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Joanne Otto

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Picture Book Encourages Children as Readers and as Unique Individuals

St. Louis, MO, March 05, 2014 --( Joanne Otto’s recently published book, "The You-Song," is designed to set its young readers up for success in two areas. Its colorful photo-illustrations and poetic text celebrate each child as a vital part of a world-wide whole, and its careful selection of familiar and/or easily decodable words encourages early readers to tackle the book on their own.

“The book grew out of my experience of working with children who were struggling with dyslexia,” author Joanne Otto explains, referring to her fifteen years as an academic language therapist. “I wanted to give them something to read that would be both beautiful and accessible. Then the opening sentence came to me: ‘You are a song.’ I knew that was the key.”

That sentence led Otto to express in poetic form the life-lessons she finds most essential to happiness—the appreciation of one’s own inner being and the ability to nurture it and harmonize it with the lives of others. But for these ideas to resonate with young children, something more was required.

As important as writing the book was finding the photos to make its words spring to life. For this task Otto had the help of her daughter, Meghan Williams, whose educational and professional background in photography and design enabled her to advise the author on her choice of photos as well as design pages that complement the text. The result is a children’s book that family members of all ages can enjoy together.

"The You-Song" is available in paperback or as an eBook, ePub, or PDF. It can be purchased from,, or on the author’s website: It can also be ordered from Barnes and Noble bookstores.
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Joanne Otto

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