Gary Alan Shockley, Author and Illustrator

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book to support grieving children and those who care for them. The message of this book reflects the very best practices of holding space for others in their sorrow. What a gem!  

Rev. Elaine A. Heath Ph.D. President, Neighborhood Seminary. Author, Healing the Wounds of Sexual Abuse.

This book contains a guide for adults in their conversations with children about death and grieving AND several activity pages for drawings and letters to loved ones.

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My Heart Sings a Sad Song is a beautifully written and illustrated book for children and adults alike who are in need of the love and space necessary for healing, comfort and guidance after the death of a loved one-whether it be a person or beloved pet. Thirty-four brightly colored pages and a useful guide for adults helping children grieve. Several activity pages are also included for drawing pictures and writing notes to loved ones. 

Book Trailer Video

 Just Be!  is a wonderfully illustrated book featuring three friends, and a shared pet turtle, who learn to express a variety of emotions in healthy and sometimes funny ways. This book creates space for children to feel and express emotions without judgement and develop a healthy regard for themselves and others. Self-acceptance is a pathway toward emotional intelligence and empathy.

Book Trailer Video

Praise for  My Heart Sings a Sad Song

"My heart was touched, and my soul comforted by the caring and loving spirit in what Gary has expressed here. This lovely book will be a tremendous gift to grieving children and their families in need of healing, comfort and restoration." Bishop Jeremiah Park, Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church.


"When Gary wrote, My Heart Sings a New Song, none of us knew what a difficult passage the world was entering the 2020. But here we are, and this book is a gift for all ages. On Planet Earth in 2020, we can expect moments when every single one of us 7.8 billion human beings will needs to be held while someone reads to us this precious book!"   Paul Nixon, Author and Coach

"This book provides a gentle approach to some hard realities. It tackles some big questions without giving trite answers. These comforting pages are what you would get if you had the opportunity to sit your grieving child down beside a loving, wise and compassionate chaplain--because that's what Gary is."                                        Larry Dawalt, Board Certified Chaplain, Certified in Thanatology, Chameleon's Journey Grief Camp Director.

"Gary has written a beautiful, helpful and hopeful book for children who have lost a loved one. It's simple story and beautiful illustrations open the door for parents or grandparents and children to talk about grief and loss. I highly recommend this book! It is a beautiful and much needed work."                                                                        Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

"Rare is the publication about grief that deals honestly with its complexity, pain and depth. What Gary has done in his beautifully illustrated book is give voice and vision to the reality of grief that does not patronize the hearts and minds of children with easy, empty answers. His work is a heart warming, empathic invitation for children to be at home with their tears and questions while reminding them that in this honest place, with the support of loving community , healing comes. For those in the ministry and profession of caring for children, this book deserves a place in your library. Just make sure that place is easily accessible as no doubt you will share it often."                Rev. Greg Hathaway, Board Certified Chaplain, Certified Educator with ACPE and Director of Spiritual Care for Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte NC.

Find out why Just Be! is such a powerful book

I just received your book, Just Be!, and it is wonderful! I love the illustrations and the text and the Feeling Your Feels chart will be so helpful!  Clearly you have found you're calling. Thank you, thank you! KR Colorado



I was looking forward to a book like this to share with my special needs son. He smiled ear to ear as I read the text and we paused to consider the illustrations. It was a joy for us both! Thank you f0r writing this! MK Charlotte, NC

Beautifully illustrated book! I purchased one of your feeling charts to use along with it.  SS Ocean City NJ

I love the characters in this book AND the antics of the turtle. An important resource for growing children to know how to experience and share emotions.  AB Tampa FL

As I read this to my four year old daughter she grinned and giggle the entire time. She really loves the turtle.  JS Florida

I purchased the Kindle version as soon as I heard you had one and loved it. I'm excited to buy the print version for my classroom. I know it will be a hit! JC Pittsburgh, PA

I bought a copy to read to the children in our neighborhood group. They're going to love this! HM Tampa, FL

Just received my copy of Just Be! and read it to my granddaughter and she LOVED it!  Can't wait to see our grandson's response when he reads the copy we sent to him. Thanks Gary! KA Pennsylvania

Gary Shockley- Author and Illustrator

Gary Alan Shockley

Gary helps children and their families to deal with the complexities of life by guiding them toward feeling and expressing emotions in healthy ways. The resources Gary creates have already touched the hearts of hundreds of children and adults alike.


Gary is a Certified Grief Counselor through the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals (AIHCP) and a trained Spiritual Director and a member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI). Gary is a proud member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. 

Gary lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife Kim and dog Zoe. He is the proud grandfather (Poppy) to Jade and Jettson who live in Florida and Colorado.


Special Sale Package #1

$20  Plus $3.00 S/H (Tax will be calculated at check out). A $36 Value!

One Signed 8.5x11 HARDCOVER Copy AND One SOFTCOVER Copy of My Heart Sings

Special Sales Package #2

One Signed Hardcover Copy of My Heart Sings AND One Softcover Copy of Just Be!

Click the SHOP Button in the MENU button at the top of this page to buy your book(s).

$20 plus $3.00 S/H (Tax Calculated at check out) a $37 Value!

Just Be!  $10.00 includes S/H (Tax Calculate at check out)

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