This creative project is a children's book entitled Sheldon the Shy Tortoise. Accompanying the story is a literature review of the research on childhood shyness. The purpose of the project is to gain a better of understanding of shyness in childhood. Topics covered in the literature review include risk factors and causes, negative social and behavioral effects, impact on academics, and treatment options. Using this information, the children's book was written. It aims to be fun for children to read while also providing insight and encouragement into some of the problems related to being shy. The story features animal characters and a relatively simple plot so it is easily understandable by the target audience of late-preschool and early-elementary children. The main character, Sheldon the tortoise, is often physically and metaphorically "stuck in his shell". He wants to participate in social activities but is afraid to do so. Through a series of events and interactions, Sheldon starts to come out of his shell in every sense of the phrase. The book is illustrated using photographs of hand-crocheted stuffed animals representing each of the characters. By incorporating scholarly research into the writing process, children will hopefully be able to gain an understanding of their shyness and ways to help decrease it. Teachers should be able to better understand their shy students and understand some of the unique challenges of working with shy children. This creative project helps convey necessary information to children and families during a critical period of development.
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