The Hilliard Institute

The Hilliard Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering sensory education programing, experiential learning, and academic research and publishing while also supporting philanthropic initiatives through fundraising and educational training and activities—all under the umbrella of the concept of Educational Wellness

The Hilliard Institute. 4440 Savage Pointe Drive. Franklin, TN 37064

Email Dr. K. Mark Hilliard at

or Professor Jessa R. Sexton at

Our kids' books celebrate the art of the written and illustrated word as the two come together to make the magic that is children's literature. To purchase, click on the book image. 

The Four Jupiter Brothers: The Mystery of S.M.

By Charles E. Hilliard

Illustrated by Bella Comer

ISBN 978-0-9990090-4-8

When the Four Jupiter Brothers—James, Jake, Jimmy, and Jo-jo—take a walk in the woods behind their house one day, they discover a tree like none other. Before they know it, they're off on adventures to space and the world's tallest mountain.

ABCs of Etiquette for Young People

By Dr. David Woodfine

Illustrated by various

ISBN 978-0-9912792-5-8            

Table manners are not a natural attribute and need to be acquired. Like all training, it is best to do by example as a child is more likely to copy the behaviour of adults rather than by listening to them. 
Written by Dr. David Woodfine, the retired High Steward to Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, and a former butler and host to royals and celebrities, this book shares a few helpful pointers with illustrations to remind adults (and perhaps teach you something new) and to educate children on the ABCs of dining etiquette. 

Eldy and Ohi

By Jessa Rose Sexton

Illustrated by Brianna Miele

ISBN 978-0-9860150-9-0  

Ohi and Eldy both find themselves a little different from other children, but their friendship makes being different seem not so bad a thing.

 Inspired by the author's special education training and own learning struggles, this book takes a subtle look into the trials of Eldy (LD = learning disability) and Ohi (OHI = Other Health Impairment). It is a wonderful story for children who struggle scholastically, but also for anyone ready to embrace the beauty of being you. 


Join Me for Afternoon Tea

By Dr. David Woodfine

Illustrated by Anastasia Morozova

with Whitnee Clinard, Rehanna Mae Grant, Amanda Sekulow, and Jessa R. Sexton

ISBN  978-0-9912792-9-6

Afternoon Tea is the perfect way to make a meaningful occasion extra special. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, Easter, or even Halloween: the list is endless. To make any gathering a success, the host must create the right atmosphere; an afternoon tea party is no exception. 

Written by Dr. David Woodfine, the retired High Steward to Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, and a former butler and host to royals and celebrities, this book delightfully explains and illustrates how to properly host the perfect afternoon tea. With tips and facts about this quintessentially British tradition, Join Me for Afternoon Tea is a must-have for tea lovers of all ages. 


Lessons from a Southern Mother

By Alex Beene

Illustrated by Danny Martin

ISBN 978-0-9912792-4-1

Lessons from a Southern Mother mixes the storyline of a young boy nervously starting his first day of kindergarten with historical images and information about some of the outstanding people, moments, and places of the South.  Through this book, we learn not only about southern heritage but also about how treating people with love and kindness will bring about an even more outstanding future. 

This book comes in four translations: English, Spanish (ISBN 978-0-9912792-6-5), Chinese (ISBN 978-0-9912792-7-2), and Japanese (978-0-9912792-3-4). (Click on the language to purchase.) These bilingual editions are not only a great purchase for those with these as their first language, but also those learning the language. The book serves as an excellent tool for teachers or self-learners as it presents both history and language lessons within a sweet story about a boy and his wise mother.


Little Stories of Enchantment: Twelve Fairy Tale Sonnets for Little Children

By Jessa R. Sexton

Illustrated by Rehanna Mae Grant

ISBN 978-0996696265

When we are young, we live for fairy tales: stories of princes and princesses, witches and ogres, magic and love. Growing older should never mean growing duller. Fairy tales offer life lessons, but, perhaps more importantly, these stories are a call for readers to open themselves up to a chance at enchantment. In this book, twelve popular tales are brought to a new life as poet Jessa R. Sexton condenses them each into sonnet form and illustrator Rehanna Mae Grant captures the characters in a fantastic portrait style.

This version of the book can be enjoyed by all, but it is intended for younger audiences. It carries the twelve sonnets and illustrations, without the in-depth look at the full fairy tale texts that comes with the Stories of Enchantment version. However, this book still carries a short sonnet lesson and is still an incredibly delightful addition to any children's book library.

Live the Blessing

By Jessa Rose Sexton

Illustrated by various

ISBN 978-0-9912792-1-0          

We are so blessed. Have you ever wondered why? God gives us much so that we can do much for others! When we live the blessing, our kindness brings praise, glory, and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 9:8-12). This book supplies ten Bible verses with illustrations by ten different artists to explain why we should help others. The end of the book has questions that can guide a parent or teacher to further the understanding of children of all ages about the topic of blessing those around us and those far away. An excellent tool for the classroom or for any household, this book is a great way to encourage youth to put the needs of others in their minds and in their hearts.

By Jessa Rose Sexton
Illustrated by Anastasia Morozova
ISBN 978-0-9846244-0-9

Rose-Pie is a delightfully illustrated children's book about a little girl with a lot of energy, and her sweet relationship with her loving father. Poetic and easy-to-read, the language will appeal to parents, small children, and emerging readers. 

by Jessa Rose Sexton
Illustrated by Jayne Williams
ISBN 978-0-9822618-4-2 

Sometimes adults are so busy with the things they need to do that they fail to notice when a little one is having a bad day. Jessamouse learns this the hard way when she seems only to get in the way of her family on Saturday. The illustrations bring beauty and life to this easy-to-read “tail” which will captivate audiences of all ages. 

Skyler and the Sea
By Lauren Rogers
Illustrated by Sarah Keaggy
ISBN 978-0-9860150-1-4   

Skyler and the Sea is a charming tale of a boy who falls in love with the Sea and tries to impress her with a multitude of precious gifts. In the end, Skyler and the Sea share the powerful gift of friendship.

(This book is briefly unavailable for purchase.)

Tiger the Mule

By J. Allan Smith

illustrated by D.W. Smith

ISBN 978-0999009055

One cold, wet, windy day in the rolling green pastures of Tennessee, a baby mule is born. With a unique stripe pattern on his legs, he’s named “Tiger.” Sadly, at only six months old, Tiger is sold, taken away from his mother, and brought to a new farm with a new master, who is cruel and abusive. Similar to many children who have been abused, Tiger became fearful and defiant. When later sold to the kind Mr. Smith, Tiger is distrustful. Can Mr. Smith’s patient love heal the wounds of the past with Tiger?

With Your Fresh Thoughts
By Jessa Rose Sexton
Illustrated by Various 
ISBN 978-0-9860150-5-2 

Written by an English professor, With Your Fresh Thoughts offers entertainment and learning for children of all ages (and even adults). Poet Jessa R. Sexton has written twelve different poem forms from sonnet to haiku. Each is beautifully illustrated by a different artist. Equipped with a section on how to write each of the twelve poem forms, this book is excellent for teachers, students, home-schoolers, or any writing or poetry enthusiast.