Bowling Green family writes children’s book on kindness

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:44 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A Bowling Green mother, father and their teenage son have collaborated on a special new project with a lot of heart.

“Charlie and the Cheerful Hearts” is a children’s book that’s all about showing and sharing kindness.

Darla Day said the idea came from her son Jenson after he felt moved by commercials from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the Christmas season of 2019. “He wanted to pray for all the kids in the hospital,” said Darla. It inspired a Valentine’s Day outreach called the Cheerful Heart Project. “We had kids from all over Kentucky, different churches, different schools, sending us hundreds and hundreds of valentines so we could take them to the children’s hospitals to try to spread a little cheer.”

It wasn’t long after their visit to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville that the pandemic set in, and with the extra time at home, the family decided to write the book. They based it on some of the adventures they had while delivering valentines.

The story is complemented by Chad, who illustrated the book. “I loved drawing as a kid, but I’ve been a marketing director for 31 years now, and most of what I do is on the computer. But I actually got out pen and paper and drew them.” He then scanned the drawings and used Photoshop to add bright colors.

In the book, one of Charlie’s visits is to an orphanage, and Darla said that was loosely based on their experience at the Ronald McDonald House. The family used the home and its services when as a newborn, Jenson experienced a traumatic brain injury due to meconium aspiration. He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Jenson said when people read “Charlie and the Cheerful Hearts,” he wants them to know that “giving is the best kind of love.”

You can purchase the book here.

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