Cat’s kindness to newly-hatched Nelly starts a chain,
in which each character passes an act of kindness on to someone else.
Nelly’s Quilt – A Story of Kindness
Nelly’s Quilt is a colorful, 32-page, hardbound, children’s picture book about passing kindness on. Both fun cartoon characters and real photos are illustrations in this book. It is intended for ages 0-5, but is appropriate for all young children, (and even adults)! It is book #7 in the 11-book series.
I am writing a picture book series called The Pelican Family Series. The very first book was The Pelican Family Counting Book. In that book, the reader counts the pelicans in the story as they fly over the ocean in search of yummy fish. The other books are stories about the pelicans in the Counting Book.
My son, Christopher, does the pencil drawings of most all of the characters in the books. In this new one, I did do 3 drawings.
Why I Wrote Nelly’s Quilt
I had 3 major objectives when I wrote this story.
One was to explain why Nelly was smaller than the other pelicans.
When Chris drew the pelicans, he just drew her that way. But Nelly explains what happened. She had hatched slightly prematurely. This happened because of a small earthquake on her island. The earthquake sent a rock down the hill, and it cracked her shell a little bit before it was really time for her to hatch. She still hadn’t grown as big as she would have, if she had been in the egg a little longer.
The second objective was to make a story for young children about being kind to others, and passing kindness on.
Because Nelly was smaller than she should have been, she got really cold when she stepped out of her egg shell. Cat, who is part of almost all of the Pelican stories, saw how she was so cold. He went to talk to Aunt Meri, who made quilts, and Aunt Marge, who made cookies, at the MeriMar Quilt and Cookie Shop. (The real Meri makes quilts for Project Linus, which is an organization that gives blankets and quilts to children in need.). In the book, Aunt Meri gives Cat a small quilt to take back for Nelly. When Cat asks her how he and Nelly can pay her back, she simply answers, “Just be kind to someone else.” These actions and statement lead to kindnesses being passed on throughout the rest of the story.
The third objective was to use a quilt picture as a border on each page.
As I thought about the beautiful quilts that Meri was making, I asked her if I could use a photo of one of her quilts as a border for my book pages. I thought the wonderful designs and colors would make a beautiful book. I was right! She said yes I could use her quilt photos. But even better than that, she sent me a quilt!
A Series With a Plan
This is a planned 11-book series. They do not need to be read in order. Each one is a stand alone story. However, throughout the series, I use the same characters, while adding new ones. Therefore, if you read them all, you will get to know the residents of Beach Town, both human and pelican. Each book is about something pertaining to early learning that encourages adults and children to talk, and laugh, and enjoy the stories together.
How to Use Our Books
This series is mainly meant for ages 0-8. We definitely believe in adults reading to children in a warm, loving, attentive, interactive manner. So in that way, even our books with more words and ideas may be appropriate for very young children. The books can also be used with older children. If you are a parent with older and younger children, ask the older children to read and talk about our books with the younger children in the family. Encourage the older child to use lots of expression, and talk about the pictures with the younger child. Have the children take parts by speaking the dialogue for a character. Make it a whole family reading session! Everyone will enjoy it.
I have presented several of these books up into Junior High classes. If you are a teacher who would like ideas about how to use one of my books in the classroom, contact me at email@example.com.
- The Pelican Family Counting Book is about counting, and tells a little about the ten pelicans.
- Telly’s Story is about a friendship that develops between two characters who are not at all alike.
- Kelly and the Scarf is about empathy for another’s feelings.
- Stelly and the Sticky, Gooey Taffy is about responsibility for one’s actions in a community.
- Delly and the Beach Town Healthy Alphabet Challenge is about healthy eating for humans.
- Pelly and Melly — Best Friends is about friendship.
- Nelly’s Quilt is about passing kindness on.
Books yet to come:
- Z is about dealing with bullying.
- I Can’t is about facing one’s fears and growing confidence.
- Hurry Up, Elly! is about keeping one’s word.
- Cat’s Tale — Or What Really Happened! Is about Cat talking about the pelican’s stories from HIS vantage point.
Patty Godwin –
If you like yummy cookies and kindness, you will have lots of fun sharing this book! It’s an uplifting experience just to soak up the colors and sounds of each page. As Nelly needs and receives help with her problem, she learns to be watchful for ways to give kindness to others! And she brightens her world and the world of others with her thoughtfulness!
This colorful, unique book, has many fine details to be discovered and hours of enjoyment to be shared. I highly recommend this beautiful book. I bought four for my grandchildren. It makes a cherished gift to share anytime of year!
Sara R Rodriguez –
My 6 year old daughter and I loved this newest addition to the Pelican Family book series! Nelly’s Quilt is a story that encourages all of us, regardless of our age (and species), to spread kindness and generosity, to figuratively “pay it forward”. My daughter said her favorite part was the little boy, Andy, who gives a little girl a ride in his wagon, and my favorite part was the last page of the book, where it asks the reader pointed questions and calls for a little self-reflection.
Christine Leist –
Nelly’s Quilt is the third book we have in the Pelican series. My granddaughter, a first grader, was delighted with her new book! She was able to read it to me almost completely by herself. She loved reading the sound words included in the illustrations! Listening to her animated sounds while studying the illustrations definitely made the storytime more enjoyable for us both. She also loved looking at the photographs in this book as she recognized a couple of the places in the pictures as places she’s visited. When I asked her what her favorite part of her book was, she said she really likes that this book has some of the same characters as in her other Pelican Series books. She enjoyed meeting the new characters also.
I am a retired teacher and enjoy the different topics of discussion that we have during and after reading. This book gave us conversations about sharing, kindness to others, art and photography, and sewing a colorful quilt.
We enjoyed reading this book together and I am sure we’ll be visiting it again and again!
Sindy Begley –
Nellie’s Quilt was such an enjoyable book! It was a gift for my 1 year old grandson but first, I read it. It was such an amazing message on spreading kindness and so creatively told. The colors are vibrant which helps to capture the attention of the much younger crowd. In addition, the story line incorporates individuals to add a personal touch. I am hopeful that this book floods the school districts where it can help educate our our young children on the benefits of kindness.
Ann Ramey, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist (verified owner) –
Nelly’s Quilt is an amazing book in the Pelican Family Series! I absolutely love the theme of spreading acts of kindness! After Nelly receives a quilt as an act of kindness, she sets out to spread kindness to show her gratitude. Each of the characters continue spreading kindness to someone else. The story shows many examples of how all people can recognize opportunities to show kindness and act on it. Nelly’s quilt is an inspiring story. The real life photography throughout the story paired with the colorful illustrations create a very engaging book for children! I have used this book in speech and language therapy sessions as well as with my own four children at home ages 2 through 12. In therapy sessions, I’ve used this book to target retelling, sequencing, rhyming, pronouns, answering WH questions, perspective taking, describing, and so much more! This is a language rich book with the kindest theme! My students love the photographs and colorful characters in this book. I would recommend this book to any parent, teacher, speech-language pathologist, or anyone reading to children! Currently my favorite book series for children!
M. Palmbach –
This new book in the series is a favorite of my granddaughter. She enjoyed reading it to her 3rd grade class at school. The theme of kindness is much appreciated as a positive influence in children’s lives. The illustrations and backgrounds are so colorful they your eye which is especially nice for the very young to enjoy as you read the book to them. I highly recommend this book.