Stephenie Washington and Brandon Washington are first-time authors, who share a love for children’s books and each other as mother and son. (Photo: Shirley Jackson)

by Shirley Jackson —

The world opens to children when you read to them. It helps stimulate their minds and creativity. It strengthens relationships. They learn about emotions and the art of speaking.

Stephenie Washington, 55, and Brandon Washington, 28, agree.

As first-time authors, the mother and son duo have written their respective children’s books. They made their debut at a book signing on Saturday (Nov. 14) at Pentecostal Missionary Baptist Church at1538 Norris Rd.

Stephenie’s book is titled “My ABC’s of God’s Guidance for ME.”

“(It) is truly meant to bring families together, while ensuring children can recite their alphabets and learn the joy of reading while getting to know Christ,” she said.

Stephenie always had a desire to write a children’s book, but said, “(The) time never presented itself. After working in the school system and countless conversations with a colleague, Dr. Breanna Fulton; we often discussed writing books for children…

“(The experience of) being in the school sector allowed me to understand the importance of children recognizing their alphabets and reciting sight words. This inspired me to write a children’s book on alphabets. I couldn’t dare leave out my love for Christ. Therefore, I implemented a Christian atmosphere as children learn to read.”

Brandon said he was “astounded to present my children’s book to the community.”

Danielle Olison and one-year -old Delawrence with author Brandon Washington. (Photo: Shirley Jackson)

“People have asked the questions, ‘Why’ or ‘How did I come up with such idea?’

“My answer: It was simply a gift from God.  As I slept one night, I tossed and turned with the story seeming so real throughout the night.  Around 3 a.m., I was awakened out of my sleep, grabbed my iPad and began putting the story I dreamed of on paper. Thus, “How Many Strikes?” was brought to life.”

He added, “As I see my book on Amazon and in the hands of numerous African-American babies, it brings joy to my heart. As for writing, who knows the next chapter God will present.

“However, until then I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the families that purchased my book and those who have supported me along the way!”

Brandon’s book is dedicated to his son, Brailyn Washington.

“As there has been so much police brutality against African Americans, I want him to know he’s more than the color of his skin,” he said.

Illustrator Jazmine Franklin. (Photo: Shirley Jackson)

The illustrator, Jazmine Franklin, said, “I have done illustrations for four books and had a blast working on these books. They are very useful and I feel as though they really speak to the kids in a meaningful way.”

Some 60 people attending the books’ signing, which resulted in 104 books being sold between the two authors.

Both books can be purchased at