The symbols > and < can often be very confusing. Gary the Greater Gator was written to help children remember these symbols. Gary the gator picks the number that’s greater. If you don’t know what to do look at Gary he will show you!
Interview with Je’Quita Zachary Johnson, Gary the Greater Gator Author
When did you realize you had a book (or some books) inside you?
When I was in elementary school, my mom wrote a book of poetry entitled “Moods of Life.” I would learn these poems and stand in the mirror and recite them. It wasn’t long, after that, that I began writing my own poems and songs. In high school, I wrote a play and my church’s youth group performed it.
Why is the theme of this project important?
This book came about, because as a child, I often struggled with making up different ways to learn difficult concepts. I would spend hours trying to understand things, especially math and I would take note cards and break each procedure down, step by step. When I saw that my students were having difficulties understanding the greater than and less than symbols, I knew I had to find a way to help them understand this concept. So I decided to develop a story to make this difficult concept easier.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
I learned that in life you have to make choices and to choose carefully because what you do today will affect you tomorrow. Writing this book took about 2 years to finish. I came across many obstacles (financial) and I had to balance life and this project. My mother was dying of cancer and I knew I wanted her to be able to see my dream of being a published author before she passed away. It was this desire that caused me to make sacrifices and get the book completed. Unfortunately, she passed before I finished the publishing faze but she was able to read the book and see all the illustrations.
How do you find time to write?
I am always jotting down ideas that come to my mind. I take notes on my phone, tablet, and computer. I also journal every morning, during my prayer time with the Lord. In the evening, when I come home from work, I spend at least two hours of working to develop my brand.
If you could work on a writing project with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be? Why?
If I could work with anyone on a project, it would be my mother. She was an amazing author/poet. She passed away in 2012. She had many projects on her computer that she was working on. As you know with any writer, we are forever writing. She has about 50 plus pieces that I would love to finish. I miss her dearly and I would love to spend more time with her, When she was alive, we always talked about us working together. And now I must help her finish her collection.
About Je’Quita Zachary Johnson
Je’Quita Zachary Johnson is the wife of Daniel Johnson. She has been a passionate educator for over a decade in the state of Georgia. She is currently pursuing a doctorate’s degree in reading and literacy. She holds a specialist degree in teacher leadership and educational leadership, a master’s degree in early childhood education, and a reading endorsement. She is the author of “Gary the Greater Gator,” a fun-loving story, which simplifies the educational concept of learning greater than and less than for children in grades kindergarten to fourth grade. Je’Quita is a keynote speaker who concentrates on educational topics, women’s interests, self-esteem, children and youth’s concerns. Je’Quita Zachary Johnson is a woman of excellence who is preparing for purpose and planning for the promise.