"The key to happiness is to never grow up."
About the author
Growing up, Jennifer Decker always wanted to work with children and teach. Now, she's doing both as a Multi-Award Winning Children's Book Author.
"I can still remember riding my bike to my dad's work and raiding his office supplies for my pretend classroom back home, where I taught my stuffed animals and dolls, and my mom would just watch and laugh."
Jennifer Decker is a Navy Veteran, a former teacher, librarian, and bookseller. She has an MS in Psychology, a Creative Writing Degree and loves to travel with her husband and three little girls.
"What motivates me? God, and making a positive difference in the lives of others! Best job you ever had? I can't imagine there being a better job out there on the planet than being a Children's Book Author!"
2022 LITERARY TITAN GOLD BOOK AWARD
2022 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
2021 MOM'S GOLD CHOICE AWARD
2021 FAMILY CHOICE AWARD
2021 ROYAL DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD
School Visits & Literary Events
An author visit to your school is a wonderful and memorable occasion that can increase a child’s interest in books by helping them understand the creative path of development, from original idea to the finished product of a published book. Being able to talk and interact with a “Real Live Author” can also boost the confidence of children who are young aspiring writers, within your school.
As an award-winning children's book author, I will discuss my love for books, writing and reading, along with sharing my experiences and influences, that have helped shape me as an author. I hope to inspire, encourage, and instill hope and creativity to our next generation of young students and future authors as they journey through life and discover their gifts and talents.
*Author visits are FREE for the following: Daycares, learning centers, and non-profit organizations.
EMAIL TO BOOK AN EVENT TODAY!
KIRKUS REVIEWS MAGAZINE
March 15 2022 Issue
A boy decides that wishing to be a dog wasn’t such a great plan after all when things go awry in this debut picture book.
Oliver, a brown-haired, freckle-faced White boy, is frustrated when his mother makes him do chores and homework before seeing his friends. As he walks his pooch, Cooper, he complains that dogs have the best lives: “You’ve got it so easy, Cooper, and I’m…cursed!” After dabbling in rule-breaking and deciding pushing boundaries doesn’t make him feel better, he returns home, noticing a falling star outside his window. He wishes he was a dog, falls fast asleep, and wakes up as a canine. Immediately fleeing to experience his freedom, he’s disappointed by pet food, bad weather, dog catchers, and the realization that his parents don’t seem to miss him. Just when everything seems bleak, his mother wakes him up—but a muddy trail makes him believe his metamorphosis wasn’t a dream. Being careful of wishes and believing the grass is greener elsewhere are both common story themes young readers will easily recognize. Decker’s accessible text features simple sentences with some fun vocabulary words (responsibilities, defiantly, bounded) to challenge independent readers. Vindhy’s soft-edged, digital illustrations give her cartoonish characters a painterly flair; the darkening sky in sequential pictures emphasizes the time passing during Oliver’s walk and his canine adventure. Readers are sure to enjoy the depiction of the boy’s energetic dog form.
For readers wishing for a better life, this tale delivers an engaging reminder of gratitude.
Jennifer Decker’s Oliver and the Wishing Star is a story about a young boy named Oliver who made a life-changing wish on a wishing star. Oliver was upset and frustrated because he was not allowed to go to his friend’s house since he was not done with his homework. He couldn’t help but think that life was unfair and that being a dog seemed better than living his life as a human. As soon as he saw a shooting star, he immediately made his wish, and to his surprise, he became a dog! As Oliver excitedly ran around town freely, he learned that being a dog was not as great as he thought it would be. Will he ever be able to return to his family, or will he roam the streets forever as a dog?
Oliver and the Wishing Star is a fast-paced and well-written story that teaches young readers a valuable lesson. Through Oliver’s struggles, readers are taught to be more appreciative of what life has to offer. This is expressed by Jennifer Decker in the book: “The grass beneath your feet is greener than you think.” Parents and children alike will enjoy reading this extraordinary and fun tale. Aside from the inspiring and meaningful lessons expressed through such an interesting story, the simple and lovely illustrations on every page of the book were also captivating, making the story more magical. I understood and sympathized with Oliver’s troubles and learned a lot from the challenges he faced in the story. Overall, I found Oliver and the Wishing Star to be a truly inspirational and charming tale!
