Keller woman teaches acceptance in new children’s book

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Kim Heaton Ramsay always wanted to write a children’s book.

Although she works as a registered dietitian at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, she has always been drawn to kids and books. After her youngest child left for college, she took the plunge.

“I decided if I was going to write a children’s book, I need to make sure it’s fun to read, has colorful pictures and has a message,” Ramsay said.

She didn’t know what she would write but after exploring ideas for a while, the topic came to her one night. She wanted to write a book to discourage bullying.

“What we need more than anything in this world is acceptance,” she said.

From there, she created Marley Mouse and “Will You Be My Friend?” Marley meets all kinds of animals who have different shapes, colors, sizes and ways of living but become friends.

Ramsay decided to self-publish with Author House. She chose the company because they would provide an illustrator and work with her until she was happy with the final product.

“I would tell people, if you’re willing to put forth the time, the effort and the money, you can do it, but it is a lot of work,” she said.

Ramsay worked with Author House for about six months until the book was complete. Now her focus is on getting her message out. She recently read “Will You Be My Friend?” to second-graders at an elementary school in Carrollton where her sister works. She loved interacting with the kids who were vivacious and engaged, asking lots of questions.

“I tell them why it’s not okay to bully and tease those who are different,” Ramsay said.

Now she hopes to work with schools and librarians in the Keller area. She wants to help children learn to accept those who are different while they’re young because personalities are formed by the time they reach age 7.

Parents and other caregivers are also important in promoting acceptance. “You can’t expect children to do it if parents don’t do it,” she said.

Ramsay is already thinking of another children’s book on good nutrition, using her background as a dietitian.

Ramsay and husband Richard Ramsay have lived in Keller for more than a decade. Their son Derek graduated from Keller High in 2008 and daughter Katie, a star pitcher for the Lady Indians, in 2011.

Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231 Twitter: @SandraEngelland

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