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    So very proudly, happily, and finally I am able to announce that the children's book manuscript that has gathered dust in our den has now actually become a children's picture book.  Best of all are the illustrations that were done by my cousin, Patty Fleckenstein, a very talented commercial artist.  As it says in the dedication, "This book was created by cousins.....".

    The subtitle for this book is:  "A Story About Saying Goodbye" and so it is for the little boy who loves his macaroni necklace, his pink panda bear, and his grandmother.  Written in verse, it begins, "The macaroni necklace and the pink panda bear, Were something soft to carry, And something bright to wear...."  

     This book is also about loss, bereavement, and growing up.  The story puts tears and smiles on the faces of the readers.  

     "The Macaroni Necklace and The Pink Panda Bear" was just published in the beginning of November 2017.  

      Though I am waiting to see what age group of children this book will settle into, I can say that it was well received by a group of 4th graders at the Whittier School in Oak Park, IL when I recently read it to them.  These 4th graders impressed me with their writing as well. 

       Here are some photos that were taken when I visited Mrs. Darley's class.  Accolades to Mrs. Darley for her fine work with these young authors!  Special thanks to my granddaughter, Stella & her mom, Lisa, for helping to make this visit happen.













       Certainly the story will resonate with children at nearly any age who are dealing with the death of a loved one for the first time. 

       I will be grateful for any feedback about how this story is received with children of different ages.  It may very well be one that appeals to adults as well. 

        My thanks for your consideration of this new book.