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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.”

Finding Inspiration:

Finding Happiness: