Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 27, 2021


Wendy Wahman has written and illustrated a new picture book, OLD PEARL  and published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. It is available in bookstores on ajune 1st. Wendy has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Wendy.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


A young boy deals with the sadness of losing a pet in this gentle, sweet ode to how nothing can take away what lives in our heart.

Theo loves feeding the birds. All the birds. But he tries his hardest to aim his seeds to the old bird with the raggedy wing—Pearl.

Soon, they are sharing apples and peanut butter, enjoying a good breeze, and sitting heartbeat to heartbeat.

But sometimes friends have to say goodbye…


After my third — and last — guinea pig died when I was 8, my mother told me, “No more guinea pigs. You cry for too long.”  

Sooner or later, we all learn about death and grief. “Old Pearl,” opens the door to this conversation. My hope is the story will also give children and their adults, permission to grieve for as long and hard as they need.

“Old Pearl” is a story of compassion and care-taking, loss, grief, and loving again. In “Old Pearl,” a boy named Theo loves to feed the birds at the park. He makes an extra-special effort to get seeds to the old bird with the raggedy wing. 
But when a dog charges in, and the bird can’t fly away, Theo scoops her up… and brings her home. He names her Pearl.

I first became conscious of mortality when I was 4 years-old and my grandmother died. I was told she was old and her heart had stopped beating. This made me freak out about my own heart, my parent’s hearts, and oh, my god, what about my grandfather’s heart! His heart would surely stop any second. I’d lay awake feeling my heart pound in my chest,  terrorized. I’m pretty sure many kids feel this way at some time and may not have the words to talk about it. I draw an unspoken parallel between the two “old Pearl’s” in the book: Theo’s rescued bird, and his grandmother, a gentle reminder that old age is not an illness, it’s a part of life.

Another take away in “Old Pearl” is, how taking care of a pet is more than just putting down food and water. And also, what do you do if you find an injured bird or animal? My author’s note in the back is a good jumping off place for that.

The spark of inspiration for “Old Pearl” came from something Joe Biden said to Cindy McCain at her husband’s memorial. Condensing, here:

“…six months will go by and everybody will think, well, it’s passed. But you’re going to ride by that field or smell that fragrance or see that flashing image. You’re going to feel like you did the day you got the news. But you know you are going to make it. The image of your dad, your husband, your friend, will cross your mind and a smile comes to your lips before a tear to your eye. I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know. The day will come. That day will come.” — Joe Biden

I give this same promise to Theo in “Old Pearl,” and I give it to you now: Time will pass, and your memories will turn from tears, to smiles.Thank you for the opportunity to share some of the back story of “Old Pearl,” Kathy. It’s a very special book for me, not least because it’s dedicated to my mother who died soon after I learned Pearl would be published by the wonderful Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum. Fortunately, I got to sit next to my mother in her bed and read her the story, and she knew it was her book.


Former Seattle P-I newspaper artist, Wendy Wahman now writes and illustrates children’s books. Her debut picture book, DON’T LICK THE DOG, was selected as a 2010 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, starred for Outstanding Merit and accepted to the Society of Illustrators Original Art show. Other books include A CAT LIKE THAT, SNOWBOY 1,2,3,  RABBIT STEW, PONY IN THE CITY, NANNY PAWS and releasing June 1st: OLD PEARL. Wendy’s editorial illustrations have appeared in major publications including Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Business Journal. Her illustrated memoir, PROGRESS (currently a work-in-progress), was awarded a TAIP grant and the SCBWI Martha Weston Grant in 2019. She lives in the Tacoma, Washington.

Old Pearl book trailer:

Free activity sheet downloads of all Wendy’s books 

Thank you Wendy for sharing your book and it’s journey with us. This is such a sweet book. Children will love reading about Theo taking care of his bird friend, Old Pearl. My son developed a love for birds at an early age and I have learn so much from his love of birds. We take good care of them at my house. I’m sure this book will help steer kids onto a lifelong love affair path with birds. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Ooh, i need this book for my collection. Sounds absolutely wonderful. We all know an ‘old Pearl’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fabulous interview. I love your inspiration, Wendy. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG! love, love, love! Mst have this book for my LFL.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, the pain of loss! I LOVE animals. I do not love it when they pass over the rainbow bridge. This book looks like a wonderful story to read about pets and loss. Love the illustrations! Congratulations, Wendy!

    I follow by email and will tweet this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful story that will speak to so many children and adults. Congratulations, Wendy!

    Kathy, I shared on Twitter and I get your blog daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your new book will touch many hearts. It sounds beautiful. Both children and adults will be able to relate to the child’s emotions and the strong love we have for our pets. The illustrations are precious. Congratulations, Wendy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can’t read this without crying. Such a beautiful book!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely and helpful story for very young hearts. Thank you for creating it, Wendy! Hearts to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats, Wendy–this books looks amazing and I can’t wait to get a copy. I’m a kindred spirit who swears no more pets, but I go on to rescue the next dog, bunny, or chin:-) Kathy, I receive your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh, Wendy. Such a beautiful interview and story. Both touched my heart. I am sure others will feel the same way. Thank you for giving this to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Terry Pierce and commented:
    Another book giveaway on Writing & Illustrating! Old Pearl is a poignant picture book about loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on the book, Wendy! (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a wonderful idea! I can’t wait to read this book. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Once again, the talented Wendy Wahman, has written and illustrated a beautiful book for children. Did I say for children? This book has value for all ages. I was brought to tears listening to the gentle voice of Wendy reading from the book, in the trailer. The tears came from the realization of how proud our mutual friend, Andrea B. would have been of her dear friend using her talents in such a meaningful way. Brava, Ms. Wahman

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think ducks might just be my favorite animal. They are so cute. Thanks for telling me about this one and for a chance to win. I receive your posts by email.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I teared up reading the synopsis and the back story. What a beautiful picture book for kids and adults of all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Aw, I love Old Pearl already!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I would love to add this book to my classroom library!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a tender compassionate story. Best of luck. P{osted on FB too.


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