Little green men. City-destroying monsters. Ominous humanoids with ill intent.
Many of our culture’s books and movies showcase the dark side of space visitation, but extraterrestrial contact needn’t always be violent and scary. Sometimes alien encounters can bring us earthlings a positive message that really needs to be heard.
Devi Fournier, author of the new children’s book, Peace Polly from Pluto, has found a space visitor kids and adults will be glad they got to know. And on Wednesday, June 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fournier will launch sales of her much-lauded book at the Human Rights Education Institute.
Children and adult readers alike will have an opportunity to meet the author, learn about her inspiration and writing process, and get a signed copy of the book, available for sale at the institute.
Intended for elementary-age readers, the book tells the story of Penelope, a young girl from Earth who befriends a child from another world. Penelope soon learns that there are many unique things about her new friend, Polly, but it is within her highly unusual teeth (which are actually mirrored) where Penelope finds the most meaningful lessons of all.
Proceeds from sales of the book will benefit an anti-bullying program at the Human Rights Education Institute, in collaboration with the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. The book will be available for sale at the institute, as well as online and at area bookstores, such as Hastings.
Fournier, a Coeur d’Alene resident, is a published author and businessperson. But the book has even deeper local roots, as it was illustrated by Ryan Hamm, a student just finishing the eighth grade at Lakes Magnet Middle School, in Coeur d’Alene.
“My greatest ambition is to promote peace in all situations,” Fournier said. “Through embracing our differences as human beings and treating each other with kindness, we create harmony, in which we all benefit.”
Fournier continued, “As Peace Polly says, ˜Everyone has feelings and likes when others are kind to them.””
The uniquely charming story has won praise from readers and critics alike.
Tony Stewart, retired political science professor from North Idaho College, recommended the book, calling it “a powerful story to promote understanding, kindness and peace in a world in great need of civility.”
Sherrie Gahn, principal at Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada, said, “As I read “Peace Polly from Pluto,’ so many life lessons and teachable moments struck me. It is the perfect tale for children of all ages and one that will make a profound impact on teaching kindness to children. I will proudly share this book with my students!”
A former journalist, Fournier was also the founder and co-publisher of Exceed Magazine for teens in Salt Lake City. She is the author of the novel, “The Gift Exchange”; the creator and designer of the Love & Peace Notes accessory line; and a member of the Coeur d’Alene School District’s Anti-Bullying Task Force.
Hamm is a talented artist, having received numerous art awards, including Best of Show for three consecutive years in the Idaho State Duck Stamp Competition, first place in the middle-school category Hayden Library Teen Film Festival and first place in the Panhandle Autism Society Walk-a-thon T-shirt design. Hamm will attend Lake City High School as a freshman in the fall.
The Human Rights Education Institute is located at 414 W. Mullan Rd. in Coeur d’Alene, at the eastern edge of City Park.