There’s a new, inspiring book series for young kids that I’m excited to share with you – and it was created by a local Twin Cities author!
Minnesota-based first-time author Shelly Boyum-Breen has launched a series of beginning reader picture books entitled, “Shelly Bean The Sports Queen,” aimed at aspiring girls and boys to try a variety of sports. Through her own experiences of a lifetime of activity on the court and in the field, Boyum-Breen created the series for children ages 4 to 9. These books empower and inspire children to strive to reach their dreams of success through athletics.
The star of the books, Shelly Bean, is the product of this new generation, where being a female athlete is acceptable as well as encouraged. In each book, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen learns how to play a new sport with the help of her family and friends. She knows that each time she learns a new sport she gets to add a charm to her crown.
We received a copy of “Shelly Bean the Sports Queen plays a game of catch” to review and my kids love it! My 7-year-old daughter has asked to read it several times now and even read it aloud herself. It’s a positive book kids can read over and over.
It’s fun to follow Shelly Bean as she gets excited about trying out softball with her cousin Olivia. She learns a few tips from her cousin’s coach Carol (lots of positive female role models!) and gets the hang of it. At the end of the book, there are tips for playing catch and a glossary of terms like “base” and “defense.”
Shelly Bean is a tough, dirty-kneed little girl with a “can do” spirit who loves to play sports. Through her adventures, she learns it might take falling down, getting hurt and getting back up but Shelly Bean is determined to learn new sports and be great at them. Shelly Bean, her brothers and friends set positive examples and teach teamwork, friendship, leadership and confidence to young children.
“While participation in girls’ sports is increasing, the books girls read, their toys and their favorite TV shows usually do not represent these activities,” says Boyum-Breen. “Especially in this time of fighting obesity in our younger generation, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, is a hero.”
Titles in the series to date, include:
“Shelly Bean the Sports Queen Skates at the Hockey Rink”
“Shelly Bean the Sports Queen Plays Basketball”
“Shelly Bean the Sports Queen Plays a Game of Catch”
The cheerful illustrations are by Marieka Heinlen who has illustrated over 30 picture books.
About the Author:
A native of Brainerd, Minn., Shelly Boyum-Breen grew up with aspirations of playing professional sports. She spent countless hours on the basketball court, neighborhood hockey rinks and local golf courses. Shelly pursued a career as a physical education teacher and coach. She spent her first five years out of college coaching the Augsburg Women’s Basketball Team and Anoka High School’s basketball and tennis teams. Boyum-Breen then went on to work for Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx professional basketball organizations. She later moved into a sales consulting role serving the Lynx, the New York Liberty and the 10th Anniversary WNBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden.
Boyum-Breen is also the founder and past-president of Foundation IX, a non-profit increasing the rate of girls’ participation in sports and fitness, which was merged with the Ann Bancroft Foundation.
Also, Shelly Boyum-Breen raised over $22,000 on kickstarter.com for this project! More books are expected to be added to the series.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of a Shelly Bean the Sports Queen book to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.)