Official Website of Children's Book Author
Paula Johnson Neal
2020 CORCORAN AWARD WINNER
Paula Johnson Neal is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in early childhood development. She has spent the last 23 years making an impact in children’s lives as a preschool director, teacher, and guest speaker. Her attitude to positively impact lives is evident by her achievements in leading schools that are recognized nationally and locally for high program standards. Currently, Paula serves as a preschool director for children experiencing temporary homelessness. Paula resides in Columbus, Ohio and enjoys spending time with family, friends, zip lining, reading, writing, and traveling.
“I’M GONNA HAVE A GOOD DAY” is Paula’s first children’s book. She is passionate about sharing life stories from the eye level of young children. Paula enjoys observing and listening for what they say, how they say it, and why they say it.
Moreover, she believes the majority of children’s literature on bookshelves is too traditionally saturated, lacks diversity, and relevancy to what’s actually happening today in the lives of young children. When thinking of a story concept, she looks for a need and fills it. “I’M GONNA HAVE A GOOD DAY" was born from the non-existence of children’s books specifically about preschool bullies.
"I’M GONNA HAVE A GOOD DAY” is a multicultural picture book that provides a window into a classroom involving a bully name Gabby. Gabby wants to have her kind of day at the expense of her classmates. Fed up with Gabby’s words,
“I’M GONNA HAVE A GOOD DAY,” not matching up with her actions, Gabby’s classmates take a stance.
"I'M GONNA HAVE A GOOD DAY" was a great journey from concept to print. The story screenings were by far THE BEST!! It was an invaluable experience to screen a geographically diverse population by age and gender.
Children, as young as 4 years of age are experiencing some form of bullying type behavior in preschool, grade school and on the playground. Many may argue that young children are simply learning how to socially and emotionally interact with their peers. Sadly, behaviors that are precursors to bullying and actual bullying do exist in many early childhood settings. When consciously or unconsciously left unaddressed rather used as teachable moments, children displaying precursor behavior and children on the receiving end may enter kindergarten socially-emotionally ill-prepared.
"I like that book!
Read it again! -Hudson 4yrs. old
"Paula, that story was right on time. It's a great way to start a conversation with children.
You really understand children's language."
Renee Cloyd, Preschool Director
Christ Lutheran Preschool (Bexley, Ohio)
"I want to feed Bucky, give it to me," demanded Gabby.