Former student at the college, 23 year-old Britney Pieta has published a children’s book called The Gift of Mr. Pookie. A heartwarming love story of two monkeys, Pieta says this book was written thanks to her vivid imagination as a child.
“My sister and I loved to play with stuffed animals as kids,” said Pieta.
“I like to think of myself as Walt Disney with the way he gave human characteristics to inanimate objects.”
This is the first ever children’s book Pieta has written. She has been working on The Gift of Mr. Pookie since 2008. The story and the title was inspired by her mother, who gave her a monkey stuffed animal two years before she passed away.
There is one line in the story that is particularly special to Pieta. The sentence, “He wiped away my tears,” represents how the stuffed animal helped Pieta and her sister, Kristin, stay strong after losing their parent.
“The events in the book are not only from my imagination, they are also influenced by experiences in my life,” explained Pieta.
“I also incorporated a lot of the things I’ve always wanted to do.”
She also feels strongly about the three main messages she hopes children learn from this story.
“The first one would be how it’s not the quantity of what you have that’s important, it’s the quality. Secondly, the best gifts come in small packages; and thirdly, enjoy the small things in life.”
The children’s book is about 30 pages long and is illustrated by 27 year old Rasa Craig, whom Pieta met while attending mass at Willow Springs Community Church in Willow Springs, Illinois. Craig is a professional painter and artist.
Pieta was born and raised in Glen Ellyn and she is a triplet with her sisters Kristin and Jamie. As a child she loved to write songs and letters to her loved ones. While taking journalism and English classes COD, she was Features Editor of the Courier Student Newspaper during the spring semester of the 2011-2012 school year.
Soon after she went on to receive her Consumer Marketing Degree from the college. This past March she earned her certificate as a Copywriting Specialist from Business Training Institute. In fall of 2013 she will be taking online classes at Walden University and hopes to pursue a career as a counselor.
“I would love to start my own online counseling business,” she said. Pieta’s faith and spirituality are very important to her and she hopes to tie that in with counseling people in the future, like possibly becoming a spiritual counselor.
In her spare time, Pieta enjoys gardening and participating in research studies on mental health, and she is also a member of the DuPage Writing Group. She currently has a few projects underway, one being a fictional, romantic, fantasy novel of two people in a telepathic romance and how they use their gift to help others.
When asked what advice she would give to aspiring authors at COD she said, “don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young.”
“You can’t write for everyone but you can write for someone.”
Pieta’s book is available online for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Walker. She will be having her first book signing today at Bundles of Books and Gifts bookstore in downtown Glen Ellyn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.