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Faculty Member’s Personal Experience Inspires Children’s Book

Shelly Krajny reading to a group of children in a classroomLife inspired art for Shelly Krajny, a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion.

It began as an assignment for one of her doctoral classes at Kent State University.

“We were told to create something that was not in the typical research paper format,” Krajny said. “ I have always loved reading and have been obsessed with books from a young age. So a children’s book seemed like a natural way for me to go with the assignment.”

Krajny’s book, “The Chubby Grasshopper and His Two Friends,” is about mindful food choices and healthy eating with underlying messages about physical activity and body positivity. It was published in 2012.

“Around this time I was recovering from a rather debilitating eating disorder and I wanted to write something that would inspire children to eat healthy and be mindful of the choices they make when it comes to food without shaming them or making them feel bad about who they were,” she said. “I think self-love is pretty strongly emphasized at the end, and that is something that is really important to me.”

Krajny was recently a guest reader for kindergarten through 5th grade classes at Seton Catholic School, where she shared her book  and donated a copy to the school’s library.

The book was published by Sunny Day Publishing, an independent publisher based in Ohio.

“One of the founders, Mayra Porrata, was a part-time instructor at Kent State while I was completing my doctoral coursework,” Krajny said. “She saw the assignment I had turned in and contacted me to see if I would be interested in publishing it.”

Krajny is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion with a concentration in school health. Her dissertation is an examination of reproductive narratives in children’s literature. She serves on the Advisory Board for Sunny Day Publishing where she is an Editorial Health Education Advisor. Her research interests are in the area of adolescent health, sexuality education, eating disorders and women’s health.

To contact Krajny about sharing her book in a school, email her at shelly.krajny@nulluky.edu