Author with Miami Lakes ties publishes first children’s book

Education By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Wednesday, July 3, 2024

    Like many authors do, Jackie Morera drew from her own life when writing her first book, “Abuelo’s Flower Shop.” 

     Morera, 34, grew up in Miami Lakes. Her grandfather’s flower stand in Miami inspired her tale of Elena, a little girl who is finally old enough to help her grandfather sell his flowers. 

     “I would visit my abuelos (grandparents) when I was young,” Morera said. “They lived kind of catty corner from a cemetery down in Miami and they would sell flowers in front of their home. So, the story is loosely based on my own experience.”

     Morera lives in Winter Garden. She attended Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School. 

     “[Miami Lakes is] the place that raised me and it will always feel like home,” Morera said. 

     After a visit to South Florida, she became nostalgic and was missing her late grandparents. 

     She thought about how she would present the topic of grief to her son Zachary, 4. 

     In the story, little Elena learns first-hand about mourning and remembering those who have passed. 

     It presents a loving, protective and teaching relationship between a grandfather and his grandchild that will feel familiar to generations, young and old and in between.

     The book is intended for elementary school age readers and presents a tough topic in an easy-to-understand story that blends English and Spanish. 

     There is a short glossary for those who don’t read Spanish.

     Beaming Books released the book on June 4; Deise Lino is the illustrator. 

     Morera said she always wanted to be an author and her parents encouraged her. 

     “When I was little, I would write little stories and my dad would kind of fold them up into booklets and would draw pictures for me because I’m not artistically inclined,” Morera said. 

     Author Michael Garcia, a former English Language Arts teacher at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School, was a role model. She said he was writing his own book, “Maxwell Lear’s Book,” about a child coping with illness, while she was in school. 

     “It was nice to know somebody who had done this professionally and to be inspired by that,” Morera said. 

     Morera’s next picture book, “Together We Remember,” is scheduled for release circa Mother’s Day 2025. 

     “I am really excited about that,” Morera said. “It’s more of a cozy Sunday at-home adventure, through imagination.”  

     Her third, untitled children’s book is due in 2026. 

     To learn more about Morera and her work visit

     “Abuelo’s Flower Shop” is for sale at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other retailers. 

     The Miami-Dade County Public Library System  has it on free loan and the book may be requested at the branch in Miami Lakes.