A recurring dream during the pandemic led a Loxahatchee mother to help children face their fears by using a simple tool, a pencil.
Sebrena Allen, author of God’s Loving Pencils: The Adventures of Marcus P. Stone, wrote the story of a child who is nervous about starting his first day of kindergarten. His mother gifts him a pencil case containing three pencils labeled “The Father,” “The Son” and “The Holy Spirit.” With this, he is secure that he can do anything because God is always with him and will protect him.
“The lord gave me this idea years ago, and I wrote the book during the pandemic,” Allen said.
When it came time to illustrate the characters, Allen used her own children as inspiration. “The character of Marcus was inspired by my son, who lives with Crohn’s disease, and the image of the mother was inspired by my daughter, the eldest of my five kids,” she said.
God’s Loving Pencils: The Adventures of Marcus P. Stone is the first of what Allen plans to be a series. “There are many children’s books which focus on strengthening a child’s self-esteem, but I feel that these books are leaving God out of the equation,” Allen explained.
Her experience working with children also played a role in understanding the book’s message. Allen created an actual red pencil case with the exact same pencils used in the book. “It’s important to have an interactive component to engage children,” she said. “This way, the kids can take the pencils wherever they go.”
This illustrated read-aloud book is aimed at preschool to elementary-age children ages 3 to 8.
Allen works in social services and has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Barry University but has spent most of her professional career working with children. She enjoys planting a vegetable garden and gathering eggs from her chickens, which inspired her YouTube Channel, Everyday Farm Girl, where she shares her life on the family farm in Loxahatchee. Allen is the mother of five children. She loves to read and spend time with her children, traveling and doing outdoor activities. Her new book is available for purchase on Amazon.