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Step Forward's VP of Children & Families authors children's book

In a notable literary endeavor, Thea Wilson, Ed.D., Step Forward’s Vice President of Children and Families, has authored her first children’s book, 13 Peas.

Dr. Wilson holds her children's book.

The book is thoughtfully designed to facilitate early learning and literacy development in young minds, promoting essential skills such as counting, rhyming and vocabulary.


“I wanted to create a book that would not only entertain young minds, but also aid in their intellectual and emotional development,” Dr. Wilson explained. “Through this story, children will learn to count from one to 13, recognize rhymes, and more. I hope 13 Peas will become a valuable resource for parents, caregivers and educators to instill a love of reading in children, fostering a lifelong passion for literature.”


Dr. Wilson also hopes that the book will help children understand that eating green vegetables is OK. The book is based on her own three children, who at one time disliked anything green for dinner.


“Through rhyming and counting, though, they eventually learned that green peas are OK after all,” she laughed. “That cherished memory became the driving force behind this book as I sought to recreate the same sense of discovery for children everywhere.”


The story, coupled with charming illustrations by De’Andre L. King, is told from the perspective of the children, who are sitting at the dinner table and are hesitant to eat their green peas for dinner. Readers experience the children’s hesitation as they consider ways to discard the tiny vegetables one by one. Ultimately, though, the children acknowledge that their plates are empty and that the peas were not so terrible after all.

The cover page of 13 Peas

“Reading is not just a skill,” Dr. Wilson said. “It’s an enriching journey that fuels the reader’s creativity, empathy, and critical thinking. When children develop a positive association with books from an early age, they are more likely to broaden their horizons, try new things, and become lifelong learners. I intend for 13 Peas to be a first step in that transformative journey, captivating young hearts and opening doors to endless possibilities.”


Dr. Wilson has nearly 50 years of early childhood development experience in a public school system and more than 10 years in administration. She has 13 years of experience teaching college level courses, as well as creating workshops and facilitating training for parents, teachers and other professionals. Dr. Wilson received her Doctorate in Education Leadership and Specialist degrees from the University of Sarasota. She holds a Master of Science in Reading Education from John Carroll University and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Baldwin Wallace College.


13 Peas is available at Target, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.


Read more about Dr. Thea Wilson here.

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