korene-smith-2017

Photo credit: Alesyn McCall/ AMP Detroit

No one said raising children was easy. And the old adage of “it takes a village to raise a child” has never been truer than now. First-time author Korene Smith’s new children’s book Phenomenally Me is a wonderful page-turner, full of positive affirmations for children that provide them with a foundation for positivity and inner peace.

How did the idea for your book originate?

Phenomenally Me is a book of positive affirmations for children — aiming to establish and sustain a strong inner voice in our youth while helping to bridge the “word gap” present between higher and lower socioeconomic classes.

The initial idea randomly dropped in my spirit one night while I was driving home. As soon as stepped in the door, I dropped everything and started drawing. After drawing one picture, the words started flowing.

Was it your intention for it to be inspirational?

Yes, that was definitely my intent. Being a mother of two, I found myself purchasing numerous books for my children with positive and inspiring stories. However, every child’s book seemed to be a cute story with a lesson at the end. I wanted something a little more blatant and decided to write out a poster of positive affirmations for my daughter and son. I remember taping it to their door and it kept falling down. That’s when things truly clicked. Those affirmations were meant to be seen by more than just my children.

How long did it take to write and produce?

Honestly, the book evolved into what you see today. Images popped into my head as I wrote the text and vice versa. Initially, I considered hiring an illustrator because I saw myself as only a “doodler.” However, after silencing the “self-doubt”, I started drawing with a true purpose. After a year of editing and learning how to digitize hand-drawn images, I finally had something worth publishing.

Why a children’s book?

In today’s society, I’ve heard far too many adults refer to children as “bad”, “stupid” or far worse. Not only are these words hurtful, but these slurs can also lead to a negative self-image and decreased self-worth. I knew that I had to help create a new norm.

Phenomenally Me provides children with a foundation for positive self-talk and inner peace. It teaches the child how to speak to themselves and in some cases; it will teach parents how to speak to their children. Words have so much power and we need to use them in a positive manner. We find over and over again that “Hurt people, hurt people.”

What do you hope parents and children will get when reading your book?

Parents, read this book to your baby while still in the womb, as well as your active toddler. Give it to a grade schooler who is discovering who they are or a high-school senior headed into the real world.

Phenomenally Me is for anyone who needs a positive word or a quick reminder of the greatness that lies within. I want readers to walk away feeling like I wrote each word just for them.

For more information about the book and Smith, please check her website at iamphenomenallyme.com.