I began writing this book as a vehicle to memorialize some of the truly remarkable animals that I have raised and known over the years. But as a former elementary school teacher, this book became much more. I would very often use a storybook as a means to open a dialogue for important topics such as being bullied, being different, jealousy, etc.
Aside from being just a sweet story about an orphan squirrel, it began to evolve into a modern topic of the blended family.
Ratie the Squirrel begins his life as all squirrels. One day, by accident or a twist of fate, his life drastically changes. He grows up in a family that is completely different. He has to learn how to deal with being bullied, being different, and jealousy from others. He is raised with love, but still has to learn how to blend in.
As a former elementary school teacher, I would find this book an excellent way to approach all these subjects. I have kept the format simple with only a paragraph or two on each page. I have also kept my illustrations simple. Each illustration is meant to reinforce the message of that particular page.