By Andrea “Aunni” Young, Special to the AFRO

Sharing positive affirmations are great ways to teach your children happiness and an optimistic affirmative attitude, according to child psychologists.  Recently, the host of “Great Day Washington”, Markette Sheppard, released a best-selling book for children called “What is Light?” The book is a poetic board book with beautiful illustrations that opens kid’s hearts and minds to the meaning of light, creating happy thoughts and positive emotions.

Earlier this summer, Sheppard hosted a “What Is Light?” book launch party and concert at Brookland’s BusBoys and Poets Restaurant. Children sang and danced along to the music of  “The Uncle Devin Show”, while Sheppard recited her book to a packed house.

Author and journalist Markette Sheppard interacting with the children at her book signing for her most recent children’s book, “What is Light.” (Courtesy Photo)

Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, attended the launch party and congratulated Sheppard.  “I thought I would just congratulate Markette on becoming the author of a children’s book.  But we have to give her a double whammy congratulations because of her award of an Emmy.” Sheppard won an Emmy in June for her work as a host of “Great Day Washington.”

Norton, who is now serving her fourteenth term as delegate for Washington, D.C., also spoke highly of Sheppard as a working mom.  “I think you are a great example and inspiration to the mothers sitting in the audience.  They can tell you how hard it is to be a mother. They came to see how you do that and all the rest of what you do.  And I came simply to thank you and congratulate you on what you are doing for this generation and the next.  Because you certainly inspire me in my work, you inspire me in leading the District and getting funds for children.”

Sheppard dished on her writing process with AFRO.  “When I first had my son, I felt a sudden need to write down everything that I wanted to teach him. So I started a little notebook of wisdom, and the little notes turned into little poems and stories.”  Sheppard has also been featured on NBC’s “TODAY Show,” ABC’s “Live! with Kelly and Michael Show,” as an author in Essence Magazine and on NPR.  “I just thought “What is Light?” is something that I want my child, and all children, to know, like a love letter to children, that you have a light inside of you.”

“What is Light?” features the artwork of the award-winning children’s book illustrator Cathy Ann Johnson.  Johnson, a resident of Decatur, Georgia, also owns Soul Ah-Mazing Productions, a company dedicated to children’s product creations.

Sheppard is a native of Southern California, holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a master’s degree in Interactive Journalism from American University. She has also written another children’s book titled “My Rainy Day Rocket Ship” that is expected to be released next year. Sheppard resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and son.