A couple of years ago, local author Sarah Curry Rathel tugged at the heartstrings of many with her book, There’s Something Different About My Hair, an ode to how our differences can bring us together. Now, she’s currently working on a new adventure, the Smile Books Project — a non-profit organization creating personalized books and coloring books featuring children with life-threatening medical conditions as the main characters. Working with author/illustrator Robert Kelly and Blue River Printing, the duo creates fun stories that detail a child’s own heroic tale.
The process is pretty simple. A referral is made on the web site, families are contacted to set up interviews either at home or at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati. Rathel writes a story while Kelly illustrates. Following reviews and revisions, the book is printed. Families receive a copy for free, along with a movie-sized poster.
Recently, extra copies of a book were produced and sold for a fundraiser.
“If doing these ‘sales’ helps bring more smiles and potentially helps raise money and awareness, we are happy to help in that small way,” says Rathel.
To learn more, and to get a peek at some of the book titles — and the children that are featured — visit smilebooksproject.org.
Pictured: Local kids gathered to support a fundraiser for a young boy where the book about him, Forever Kyler Strong, was sold.