Author, motivational speaker, and rural New London resident, Heather Whittaker, has released here third book.
“A Different Little Doggy” is a cooperative project with Fox Cities resident and illustrator Scott Alberts.
The book is geared for audiences age 4-7, and aims to teach children the importance of diversity, acceptance and friendship through the story of Whittaker’s dog, Tax, a miniature pinscher who was different than other dogs.
Whittaker, who began writing in 2008, has already completed a leadership book and a book listing 50 life lessons learned from dogs.
“For me, it’s all about the dog stories,” said Whittaker. “I’m a motivational speaker, and I always use dog stories in my presentations, because I’m a dog lover.”
Her newest book is an entirely different genre, but still uses a dog as the center character.
“The kids’ book started as a fun little challenge. Illustrator Scott Alberts came to me and asked if I had any kids’ manuscripts. I didn’t, so he asked if I would consider working on one,” said Whittaker. “I said, ‘Yeah, that sounds like fun.'”
Whittaker says the decision led to lots of research on how to write for children and how to develop the storyline.
“It was a very long process. It took about 2.5 years,” she said. “But the end result is amazing.”
“A Different Little Doggy” is filled with colorful illustrations and a rhyming story line. Taz’s life started out like most others, but was soon filled with health challenges. Instead of giving up, Taz maintained a spirit and zest for life every day. Her story teaches children – and adults – that it’s OK to be themselves.
Whittaker said she hopes her book will begin to change the conversation around diversity.
“Children are typically presented with messages telling them they are the same as other kids when that’s not the reality of their world,” she stated. “Fact is we are all different. There’s a lot to be gained if we can embrace the benefits in our differences.”
In the future, Whittaker hopes to continue writing. She plans to expand her latest book into a series to develop “A Different Little Doggy” brands. She hopes it will evolve into its own business.
To learn more about the author, visit www.heatherwhittaker.com. “A Different Little Doggy” is available directly from the publisher at www.adifferentlittledoggy.com or through amazon.com.
In addition to the story, a portion of the net proceeds are being donated to non-profit agencies which support children and animal welfare. When purchasing a book via the book’s website, customers are given the opportunity to select from one of the five agencies they would like the publisher to support.