News

BOOK TO HELP THE CHILDREN COPE

By Debbie Halkett | Posted: Monday December 10, 2018

Maria Johnson shows off her self-published children’s book, Life Rulz According To Owl. For Maria Johnson, it’s all about the children.

The Oamaru woman and former high school teacher is excited to have completed her first children’s book, Life Rulz According To Owl. The book, which took her five years to publish, contains several stories revolving around a boy who faces several issues throughout his life. He is helped along the way by an unlikely life coach – an owl. 

It is designed to encourage children to build emotional resilience with issues they face in everyday life. “The theory is that kids struggle with so much stuff nowadays and they don’t often have the tools to help them cope with it,” she said. The book, which was written and illustrated by Mrs Johnson, went through several drafts before being published. One of the biggest challenges in making the book was getting the illustrations right, she said. “Because I’m not an illustrator, I had to go to the library and get out books on how to draw comics,” she said. 

She is also one of the facilitators for Ocean’s Grief and Loss – a peer support programme based in Oamaru that is designed to help children with grief and loss. The best part about writing the book was the thought it might help some children who read it. “I guess this is me wanting to be the fence at the top of the cliff instead of the ambulance at the bottom,” she said. The book was not yet available in stores but could be purchased through the Life Rulz According To Owl Facebook page.