Laura Numeroff and I experienced all the joys and challenges one might expect while independently producing “Raising a Hero.”
I realize how much harder this book was for Laura to write. The characters are focused on helping someone with a disability; the story celebrates the bond of a puppy raiser and puppy only to introduce a departure for the benefit of someone in need.
Our character Max explains that his life’s purpose of becoming a service dog is “kind of like being a hero!” But what is a service dog? How are they different from other dogs?
Finding ways to explain this to a five year-old is no walk in the park.
Perhaps my experience living with Ellie, a Canine Companions skilled companion dog working with my brother, Devin, who has cerebral palsy, keeps me believing these complicated realities can be overshadowed by someone’s simple acts of kindness.
This project is dedicated to the extraordinary volunteers, trainers, staff and donors who provide service dogs to people like Devin.
Laura Numeroff wrote the children’s classic, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” in 1985. It was rejected nine times before Harper Collins—who had already passed on the manuscript—published the book. 30 years later, her If You Give… series has sold more than 17 million copies.
In 2013, I met Laura who had recently received word that her manuscript for a new book about therapy dogs—an illustrated collection of real-life short stories—had been rejected by her editors. After we discovered our shared love for animals, and creativity, we began brainstorming how to further develop this concept into a fictional children’s series.
I’m honored to write that the Kickstarter community has now helped shape and fund our project. We finally reached our goal (with **TWO** days left to go) but, more importantly, we reached you.
We have hundreds of donors across the world sending “Raising a Hero” to libraries, schools, children’s hospitals and charities.
We even introduced a challenge to raise more money to fund the interactive storybook app for iPad. Imagine how many families we could reach! Our books might one day have a platform to serve and inspire people with all kinds of accessibility challenges.
I invite you to explore our project further and join us in this endeavor. Our Kickstarter campaign ends February 26 but there is much more to accomplish.
Again, thank you to everyone for believing in our project. Laura and I could not have produced this book without your support.
Co-creator, Work for Biscuits