Moms don’t get the recognition they deserve! As a business run BY local moms FOR local moms, Boston Moms is excited to showcase the hard work local moms are doing — both at home and in their professions.
Boston Moms is proud to feature Maggie van Galen, local author, storyteller, and writer. Her books, “The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest” and “King’s Day Out,” have received several awards and accolades!
We asked Maggie to share a little bit about herself. Let’s get to know her!
Tell us about yourself! My name is Maggie van Galen, and words are my gig! My husband and I have two sons, a cat, and a Bernese mountain dog. My favorite thing about being a children’s author is reading to children. Apart from kids books, I also write poetry, journalism features, and social media content, and I am a ghostwriter.
Hometown: I’m originally from Northern Michigan. In 2000, my husband and I moved to London, England, where I worked at “The Economist.” At this point, we have called Georgetown, MA, home for the past 13 years!
Favorite local restaurant: Hatter’s Tea Shoppe, Georgetown
Favorite local business or brand: Lisa Scala Jewelry
Tell us about your work! I’m an author, storyteller, and writer. I have authored two children’s book series — “The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest” and “King’s Day Out.” “The Adventures of Keeno and Ernest” have received the nationally acclaimed Mom’s Choice Awards, among other individual awards. My other series, “King’s Day Out,” is a co-written series with Dr. Amy Wheadon that focuses on empowering children who have sensory processing challenges as they navigate life’s adventures.
Tell us about Dr. Amy. Dr. Amy Wheadon has her doctorate in occupational therapy and has worked in schools and pediatric clinics. She is the creator and founder of the kidSHINE program, which uses exercise to improve self-regulation for children with sensory processing challenges. She and I were introduced through the Women’s Business League, and over a cup of coffee we decided to write a book series that provides concrete examples of common tools that can be used to support children who have sensory differences.
What is the premise of “King’s Day Out”? “King’s Day Out” is about a puppy and his best friend, Ben, as they go on an adventure to the car wash. Ben, a child with sensory differences, uses the tools he’s learned in occupational therapy to help King overcome his fear and anxiety as they go through the car wash together.
This book has a lot of great information for adults who have, teach, or know children with sensory processing challenges. Can you tell us more about that? The “King’s Day Out” series is designed to be a resource for all children, families, schools, and pediatric medical professionals. These books provide concrete examples of common tools used to support children at home, in the classroom, and in the world, helping them to navigate life’s adventures. We also hope all readers will notice that Ben, the boy with sensory processing challenges, is the hero of our story!
Do you have any tips on how to read the book interactively with kids? We recommend reading the book with your child, pointing out the different sensory inputs, and giving real-life examples, asking questions about how these experiences make your child feel and talking through the different tools presented.
In the back of the books we have an “Adventure Time” section for kiddos to answer questions and do activities; for example, go back and count the number of King’s tennis balls, or give Ben’s bunny a name. On our website, there is an entire section dedicated to free, downloadable games, puzzles, and activities parents can do with their kids. Dr. Amy offers some OT tips in each section that can help with fine motor and strength skills.
Mom-to-mom, what advice would you give to moms striving to raise readers? READ to your children, let them read to you, let them see you read, and read everything — magazines, cookbooks, headlines, picture books, comics, travel brochures, road signs, and instruction manuals! It is a skill you never forget and can only get better at. And just like all skills, practice helps!
What is the one thing that surprised you most about motherhood? How much I missed sleep! This is true, but on a more serious note, I was amazed at the love one person could have for another! My boys are now young men, and I still get overwhelmed with how much I love each of them.
What is your favorite kind of self-care? Anything related to the water! To me, there is nothing better than sitting in a hammock at a lake, listening to the waves, or snuggling next to a roaring fire watching the snow come down.
Where can we purchase your book? You can purchase King’s Day Out HERE.