LIME LAKE — Steuben County children’s author Annie Streit takes on bullying and acceptance in her third book, “Rough and Tough T-Bone.”
The book is the next in Streit’s rhyming series based on dog characters. There is a T-Bone plush toy that can be purchased along with the book through Dorrance Publishing Co. of Pittsburgh.
Her first two characters were Scooter, a disabled dog who overcomes obstacles, and “A Dog Named Bird” — whose story is one of finding family through adoption.
T-Bone is an English bulldog with a chip on his shoulder.
“He doesn’t understand love, trust and true friendship — so he is very lonely,” says a news release from Dorrance. “Then, he meets Robbie, a special boy with Down syndrome.”
The character of Robbie is based on Streit’s nephew.
When T-Bone encounters him in the book, it says:
”Robbie was special because his heart was full of so much love,
He knew no strangers, and he would always greet them with a hug.”
Through a consistent outpouring of friendship, Robbie shows T-Bone the value of kindness and togetherness.
“I picked bullying for a theme because I know it is something that kids deal with on a daily basis, and it is sometimes something very hard for them to talk about,” said Streit. “My hope is that this book helps to raise awareness and help make kids feel more comfortable to talk about their own experiences.”
Streit has a degree in social studies education from Ball State University. She enjoys working with children and has spoken to a wide variety of audiences. Many of her stories stem from her own experiences of navigating through life in a wheelchair after a diving accident in May 2005.
Her books focus on the ideas of acceptance, empathy and overcoming obstacles, attempting to connect with children through common feelings and experiences.
“I brought my nephew with Down syndrome into the book not because he has been bullied but because his unconditional love for everyone he meets is truly something we all can learn from and strive to do,” said Streit.
The 30-page hardcover book can be purchased through the publisher and is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers.
To keep up with Streit or request her as a speaker, go to annieauthorblog.wordpress.com.