By Sharon Mager
GREENSBORO, Md—Greensboro Baptist Church member Margie Harding knew she wanted to please God with her writing and follow Him where He leads, but she was surprised when God led her to write children’s books about special needs.
Harding said her new journey began when her publisher asked her to consider writing stories with animal characters. After a brainstorming session with her daughter, she penned her first “Paxton” series book. The series gently deals with a variety of special needs including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, dyslexia, autism, Down syndrome, and others.
Harding said using animal characters softens the material. “Kids identify with ‘critters,’ they just do—like “Winnie the Pooh,” and “Berenstain Bears,” she said.
The main character,“Paxton the Prairie Dog” is in all of the books and new animal friends with special needs are introduced along the way.
“The books are written for a child with special needs, or for a child who asks, ‘what’s wrong with my friend?’” Harding explained.
As her work gets more exposure, Harding said people now contact her requesting that she consider writing about other illnesses and special needs, including depression and blindness. She said she already has material for three more years of writing the “Paxton” series.
Harding will have an exhibit at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s Special Needs Conference, “Created in God’s Image,” from 9 am to 3 pm on May 6 at Cresthill Baptist Church, Bowie. Her books are also available on Amazon.