Friday, November 9, 2018

Hooray for Holidays: Veterans Day for Children

I'm excited to welcome my dear friend, author Peggy Cunningham, to my blog today. She's had five books published this year, and I loved them so much, I had to share them. One of the books, Hooray for Holidays Book 4, has a story about Veterans Day, which happens to be this Sunday, November 11.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband Chuck have served as missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. They work with the Quechua people and have a children's ministry. She is the author of the Really Rare Rabbits series of picture books for children (you'll find all three on her Amazon author page), and two devotionals for adults, Shape Your Soul and Dancing Like Bees.

Peggy, I love the idea that you're teaching kids about holidays in your new series, Hooray for Holidays. How did the story idea come about?

I’d written number of animal stories for a book I was working on when I found an adorable flag sweater for our Shih Tzu, Kelsey. After taking countless photos of her in that sweater, I thought about writing a Fourth of July story for my blog featuring Kelsey. 

Then an idea sparked my brain. Why not incorporate a holiday into each animal story I’d written? So I not only wrote animal stories with a Bible principle, but I also incorporated a holiday theme with a bit of its history to each story. And, I guess you could say Kelsey’s sweater inspired my idea.

I notice you have a mixture of holidays - not just the holidays we celebrate in the U.S. - but you also include some of the holidays you celebrate in Bolivia, too. Tell our readers a bit about those holidays.

In Hooray for Holidays Book 3, I included Bolivia’s Independence Day, which is August 6th. I thought a Bolivian holiday would expand the minds of children beyond their borders and encourage them to learn more of other countries and their cultures. 

The story explains a bit of Bolivian history, what a school holiday program is like in Bolivia, and a fun look at the Bolivian National bird, the condor. 

In my Really Rare Rabbits series Book 3, I write of another Bolivian holiday, UrkupiƱa. It’s about a legend of a small girl who meets a mysterious lady on a mountain who gives her five stones. Upon returning home, she pulls them out of her pocket to find they are no longer little rocks but gems instead. At that point of the story, my rare rabbits, who are visiting this legendary mountain on this holiday, tell the story of another Rock, Jesus, to their grandfather who meets them on this mountain.

I love the adventures of those really rare rabbits. Such imaginative, fun, and memorable stories. Out of the four Hooray for Holidays books, do you have a favorite story? If so, why is it your favorite?

Yes, I do for sure. It would have to be the first story in Hooray for Holidays Book 4: Veterans Day Special Needs Cat, Thanksgiving Blue Mouse, and Christmas Andes Llama that just released. 

Not only do I love celebrating Veterans Day because I’m married to a veteran, but I also have a special needs cat that I love. His name is Quasimodo and yes, his name personifies him. We adopted him from our vet when he was a baby. He’d fallen off a roof and couldn’t walk but our vet wouldn’t give up on him. The vet worked with Quasi for a few months, and he eventually could walk but still with difficulty and dragging his leg. 

After bringing him home with us, I saw how determined he was to do everything our deaf cat, Gypsy could do (she’s our other special needs cat). Then I knew I had to write his story. 

I hope kids will learn from Quasimodo to never give up and always be determined to reach their goals like Quasimodo. His story honors veterans who sometimes face difficulties because of their time in the military.

I love that you've honored veterans in such a special way to help younger generations understand and appreciate the sacrifice that all veterans and their families make.

Any upcoming releases you want to tell us about?

After five new releases last year, I’m taking a break and just working on one book this year––at least so far. Smile! It’s a book about my white curtains. They have traveled with me from Pennsylvania to Bolivia and have many stories to tell. 

My friends joke that if the Rapture happens I’ll fly away with my white curtains under my arm. But I may have to leave some behind because they are frayed from so many ups and downs on the many windows they have adorned.

I look forward to reading about those white curtains! Thank you for joining us today, Peggy. May the Lord continue to use you and Chuck and your ministry.  

 



 


Connect with Peggy Cunningham on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Read her latest updates on her blog at www.PeggyCunningham.com
Be sure to read her latest posts about Veterans Day:



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