Charlotte TV reporter’s children’s book addresses mental health

Tradesha Woodard described her book, “The Purple Turtle” as a way to address the mental health crisis. She’s looking forward to working with different community organizations to get the book in the hands of children ages 3 to 6. It is available on


CHARLOTTE – WCNC Charlotte reporter Tradesha Woodard has learned that writing a children’s book is a different animal than reporting the news on television. Woodard’s book, “The Purple Turtle,” needed to be conveyed in words that a 3-year-old can understand. 

The story follows a turtle who is nervous about his first day of school because he looks different than other students.

Woodard wanted to highlight issues children go through daily. They may feel different because of their freckles, weight or wardrobe.

“I know small things like that can really impact the way a kid feels about themselves. That feeling can stick with them and have a long-term impact,” Woodard said. “I’m trying to tackle this issue while they’re young, encourage kids how to treat each other and value each other – most importantly how to value and love themselves, including the things that make them so unique.”

Growing up, the Memphis native was always the tallest girl in class. The attention she received for being so tall made her feel a little insecure. 

“Over time, I’ve loved to learn that about myself,” said Woodard, who stands at 5-foot-9. “It’s something that I love more than anything else. I couldn’t even imagine me being 5’4” or anything now.”

Woodard always wanted to write a children’s book. She didn’t realize how much time it took to sort out a book’s illustrations, editing and formatting. It took her roughly eight months to finish the project. 

Woodard arrived at WCNC Charlotte in late 2021 and has fallen in love with the city. She especially enjoys working on enterprise assignments – stories that are built from the ground up that you won’t find on other channels. 

“I feel that now that I’m telling stories in the community, it’s really a part of me now,” Woodard said. “Being out in the field reporting every day, I’m pretty much exposed to lots of ongoing issues throughout the community. Mental health issues in kids – that was one of the things that stood out to me. So I wanted to create something that kids can enjoy but something they can also relate to and learn from.”

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