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New Children’s Book Uses Nature to Open a Dialogue On Empathy

Oct 18, 2017 • by Hamburg Area Arts Alliance
Chippy Chipmunk

Award-winning nature photographer & author teaches lessons on diversity and empathy through stunning wildlife characters

Book Signing, Kathy Miller, Featured Artist of the Month

The Art & Craft Gallery of Hamburg

335 State Street, Hamburg, PA

10:00 am to 3:00 pm

As a member of the Hamburg Area Arts Alliance, Kathy is the Featured Artist during the month of October. She is celebrating the release of the fourth book, “Chippy Chipmunk Feels Empathy,” in her series of Chippy Chipmunk books. Kathy will be signing books and offering a free gift with the book’s purchase. Chippy Chipmunk will also be here to pose for pictures! Don’t miss this fun event! All of her publications, plus additional artwork, are available for purchase in the Art & Craft Gallery of Hamburg, 335 State St., Hamburg. 

Kathy M. Miller’s newest installment in her renowned Chippy Chipmunk series, Chippy Chipmunk Feels Empathy, uses the backdrop of nature to teach lessons on diversity and empathy. It was awarded a Gold Medal by the Mom’s Choice Awards. When Chippy Chipmunk meets a unique chipmunk, he learns to feel empathy and show kindness. In Chippy’s first encounter with Harriet, she explains that a flood destroyed her burrow, so she is searching for a new place to dig. She asks for help, but Chippy refuses and chases her away. He is preoccupied with his goal of having a record-setting day collecting acorns, and he is skeptical that the newcomer is a chipmunk since she has no stripes. Chippy’s friends show him that there is diversity in every species. “Diversity makes the world more beautiful,” a blue peacock tells Chippy. “My friend and I may look different on the outside, but inside we are the same,” adds a peacock that is an all-white variety.

Chippy’s friends help him to understand empathy and the need to show compassion. Chippy imagines what it would be like to be other wildlife. He thoughtfully observes other creatures. He pretends to be like them and echoes their calls as a way to develop empathy. He pictures himself in Harriet’s situation. The light of a new day gives Chippy a fresh beginning. Feeling empathy changes his heart. He helps Harriet build a new burrow and shares his acorns with her. The two become friends.

  It highlights themes including:

· Every species has diversity. Diversity makes the world more beautiful.

· We are alike on the inside even if different on the outside

· There is more than first meets the eye

· We are less likely to help someone when we are pre-occupied

· We can feel empathy by remembering a time we had a similar experience or by imagining how another feels.

· Feeling empathy leads to showing kindness

This adorable book, the fourth in its series, also contains notes on ways to develop empathy in children, a comparison of sympathy to empathy, and fun facts about the wildlife in the book. It can be used as a wonderful classroom teaching tool.

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