My father, Dr. Jim Kenny, with the help of an artist from Stone Belt in Indiana, recently wrote a children’s story about a Little Lost Monkey. Here is his description.
My six-year-old granddaughter was recently adopted after years in foster care. I watched and listened to her as she tentatively engaged—or backed off. I wondered what must be going through her mind—confusion, loneliness, fear, anger, perhaps hope and daring to trust and love. I have always delighted in telling bedtime stories to my children and grandchildren. This is my gift to my new granddaughter. And to all foster children searching for a permanent home.
Chipper Wump’s father goes off fishing and disappears. Shortly after, his mother is captured and taken away. Chipper awakens one morning to an empty nest in the tree, beginning an exciting journey as he wanders the jungle in search of a home. The various emotions that are experienced by a child in temporary care are represented in his encounters along the way. He has to deal with a snake, a tiger, and a crocodile before being helped by a wise owl. Chipper is temporarily mothered by a lioness before being taken to a village of chimpanzees where he finds acceptance and love. Our hero grows from being a vulnerable and frightened monkey to one searching for and finding a permanent family.
The text is clear and simple. The story can be read to preschool children. Children in primary grades can read it themselves.
The illustrations showcase the talents of an artist with disabilities as she pictures the difficult journey of a foster child in search of a permanent home. They are unique and engaging and need to be seen to be appreciated. A wonderful partnership between persons with disabilities and those in temporary care.