| Sarah Heinonen
WILBRAHAM – It is amazing what someone can find in their own backyard. Wilbraham resident Mary Stacy, a retired reading teacher, found that out first hand when she was inspired to write her first children’s book after observing an unlikely friendship between a cockapoo named Lily and a chipmunk.
“Lily and Chip Chip” is based on Stacy’s own dog’s fascination with a chipmunk that lives in her backyard. She said she noticed her dog kept wagging her tail at something outside and found that it was a chipmunk who had made its home in her yard. Eventually, Stacy named her dog's friend.
“I would say ‘Where’s Chip Chip?’ and Lily would run to the sunroom to watch,” Stacy recalled to Reminder Publishing. She began wondering what the two animals would say to each other if they could talk.
Writing the book took Stacy a couple of years, between researching chipmunks and finding the time to write. Stacy also owns Stacy’s Cleaners in East Longmeadow and volunteers with a literacy program in the area.
“Lily and Chip Chip” was self published in January through Dorrance Publishing, whom Stacy said made the process of getting her book into print an easy one.
Having written the book for her two young grandsons, Stacy said they love it. The author isn’t resting on her laurels, though. She has a couple more ideas for future books and wants to write about growing up in Maine next to a Native American reservation.
“Lily and Chip Chip” can be purchased in paperback for $19 or as a $14 ebook at bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com.