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March 15th, 2013

Powerful Storytelling Countering Poverty of Aspiration

Powerful Storytelling Countering Poverty of Aspiration

While  the ‘child poverty’ headlines remind us of the narrow horizons in the lives of a significant number of children in the UK, sparking their imagination with great stories is a critical way to energise them to dream and combat an increasing poverty of aspiration, according to Beth Shepherd, author of the children’s book Ernie Gonzales: The Determined Dreamer.

“Poverty of aspiration prevents children from aspiring, dreaming and achieving. As the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks reminded us, ‘Children will grow into the space we create for them.’ Storytelling is a powerful way to create space, inspire their dreams and help them realise their world is malleable,” says Beth.

With a passion for justice that is fuelled by her Christian faith, Beth adds, “Jesus was a storyteller,” whose parables changed his listeners’ paradigms and enriched their futures. Today’s children, “need imaginative stories and visionary tales,” to do that for them today.

Ernie Gonzales: The Determined Dreamer is such a book. Written by Beth and illustrated by Lisa Buckridge, it tells the story of Ernie the snail and his faithful friends who see the power of a dream made real, a vision realized, and a hope fulfilled.

Inspired by his beloved Papa’s tales of a fabled snail paradise, Ernie boldly sets out on the adventure of a lifetime to find it, little knowing this is a quest that will leave him forever changed and dramatically transform the destinies of all he loves and knows.

The book aims to affirm children everywhere in their unique identities, inspiring them to follow the desires of their heart and encouraging them to consider how these can be used to bless others. It is a story of courage, perseverance and the triumph of hope, told with wit and filled with delightfully creative illustrations that bring Ernie and his world to life.

Ernie Gonzales: The Determined Dreamer

Available from Amazon £4.49


About the author: Beth Shepherd is passionate to see dreams fulfilled! Writing this book was a proof to herself and others that everything is possible. She loves to travel & promote social justice, two things she has combined in founding a social entrepreneurial business in Sri Lanka. Currently, Beth lives in north London and teaches Zumba in her local community.

 About the illustrator: Lisa Buckridge is a very talented artist, working in various industries and contexts. She loves to see others’ imaginations stirred by imaginative, creative illustrations and is delighted that her 11 year old daughter is following in her footsteps!

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