As parents, one thing we aspire to is making our children happy and providing them with moments they’ll cherish forever. Ever since he became a father, first-time author Rich Scalea has had a special love for children.
Now, as a retiree, Scalea released “Relish,” his debut children’s picture book about a cuddly little Dachshund with a big personality.
Published by Charlotte-based Warren Publishing, the book fulfills a lifelong dream for Scalea.
“I always wanted to see a child happy, not sad. If I could bring joy to their lives, that’s what I needed to be doing,” Scalea said. “When I wrote ‘Relish’ and came to a part I thought would bring a child a smile, I would stop and imagine a parent sitting on a couch or bed with their child, holding my book and reading it to them. That’s what mattered the most to me.”
The book follows Relish as he explores the home he shares with his favorite person of all, Rosie. But when the Dachshund becomes too mischievous, Rosie’s dad sends him away. From there, he becomes a service dog who wants nothing but to bring joy to everyone he meets along the way.
Indian Trail Town Councilman David Cohn sensed Scalea was special when they met eight years ago. Cohn said when Scalea wasn’t volunteering at his church, he was pitching in at Common Heart. He makes people smile.
Scalea has brought a sense of compassion and altruism to his new book, Cohn said.
“In a world that is, for now, no longer what it once was, this book is sorely needed to remind all of us that what is lost can be rebuilt and that the satisfaction found in giving is much greater than what we reap when we take,” Cohn said.
Scalea was first inspired to write “Relish” when he met a woman who was walking with her Dachshund at the Jersey Shore, near where Scalea was born and raised. He was eating a hot dog at the time – topped with relish.
“With my audience being so young, I really wasn’t trying to send a message,” said Scalea of the book’s themes, which include pet rescue and adoption. “Instead, I was hoping to bring out their emotions to the different situations Relish was experiencing. His innocent yet mischievous antics, his sadness and happiness. I leave the opportunity of lessons that may be present in ‘Relish’ to the parents. I wrote the book in a way that can encourage a parent to ask their child questions about Relish’s experiences – how a love between a child and a dog can be so powerful and lead to rescuing Relish from a doggie shelter – and the ensuing journey that follows.”
Want the book?
“Relish” is available at www.warrenpublishing.net, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com or wherever books are sold.