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Jake the Deer-Hearted is a hopeful story about a curious, ill-proportioned dog who wanders away from his dog family. The lost puppy is befriended by a small herd of deer in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Jake is the unexpected hero who overcomes hardships, learns about values and companionship, and realizes his dreams of becoming deer-like and finding his human family.

My dream for writing and illustrating this story is for readers to feel their own personal connection to this unusual dog and to desire to read the book over and over again. I have cut, collaged, sewn, and embroidered my personally, handwoven textiles to create the illustrations. Each is highly textured and intense in color, yet the woven yarns and visible stitches provide a calming warmth.

Young readers will:

  • Empathize with Jake’s journey of having big dreams and finding happiness in receiving care and love

  • Enjoy the cozy, colorful textile illustrations

  • Benefit from the repeating and rhyming words.

The setting of the story offers opportunities to investigate:

  • Facts about Texas

  • Seasons

  • Wildlife

  • Caring for animals

  • The processes and history of weaving and quilting.

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