Thursday, May 17, 2012

Memorial Day Must-Read: Klinger, A Story of Honor and Hope

"Klinger, A Story of Honor and Hope is the endearing story of a young horse dreaming of fame as a racehorse. But his life is disrupted and he must leave his parents to start a new life. Faced with difficulty and disappointment, Klinger's dream of significance seems unattainable. He then discovers fulfillment in honoring fallen heroes and bringing comfort to their families. This award winning hardcover picture book is based on the story of a real horse who works in Arlington National Cemetery. It was written by the mother of a fallen hero for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national nonprofit Veterans Service Organization that brings help, hope, and healing to those whose loved one has died in military service."

As Memorial Day approaches us, I knew I had to talk about this book.  In 2010, I had the honor and pleasure of illustrating the beautiful story of Klinger, A Story of Honor and Hope written by Betsy Beard and published by the wonderful non-profit, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).  While the book was originally created as an inspirational gift for young survivors of military loss, I've witnessed the story resonate with everyone who reads it.  If you are looking for a bridge to discuss Memorial Day on a deeper level with your children, Klinger provides a meaningful way to connect them to this important holiday.  I know for me the end of May will never just be about picnics again.  It will always be about the people who have given so much.

I wrote about some of the ways that working on this project impacted me {here}, {here}, {here} and {here}.  The life of Betsy's son Brad inspired me every moment that I worked on this book, in ways I'll never fully be able to communicate; I can't think of this book without simultaneously thinking of both Betsy and Brad.  You can read a bit about Brad {here}.  Also, you can visit TAPS website {here} to find out more about the organization.  One of the coolest things about buying Klinger is that all of the book proceeds go directly back into the TAPS children's program.

I've met Klinger and it's hard to do him justice.  
What a beautiful, gracious and magnificent member of our military he is.

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