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Kids are becoming authors and illustrators at The Giggling Pig in Shelton

Connecticut

A new art program is enabling children to become authors and illustrators of their very own published book. 

“I think art is extremely important to a child’s development,” said Hannah Perry, owner of The Giggling Pig, an art studio in Shelton

So, she embarked on an adventure helping kids illustrate and write their own books. Plots are topical, mystical and personal. 

“My book is about a girl and she gets new glasses and she’s bullied about them,” said Lauren. 

“My book is about a lost unicorn and on her journey home she finds new friends,” said Emma. 

“The book is called Introducing Edward and it’s about me,” said 10-year-old Eddie Gatos of Seymour who is sometimes shy. So, writing about himself is empowering.

“I think the self esteem just goes through the roof,” said Perry, noting that kids also learn how to self-publish. 

Their books are now available to purchase online. 

“Seeing their little faces it gave me a lot of pride in them, and they certainly felt a lot of pride and accomplishment,” said  Perry, a single mom and former au pair, came to the United States 19 years ago. 

She’s written two books. 

One is about, you guessed it, a pig, inspired by a pet and her past. 

“I grew up in Yorkshire and my best friend had a pig farm,” she explained. 

Not long after she opened her second art studio here in Bethel, she suffered a shocking setback. 

Every penny I had, I put into this second location and I got a phone call in the middle of the night that it was on fire,” she remembered.  “I lost everything.” 

But with help from the community, Perry re-opened in a new building almost immediately. 

She loves giving kids a creative outlet and sharing life lessons, inspiring them to be patient and wise. 

“Things can go wrong but then you can make a change and things will look totally different and you get a different outcome but it’s just as beautiful,” said Perry.

Busy days are ahead for Perry. 

She’s publishing a third book in June and has plans for a Giggling Pig franchise.  And yes, the author-illustrator project will continue during summer camp.

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