Dogs can be subjected to a lot when kids are in the house: dress-up, tight hugs, pulled ears, painted toe nails. Sometimes it can be a lot for a dog to take.
Watching her daughter Hallie play with the family dog Gigi when Hallie was 6 years old inspired Des Peres resident and Westchester Elementary School mom Kathy Brandt to publish Gigi and Her Girl, a tale that teaches the importance of respect as told from the point-of-view of both a girl and her dog.
In the book, Gigi, a very gentle puppy, endures endless hugging, hoisting, dragging and dress-ups, as well as love, according to Brandt.
"She kind of treats the dog as a toy almost, as a doll, thinking that the dog is loving it...but the dog is like 'Is she kidding me with this?'" Brandt said.
Gigi decides to spend her nights sleeping with an older and more respectful sister. The main character then must figure out a way to earn the dog's trust back.
"It teaches respect but in a cute and funny way," Brandt said.
Gigi and Her Girl is Brandt's first children's book. A lifelong writer and artist, Brandt started working on the book four years ago when Hallie was 6.
Seeing the story come to life took longer than Brandt expected. As a first-time author Brandt had trouble shopping her book to publishing companies, but that didn't deter her.
Bradnt set up her own company and self-published the work. She hopes the attention the book receives on a local level will grab the attention of a publishing company that will distribute Gigi and Her Girl to a larger market and establish her as a children's author and illustrator.
Brandt lives with her huband, two girls and two pets. She also paints oil on canvas and children’s room murals.
Gigi and Her Girl costs $18.99 and plush Gigi puppies (pictured with this article and designed by Brandt) cost $7.99. The book and plush puppies are available at:
- Down by the Station in Kirkwood,
- Apple of Your Eye in Webster Groves,
- Sweet Be's in Des Peres,
- Circle of Knowledge in Sunset Hills,
- The Final Touch in Ballwin,
- Toy Tyme in Chesterfield Mall,
- Take Note Stationary in Chesterfield Valley
- Looking Glass in Lafayette Square,
- Imagination Toys in Ladue,
- the Humane Society in Chesterfield,
- Petropolis in Chesterfield,
- and online at http://gigiandhergirl.com.