Announcing My New Children's Book, Patty and the Stump!
This is huge! I've just published a brand-new children's book called called Patty and the Stump, written with my Leaving Iowa co-author Spike Manton.
Patty and the Stump is inspired by the 2016 presidential election, with lessons on leadership and bullying. I got the idea for the book when my six-year-old daughter asked me, "'Why does Donald Stump want to be President?" I've never corrected her. I was too busy scribbling on a napkin, "Donald J. Stump, an allegory in search of a lawsuit."
Then I called up Spike — and Patty and the Stump was born. Spike says: “Like so many others, I’ve been lost in this ‘fog of Trump.’ But I knew a children’s book was a perfect vehicle to expose and examine some core truths. Plus, it will be fun to watch him tweet about it.”
My take: Writing this story forced us to find a non-offensive way to explain an offensive character. This man is consuming our airwaves and kids are talking about it.
Patty and the Stump is illustrated masterfully by Cleveland artist Len Peralta. It's an unapologetic tale set in a prairie and told through the eyes of future journalist Patty the Prairie Dog. Patty resists peer pressure and the bullying of the egomaniacal Stump, who has turned the prairie animals against each other in a quest for power.
Spike says, “As excited as we were about the idea, it was difficult to have a prairie dog, a raccoon, and a coyote explain divisiveness, manipulation, and false leadership to kids when the likes of Chris Matthews, David Brooks, and Chris Hayes have been challenged to get adults to understand them for the last year.”
So it truly is a children’s story. But the truth is, we also wanted to do something to help our country not choose the type of person we teach our children to avoid on the playground.
Where to Get Patty and the Stump ...