FITCHBURG — Award-winning author Jodi Dee’s latest children’s book “The Snow Monster” is a magical tale about a young girl who makes a wish that changes her life.
The Fitchburg High School graduate and avid blogger pulls from her own experience as a mom of three and over 20 years in early childhood and education when writing and has produced an imaginative collection of fiction books for the younger set.
Dee said her daughter Aiza, who “loved snow from the first time she felt it,” inspired “The Snow Monster.”
“Even to this day she can’t wait to taste its deliciousness,” the author said. “I came up with the idea one afternoon when she was small, watching her lying in the snow with her face planted in it. She collects it in cups, and even at 14 gets as excited about snow falling as Christmas morning. And ironically, she was born on Christmas.”
Although she moved away from Fitchburg to start her career after earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and history and a master’s in education from Clark University in Worcester, Dee has strong ties to the hometown she grew up in. Her mother ran Busy Bees Preschool Center on Harugari Street for over 40 years and still helps out there.
Dee is known as a passionate advocate and teacher of emotional maturity who empowers children to learn through creativity, autonomy, self-exploration, and discovery. The mom of three teenagers – 16- and 14-year-old daughters and a 13-year-old son – said she has been writing since she was “old enough to journal.”
“My passion has always been nonfiction — self-help, higher consciousness, and self-empowerment — but they say 10,000 hours at anything makes a master,” she said. “After immersing myself and reading multiple books to my three children every day for over a decade, I started to come up with ideas for stories. I wanted stories to touch on everyday experiences, to write books that inspired and empowered because children are so impressionable. Sometimes, even one story can trigger an idea or change a life.”
She also penned a nonfiction book, “Create a Home of Learning: Screen-Free Toys and Techniques for Your Developing Child, 0 to 8 years,” which outlines creative alternatives to screen time.
“Books matter more today than ever before with technology consuming children’s lives,” Dee said. “Holding and touching a book, getting lost in your imagination in a story, is so much more powerful than the stimulus on a screen. Not just for healthy development but for creativity and expanded thinking. I wish every child could have a library card and visit one once a week, to get lost in the magic on the shelves.”
When asked what she enjoys most about the writing process, she said it enables her to tap into her “creativity and that she enjoys “collaborating with illustrators to bring my vision to life.”
I design every page and care about the littlest details,” she said. “A lot goes into each character design and style, and every page.”
Dee self-published her first children’s book in 2019, “The Dirt Girl,” which won multiple awards and became a best-selling title on Amazon. Each of her subsequent publications have also won multiple awards and her stories are licensed by renowned literacy experts Dr. Louisa Moats and Dr. Carol Tolman of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) to use in literacy trainings worldwide.
In addition to being a bestselling author, the hardworking entrepreneur owns multiple businesses and is the founder of Jodi Dee Publishing, a niche publishing company that focuses on her passion of self-awareness, self-love, emotional mastery, and empowerment. When it comes to future goals, Dee said she plans to take on a new skill when the time is right.
“Over the years I’ve been asked to do motivational speaking and hope I can find a medium that works in my busy lifestyle. I do really want to help other find happiness and learn to harness the power within them.”
Dee proudly shared that the reaction to her latest book has been “rave trade reviews” — and that she appreciates the support from people when it comes to her endeavors.
“It means so much to receive messages from parents and photos of their children who relate to my characters and understand the deeper meaning. If I can change one child with each book, it makes it all worth it.”
The author has two book launch signings that will include story time scheduled next month, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Tatnuck Bookseller in Westborough and Oct. 21 at noon at Barnes & Noble in Leominster. To learn more follow Jodi Dee on Facebook and Instagram and for author visits and free resources including coloring pages and lesson plans and more visit jodidee.com.