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Kathleen Pelley

Kathleen Pelley

Children’s Author, Storyteller, and Speaker

Kathleen Pelley is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, a children’s picture book author, and a life-long lover of story. She believes that a passion for stories helps us all to live life more gladly, compassionately, and creatively.





Read about Kathleen’s life and work!





View Kathleen’s presentation topics!

Introducing Happy Mamas: An Ode to Motherhood

A lyrical readaloud that celebrates the universal joys of motherhood.

How did the idea for Happy Mamas come about?

For many years I used to run a mother/daughter book club at my home and no matter what story we discussed, whether it was Tolstoy’s, “The Two Brothers,” or a classic fairy tale such as Jack and the Beanstalk, it seemed we always circled back to this whole notion of happiness. What was it? How did our main character find it….or lose it? Were rich people happier than poor people? These were the kinds of questions we grappled with.

Around this time, I also noticed too that there was a bounty of books on this topic and one of them, The Pursuit of Happiness by William O’ Malley referred to the ancient Greek definition of happiness as the evolving of a soul. This description resonated deeply with me, because of course, happiness is never actually static, but rather continually unfolds and evolves over time, and seems much more connected to the interior life than the exterior life.

O’Malley also mentioned watching his Golden retriever swimming in a pond to retrieve his ball, and how the dog would literally continue swimming and retrieving to the point of utter exhaustion. Why? Because he was in his element – doing what he was born to do, to swim and to retrieve.

That was my “Aha” moment, because it seemed to me that we humans are born to do two things -to love and to create. And what can be more loving and creative than – MOTHERING!

I wrote Happy Mamas as a way of exploring the myriad ways human and animal mamas love their babies over the course of a day and to show how mothering and happiness are inextricably entwined. Any mother will tell you that what she wants most in all the world is for her child to be happy – and that happiness is completely and absolutely related to – GOODNESS – to the evolving of a soul.

Kathleen PelleyKathleen Pelley
Children’s Author, Storyteller, and Speaker

Happy Mamas

Written by Kathleen Pelley and Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper

A lyrical picture book that pays tribute to the universal joys of mothering in the animal and in the human kingdom. Charming illustrations depict all the activities that bring joy to a mama and her baby over the course of a day: feeding her little ones bundles of bamboo shoots, teaching her calf how to trumpet loud a jungle cheer, playing peek a boo, watching her little ones fly from the nest, singing a serenade to the man in the moon, or crooning owl-y lullabies through the deep dark woods. But as the moon glows and the stars shine, what is it that makes all Mamas from desert to jungle, from forest to field, from land to sea happiest by far?


Mamas and babies everywhere will delight in this happy romp – a perfect ode to Motherhood.


Available in English & Spanish!  | Published by the Children’s Welfare League of America (CWLA)



Baby Showers | Mother’s Day | Birthdays | Foster Parent Day
or simply to say “You’re a great mom.”

Story Hour Kit

A downloadable activity guide for Happy Mamas.


Download Story Hour Kit

Hop Along on the Happy Mamas Blog Tour

Monday October 10 2016 The Children’s Book Review

Tour Kick-Off & Giveaway

Monday October 10 2016 Word Spelunking

Happy Mamas Book Review

Tuesday October 11 2016 It’s Fundamental

An Article by Kathleen Pelley

Wednesday October 12 2016 Crafty Moms Share

Happy Mamas Book Review

Tuesday October 18 2016 icefairy’s Treasure Chest

Happy Mamas Book Review

Friday October 21 2016 The Children’s Book Review

Happy Mamas Book Review

Monday October 24 2016 Bumbles and Fairy-Tales

An Article by Kathleen Pelley

Friday October 28 2016 Mel’s Shelves

Happy Mamas Book Review

Wednesday November 2 2016 Curling Up With A Good Book

Interview with Kathleen Pelley

Monday November 7 2016 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Interview with Kathleen Pelley

Tuesday November 8 2016 The Fairview Review

Happy Mamas Book Review

Wednesday November 9 2016 Inspired by Savannah

Finding Inspiration:

Finding Happiness:

Words From Kathleen:

Not only am I an author, but for more than 20 years I have been storytelling at an inner city school in Denver, and over that time, I have witnessed the truth of world literacy expert Mem Fox’s words from her book Reading Magic:

“I believe reading aloud cures pretty much everything from warts to global warming.”

Because when we read aloud GOOD books to our children, we are feeding their hearts and their souls with hope and joy, courage and compassion, wisdom and wonder – all they need to become our future heroes and leaders. In our current fast paced digital culture, it is more important than ever to take time every day for reading aloud to your child – no matter his or her age, because it gives both adult and child time to pause and ponder, it fosters a love of language, a sense of wonder, and improves listening skills.

So, I invite you to explore some of my favorite picture books – some are Readalouds – you can hear me narrate the story as you view the illustrations, and some are StoryCasts – audio only.  You can also access accompanying activity guides for many of these picture books. Enjoy and share!

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