In fifth-grade English class, Mary (Leary) Becker discovered her love of writing. That was also the year she discovered how fun it can be to spend money! Many years and purchases later, those two interests combined and her educational kid$ense series of books featuring the I. O. Lots family was born. The author's hope is that this series will lead both families and classrooms to having meaningful discussions and implementing wise management skills that will last a lifetime!
Most recently, Mary is delighted to be partnering with Donna Anello, an educational consultant who specializes in restoring a joyful learning experience to children who are socially and academically struggling in school. They both hope that through Understanding Charlie, the first book in the Wonderfully Made Children book series, awareness for children with learning disabilities will help lead to social acceptance and personal confidence for each child.
While she readily admits that she loves being an author, her favorite role will always be that of wife and mother. Mary is presently living happily ever after with her high school sweetheart/husband in a storybook cottage, which includes a revolving door that is always open to their children, their children's spouses, and grandchildren.
Mary Becker and Donna Anello are passionate about creating awareness, promoting inclusion, and encouraging empathy toward all children. As a former pre-k teacher, Donna taught many children with developmental delays and learning disabilities, such as autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder. She advocates for children with learning challenges as a speaker, writer, author, consultant, and creator of the therapeutic sensory kit, Comfort Kit by Ollena. Mary co-authors the Wonderfully Made Children book series with Donna. She is also the author of two additional series. Her kid$ense books teach important money management to children 4-10 years of age, and the She Said He Said series offers a fun, romantic, and humorous escape from the reality of everyday life. They believe that both Understanding Charlie and Understanding Reed are sweet, delightful stories, beautifully illustrated, that will engage and empower children and adults alike. Their hope is to remind everyone that even though each of us may be different, each of us is indeed wonderfully made!
Donna Anello is a former pre-k teacher in north Atlanta, Georgia. During her tenure in the classroom from 2005-2015, she taught many children with developmental delays and learning disabilities, such as autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder, making it difficult for them to learn and socialize in the same manner as their peers. In 2015, she founded The Ollena Center for Early Childhood Assessment, LLC to help children achieve greater success academically and socially in school.
It was during her teaching years that she saw the need to create children's literature addressing the behaviors of children with learning disabilities. Donna partnered with co-author, Mary Becker, and wrote Understanding Charlie. It is the first book in the Wonderfully Made Children book series. Every detail of this book has been purposefully chosen to be satisfying to children with learning disabilities. This first book promotes autism awareness and inclusion. It has been endorsed by the Autism Society of GA and was featured at the 2017 Savannah Childen's Book Festival. Donna and Mary have recently launched Understanding Reed, the second book in the Wonderfully Made Children book series. This second book addresses the behaviors of a child with ADHD. Both books feature captivating illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Tim Williams. Wonderfully Made Children books create awareness, promote inclusion, and encourage empathy toward all children.