FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — After seeing the devastation from the Creek Fire, Susie Harder a speech pathologist in Clovis who grew up in Tollhouse decided to write a children’s book about a girl and her dog who loses his dog house to a fire.
It’s a story to help kids cope with their own loss and empathize with others.
“The storyline looks at the devastation and shock and feeling of loss and missing your things, and then really shifts into the rebuilding and community and family and what’s important,” said Harder.
It’s a project through the Junior Authors Program, and kids are involved in the whole process. They can vote online to decide on things like illustrations and the storyline.
“Kind of like a choose your own adventure, but it ends up as a real book,” said Harder.
She said the project also provides a creative outlet for kids stuck at home during the pandemic, and it can even be a bonding activity.
“I had a grandmother that I worked with a few years ago, and I was asking her about her grandson who lives out of state, and she said, ‘He’s going to be my voting buddy.’ So every day they’re going to talk about each decision and come up with it together.”
Harder hopes to publish the book on Amazon by Christmas, with the proceeds going to families affected by the Creek Fire.
Voting starts Monday, October 12 at 6 p.m. Kids can sign up here : juniorauthorsprogram.com