Writing a children’s book is no small task. There’s more than a little alchemy involved when finding the perfect blend of subject matter and character development expertly woven into a storyline capable of holding the attention of young readers. Yet, author Elizabeth Ferris appears to have developed a writing recipe that speaks to young and old readers alike in her Positively Georgia book series.
Ferris’ books center around the life of Georgia, an Airedale Terrier based on Ferris’ own family pet. Georgia is a quintessential “good girl” who lives with her owner, Norman, and loves making new friends. “Georgie-girl”, as Norman lovingly calls his frisky pup, is one who sees the world as perfectly wonderful and full of infinite possibilities.
In each book, Ferris carefully tackles subjects that are important to children, but not always easy to talk about. In her debut story, Positively Georgia: The Motivational Tale of a Unique Airedale, Georgia gently guides children as they learn to channel positive energy and use it to create change in the world around them.
In her follow-up release, Positively Georgia’s Guide to Surviving Grief, Ferris tackles the subject of loss with a deft hand and the gentleness needed when talking to young readers. For Ferris, addressing the topic carefully was important. “The loss of a loved one is a gut-wrenching experience,” she says. “This book helps children and adults learn how to process loss and still enjoy a happy and rewarding life.”
Her third installment, Positively Georgia: Chin Up, Pup, helps readers improve their self-confidence and realize their potential as they join Georgia on her own journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Regardless of the subject matter, fans appreciate Georgia’s perfectly positive attitude and the wonder she finds in everyday situations.
And with her latest addition to the series, Positively Georgia – Be Brave, Impress Yourself, Be Your Own Breed, Ferris blends the relevant topic of the global COVID-19 pandemic with timeless notions of loving yourself for exactly who you are. Georgia helps children learn to process “big feelings” in a healthy way and encourages them to be brave and impress themselves with their resilience in the face of adversity.
While the Positively Georgia series is intended for children 8 years and up, younger children love hearing Georgia’s adventures read aloud, and adults are often surprised how much they glean from the escapades of this positive pooch. This may be due, in part, to the fact that Georgia’s stories are rife with jokes and humor that may be missed by younger readers but delight older audiences.
Ferris found the inspiration for Georgia and her adventurous spirit in her own history. A first-generation Canadian, Ferris’ parents immigrated to Canada from Hungary to escape communism. Though they arrived in an unfamiliar country unable to speak English, her parents built a life, grew a family, and have enjoyed 65 love-filled years together. Growing up, Ferris witnessed firsthand how their belief in their own abilities and their ability to accomplish their goals made the impossible possible. “The bravery they showed as they pursued and achieved their dreams is the foundation for Georgia’s wisdom,” says Ferris.
Ferris plans to continue the Positively Georgia series, adding new tales as inspiration strikes. For her, Georgia’s message is too important to let momentum slow down. “Georgia will continue to encourage readers to envision their dreams, set goals, and then go full force and make them come true,” she says.
Ferris has found a way to expertly blend an endearing character and engaging material into a powerful story that sticks with the reader long after the last page has turned. It’s a magical mix, indeed.
To learn more about Elizabeth Ferris and the Positively Georgiabook series, visit her website by clicking here.