Animals have a way of touching our hearts, especially those that joyfully welcome life, even with special needs or challenges. Author Pamela Wise realized this when she saw a tiny dog having difficulty walking with its back legs, but letting nothing stand in its way. It accepted and welcomed its uniqueness. Wise hopes that readers of her book Hopolito will also “stop and look around and discover how special we all are.”
Wise, a film costume supervisor for such films as Argo, Forrest Gump, and Saving Private Ryan, paints and writes in her spare time. She felt inspired to write Hopolito after seeing the precious dog.
After talking with publishers, Wise decided to self-publish and keep Hopolito true to her vision. Flying by the seat of her pants, she researched the world of self-publishing and promoting, learning a great deal along the way.
Working from a list of illustrators, she visited the artists’ websites. Wise felt drawn to the work of Valerie Bouthyette, and learned both owned little black and white dogs. Bouthyette’s colorful illustrations draw readers in, and add warmth and zest to the text.
Hopolito tells the story of the little hopping dog Hopolito who hopes to run and play with his brothers. After striking up an unusual friendship with Rummy the Rabbit, who walks instead of hops, the two new pals embark on a journey to discover how to switch their special gifts.
The book’s touching story celebrates differences and the love of friends. As Wise states, the characters are searching for what we as people want, “to have purpose, be loved, be validated, and give back to those we care about.”
While the book is targeted to four-to-eight year olds, the endearing story is universal, celebrating and embracing difference. Hopolito captures the heart. To purchase Hopolito, please visit hopolito.com.