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It Turned Into So Much More

Shani Night Author Interview

The Heart of a Lion: and the Body of a Cat follows a lion cub that just wants to play even though he knows he will get sick again. This is a personal story for you, why was this an important book to write?

Very personal. It was important to write this story to give hope and uplift children dealing with chronic health issues. I originally wrote the book to deliver to hospitals to inspire kids not feeling well during the holiday season, but it turned into so much more. It turned into a story of inclusion and awareness, something I’d always wanted for my daughter.

The art in this book is fantastic. How was it working with your husband on this project?

It has been a joy to work with my husband over the years to bring to life our projects. It’s an incredible connection to have, and I treasure it. He inspires me to believe in the impossible. I ask for something, and he goes beyond what I could imagine. It has been awesome.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

I want the takeaway to be the ability to think outside the box and overcome challenges. But, above all else, I want readers to take away what I’ve instilled in my daughter – to persevere in the face of challenges and never give up on their dreams.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is called Shani and The FireFly. It is inspired by the things around me and it touches on overcoming challenges. It’s due out late this summer.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient
Literary Titan Book Award Winner
Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review
Abeautiful 75-page picture book you will enjoy from beginning to end. Any reader can relate to the journey and apply the message and lessons learned to their life. The book is inspirational for all readers.
The Heart of a Lion was written for kids dealing with health issues. The story is inspired by a little girl’s experiences while dealing with and learning to manage Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. It was not an easy journey, but she was brave through it all, and today she manages her pain while accomplishing her goals.
You will be proud of the little lion in this story and the journey to do what appeared impossible. The journey shows Bravery, Courage, and Determination. Awareness and Inclusion start when we start sharing stories that help us understand the lives of others around us. So get ready to cheer on the little lion.


When a young lion cub is often sick, it is hard to stay in on the days when he feels better. One day, the young cub was feeling ok and decided to run out and play. The next day he was sick. It took a long time for him to get better again, but he ran back out to play as soon as he was able to. The cub’s parents have warned him to stay inside when the weather is terrible, but he would not listen. He just knew he had to run and play as hard as he could while he felt good. The next day the cub was sick again. This time it took longer for the cub to get better. Will the little cub, learn how to play safely so he does not keep getting sick?

The Heart of a Lion: and the Body of a Cat is written by Shani Night and illustrated by Reggie Howard. Together they tell the story of a cub that is battling an illness. While the cub’s illness is never stated, the story is inspired by the author and illustrator’s own little girl that has Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. This book is written for all the children that must fight a debilitating disease each day. Knowing the background for this amazing story made it even more emotional to read.

This picture book is filled with images that range from cartoonish to fine line drawings that look like the lions could jump off the page. However, the contrast of illustrations is appealing, and children will find the bold color of the characters accompanying the story to really draw them into the narrative.

The Heart of a Lion: and the Body of a Cat is a heartwarming picture book for children in preschool through elementary school age. It is a fantastic way to open up discussions on disabilities that are not something you can see on the outside. It is an inspirational children’s book that will help kids fighting diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia to know they are not alone and are seen.

Pages: 79 | ASIN : B09R6T6K13

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