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Oliver and the Wishing Star is a fun picture book which opens with Oliver's wish to go play instead of doing his homework. A savvy mother catches him before he goes out the door and insists that he forego swimming with his friend Finn in favor of walking the dog and then doing his homework.
It's simply unfair, Oliver thinks. So unfair, that he must be cursed. The curse lies in not living a carefree life like his dog, and in having to do all the work of a human.
What happens when he breaks the rules and wishes for a different life? Trouble.
Chrish Vindhy provides good-size, colorful, captivating illustrations that bring Oliver's dilemma and problems to life.
As Oliver searches for happiness, he slowly comes to realize its elusive nature and why he should feel gratitude for who he is and the creature comforts of his life.
Parents who choose Oliver and the Wishing Star as a read-aloud for the very young will find it a detailed story that holds an exciting adventure, a fantasy encounter, and a lesson.
The humor wound into this tale of a dog's life adds fun moments into a quasi-serious inspection of what it takes to recognize the good aspects of one's reality.
Dog-loving picture book readers are in for a treat.
Children's Book Author & Editor
Make A Wish
Who here hasn’t wished, at least once, to be someone else—or something else. The trouble is, Oliver makes his wish on a falling star . . . and that changes everything.
One night, as he’s out walking his dog, Oliver realizes something . . . a dog’s life is so much easier than his. That night, seeing a falling star out his window, he makes a wish—to trade places with his dog. A short while later he wakes up and finds his wish has come true! But it turns out, being a dog isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Thoughtfully written, with adorable art by illustrator Chrish Vindhy, author Jennifer Decker’s debut picture book Oliver and the Wishing Star is the epitome of “be careful what you wish for.” While some moments felt heartbreakingly true, like the struggle a child goes through to balance what they want with what they are told to do, and the feeling of not being in control of one’s own life, others are just laugh out loud funny, as when Oliver realizes that being a dog means eating dog food!
All in all, a charming story that will leave kids looking for the next falling star to wish on!
STORY MONSTERS INK MAGAZINE
November 2021 Issue
When things aren't going our way it's easy to look around and think everyone's got it better than we do. In Oliver's case, he even though the dog had it better than him. His disgruntled attitude led him to a foolish wish that he could be as carefree as a dog. He quickly discovers his mistake, but can he get back to his own life? The illustrations in this story are warm and captivating, as well as the importance of early development in healthy emotional management.
LITERARY TITAN REVIEW
Oliver and the Wishing Star follows a young boy who struggles with having so many responsibilities and wants to live free, like his pet dog. When a star streaks across the sky he quickly makes a wish to become a dog. When his wish comes true he realizes that being a dog is not at all what he thought it would be. Will Oliver get back to being a boy again?
Jennifer Decker has created a charming children’s book that teaches young readers to appreciate what they have through a whimsical story that many kids will be able to relate to. The story starts with Oliver’s mother telling him what to do, which I’m sure every child can relate to. Things quickly take a fantastic turn when Oliver is turned into a cute grey pup and he heads out into the night.
I really enjoyed how emotive all the characters were in this story charismatic, which makes it easy for young readers to watch the story unfold as parents read aloud to them. Every illustration is bright and sharp, with shading that makes the illustrations look 3D sometimes. With simple language and changes in font throughout, this is a story that will keep early readers engaged.
Oliver and the Wishing Star is an imaginative picture book that uses humor and heart to tell a fun story with an important message. Young readers will learn to appreciate who they are, as well as appreciate their family and home. This is a fantastic bedtime story as the magic happens right when Oliver hits the bed.
"Somewhere inside of all of us is the power to change the world."