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Tarrytown Author's Book Series Helps Families Cope With Childhood Illnesses

Tarrytown author Sparkly Ray has published "Penelope's Wish: Dancing With Leukemia" the first in a series of books for families dealing with childhood illness. Photo Credit: Contributed/Sparkly Ray
Tarrytown businesswoman and children's book author Sparkly Ray. Photo Credit: Contributed/Sparkly Ray
The first in a series of books by Sparkly Ray -- "Tales of Reese" series. Photo Credit: Contributed/Sparkly Ray

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Sparkly Ray's children's book series is a reflection of the author's approach to life -- positive, creative stories written for youngsters and their parents dealing with life-threatening illnesses.

The first book in Ray's series, "The Tales of Reese,"  titled "Penelope's Wish: Dancing With Leukemia," was published in early June. The title character, Reese, is a warm-spirited orphan mouse who travels the world helping young children with life threatening illnesses. "Penelope's Wish" traces Reese's journey in helping young Penelope fulfill her wish of becoming a ballerina.

"Children are so resilient and positive with most things, so the books are meant to assist parents is dealing with the illness by sharing the positives," Ray said. "The series is designed to help young children work through their pain and help parents and siblings better explain what is happening while their children are sick."

A Rockland County native and now Tarrytown resident, Ray's writing connects with her career motivation to help people, especially children and their parents. Her first business venture began 11 years ago with the Doula Company known as Bella Bambini, created out of her love of newborns and new mothers in the postpartum period. The company has grown into an elite quality care giving group.

"I really believe that positive, creative, imaginative approaches to any conflict or challenge makes a difference," Ray said. "Young children have a tough time dealing with illnesses and hospitalization, and parents and friends may have a difficult time coping with how to communicate. I hope my books will be a valuable help."

Ray, who is the middle child of three sisters, said she has learned that reading with children and supporting their wishes and hopes through difficult times quickens the healing process.

"Reading with children is always a positive, but being able to keep their dreams and creative hearts growing is very important," she said. "The illness can be explained and that can be difficult, but the stories are meant to inspire families through the tough times."

The next book in Ray's series, "Finn's Wish," is set to be released in October or November.

Proceeds from the sales of the books go to various charities, such as CrossFit Kids. Make-A-Wish, Pregnant Pink Warrior and the Spina Bifida Resource Network.

The first book in the series available is priced at $17.99 on . The book can also be purchased on the "Tales of Reese" website .

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