"Remy Takes Flight," by Salisha Shears, helps little travelers learn what's in store at the airport.
Globe-trotter, educator, mother of a 2-year-old... Flatbush resident Salisha Shears can add yet another title to that list: children's book author. Her first book, "Remy Takes Flight," was published through Xlibris on July 16.
The title character is named for Shears' 2-year-old daughter, Remy. The book chronicles her trip through the airport as she travels to Grenada to visit her grandmother. At the airport, Remy learns about the different workers, the jobs that they do and about different modes of transportation. The book also gets young readers ready for airport routines like checking in and going through security-- processes which may feel strange and unfamiliar to first-time flyers.
"It gives them a general idea of what they're going to experience," said Shears, a prolific traveler. "It helps release that stress, anxiety and curiosity children have about traveling."
The real Remy is something of a jet-setter herself. In her two short years, already she has traveled to Spain, Italy, France and Grenada.
"She definitely has a lot of stamps in her passport for someone her age," Shears said.
As a special education teacher, Shears knows the value of stories in helping children grasp new ideas and prepare for new experiences. She works one-on-one with kids with special needs in classrooms and in their homes to help them reach personal milestones. Books are one of her favorite teaching tools.
"I saw how much their eyes lit up whenever I would sit with them and read, how excited they were to share their own experience," she said.
Shears hopes to make "Remy Takes Flight" the first in a series of children's books, drawing on her family's diverse cultural roots for subject matter. With relatives in Japan, Korea, Guyana and Nigeria, both the real and the fictional Remy have many trips to take and many cultures to learn about.
"I'm excited," said Shears. "This is hopefully one of many."