The Not Perfect Hat Club: The book is the result of dozens visits I’ve done with elementary school kids over that past two years. Time and time again, kids told me their work was ugly, messed up, stupid or bad. It was clear that even though they understood that no one is perfect, they still felt they were expected to be. I wrote The Not Perfect Hat Club as way to give them stories and characters that reflect their struggles with perfection and show them they can only be perfect at being themselves.

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Poco a Poco, was produced in collaboration with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as part of its new “Cats, Dogs and Us” campaign: Click HERE to download your FREE copy (

Meet the Mutts introduces all 8 members of the CritterKin pack and their slightly offbeat leader Ms. Jenaia.

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Lead With Your Heart  follows the adventures of a misunderstood pit bull named Lance who must deal with prejudice, bullying and being a little different to find his forever home.

We are proud to announce that Lead With Your Heart is being featured by PACER!  For every book sold, CritterKin will donate $1 to PACERs National Bullying Prevention Center.  Order from their book club today:

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A Message from Ms. Jenaia

Jena as MsJenaia2

To educate our people, and especially our children, to humane attitudes and actions toward living things is to preserve and strengthen our national heritage and the moral values we champion in the world.”   – J.F.K.                   

Ms. Jenaia (aka Jena Ball) here, with a confession to make: I have a thing about mutts. As I’m sure you know, mutts are mixed breed animals. That means that their parents are not the same breed. So, for example, the parents of our good friend Sprout were probably a mix of wire-haired terrier and Chihuahua with a little poodle or Papillon thrown in for good measure. We’ll never really know, and that’s what makes Sprout special. Like a one-of-a-kind sculpture or painting, he’s a one-of-a-kind dog to be appreciated and loved.

If you stop and think about it, each and every one of us is also a mutt. My ancestors came from England, France and Canada, and the resulting mix of body types, hair and eye color, personalities and mental abilities created me – Ms. Jenaia. There is no other person on the planet that looks, speaks and behaves just like me.

But being a mutt is about more than your ancestors. It’s about your experiences and relationships, the culture you grew up in and the things you’ve chosen to study and learn. It’s all the things that go into making you an individual and make your contributions so important.

I like to think of all living creatures as a giant patchwork quilt. Each piece of the quilt is special because it is unique and because it contrasts and blends with the others. If any one of the pieces is removed, a hole is created. The quilt is no longer complete and its structure is damaged. It becomes less strong. We need all the pieces – all the different colors, perspectives, ideas, ways of seeing and being in the world – to be whole and strong.

That goes for animals as well as people. Sometimes, just for fun, I sit and think about how a whale or a bee sees the world. I wonder what I could learn from tortoise who moves at such a slow and steady pace, or a Peregrine falcon that can dive from the sky at 242 miles per hour!

So you see, that’s why I love mutts so much and why all the CritterKin Tales are so much fun. In it you will meet some goofy, fun-loving dogs. They’ll make you laugh and think about what kind of mutt you are!