to help children dive deeper into the difficult topics.
"Keep Moving Forward, Henry! Coloring & Activity Book” is the perfect companion to the picture book and is full of crossword puzzles, mazes, inspirational coloring sheets, and more!
Geared toward kids 7-12 years old, themes of empathy, compassion, and self-empowerment will be addressed in an age-appropriate and fun way. This workbook makes a great vacation or travel workbook and is perfect for boys or girls who like to learn while being entertained with activities that stimulate thinking and creativity. It is a great gift for any kid!
COMING MARCH 2021!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 25, 2021
MEMPHIS, TN – A Memphis area mother and her two teenage daughters recently used the area’s COVID-19 restrictions to fulfill a dream and publish a children’s book to increase early childhood literacy.
“We aren’t going out as much and it was a perfect time to work on this book,” said mother Ayanna Murray. “I’ve always told my daughters we’d give back to the community and write a children’s book to encourage children to read.”
According to a Forbes article published late last year, the U.S. Department of Education reports that barely half of the adults age 17-74 read below a sixth-grade level.
Low literacy starts in childhood. According to the Literacy Project, children are 90% more likely to be poor readers at the end of the fourth grade if they are a poor reader at the end of first grade. This is why Murray focused on writing a children’s book.
“One of the greatest gifts we can give children is literacy and a love of reading. I’ve given that to my kids and I want to give that gift to others. Especially children in the Memphis area.”
CUTLINE: Ayanna Murray and her daughters Jayda (16) and Anaya (14) holding their book, Bear Learns to Share.
ABOUT: Ayanna Murray recently moved to Memphis, TN from Connecticut with her husband and four children. She is a homeschool educator and holds a BA in education and a minor in Spanish from the University of Oregon.
CONTACT: For more information or comments, contact Ayanna Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayanna is an author that enjoys writing fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for children. She has written over 15 stories and hopes to publish them in the near future.