Meet Pete, and Jennifer Campbell!
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
This feature is part of a series of blog posts spotlighting unique AgVocates for their efforts to educate others and support the agriculture community. This September, we are happy to highlight Jennifer Campbell, author of Meet Pete. This book features the special bond between her daughter, Emi Lou, and their livestock calf, Pete.
A newborn calf and the love of a farm girl…the makings of a great story. A story about knowing why we raise livestock and putting your heart and soul into the care of that animal.
This story wrote itself for me as it happened. I ultimately wrote the book to capture what I’ve seen happen on our farm many times - the love and dedication of my family, especially my three kids, when it comes to caring for our livestock. The book follows Emi Lou as she cares for a calf named Pete that needed extra attention.
I realized as I watched Emi Lou work with Pete that all three of my kids have worked with livestock in much the same way over the years. I wanted to write an honest story of how they, as well as all farmers and farm kids, put their heart and soul into caring for livestock, while knowing why we raise them and what their ultimate purpose is.
I once heard someone make the assumption that farms and farmers look like those from children’s books. Most of these books portray farms with sheep, pigs, a cow and an old gray mare sharing a pasture on the hill, only sleeping in the barn at night in a mound of straw snuggled up together.
While I don’t believe the average consumer is that gullible, I believe we are desperately in need of children books that are not only fun but are a true reference for life on the farm. I like to think this book accomplished both.
The story unfolded right in front of my eyes. I was taking pictures with my phone by the hundreds, but illustrating this book was a whole other matter. I wanted someone who could bring Pete to life on the pages just as much as the words did.
I looked no farther than Twitter to someone I consider a good friend. The unique and amazing illustrations for Meet Pete were done by Victoria Gibson, an artist from Orange, Va. Her deep love of agriculture helped transform photographs of Emi Lou, Pete the calf, and our farm into watercolor-illustrations that give readers exactly what I was looking for. When I looked at the paintings I got the same feeling I did when the moment was happening, it’s exactly what I was looking for!
When I started this project I thought if nothing else this book will be a fun way to remember this adventure for my daughter. Where it has gone amazes me. I love seeing pictures of kids and families on social media all over the place, enjoying a true story from the farm. And while my fulltime job is farming, being able to share that love with families through this book is truly a dream come true.
Meet Pete has sold in Australia, England, Canada and all over the US. Purchase a copy on Amazon, and use #MeetPete on social!
Join the AgVocate Facebook Group for a chance to receive a free copy of Meet Pete. Comment on the appropriate post mentioning the book to win. Five winners will be selected at random by Ally Ag (the group moderator).