Children's book championing wildlife protection a finalist at BookCon's "The Spark"

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MAHWAH, N.J. - s4story -- "The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal" chapter book, designed for children 6-9, won a finalist distinction at "The Spark: A Literary Event for Writers and Poets" at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York earlier this month. The event was sponsored by IngramSpark and BookLife by Publishers Weekly. Reading a passage from the Downtown Stage, award-winning writer Margaret Lepera had an opportunity to relay the essence and spirit of the story for those in attendance, tapping into its themes of mindfulness, positive thinking, and compassion.

The book is a sweet, heartfelt story of an 8-day old baby seal pup who tumbles down the side of a big hill in a gust of icy wind, and becomes lost after being separated from his brother. A mini hero's journey, the pup struggles to find his way home, even though he feels small and unsure of himself as a baby just learning to move his flippers. Over the course of one day, Spencer must learn to make sense of all the strange new experiences he encounters, and go where his heart guides him – reminding himself of his Mother's loving, encouraging words to him as he does so.

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Spencer meets both friend and foe in his attempts to reunite with his family – including a hunter who is after his beautiful white fur coat, and a plucky young girl who stands up to this bully, to protect Spencer. After all that happens, Spencer learns many lessons and gains a stronger sense of self. But he and his allies must act quickly – because the same wind that blew him down the big hill is starting to wipe away the last of the seal tracks in the snow where he and his brother last played together – which is the only way he can find his way home.

"I'm thrilled to have such a positive reception to the book," says the Lepera. "This is a heartwarming story of love, friendship and courage. I believe children can relate to the many trials Spencer faces when lost. He must trust his inner voice to lead him where he needs to go, determine who to trust, and who not to, based on his intuition. This culminates in his learning the most important life lesson of all: That love surrounds him, always."

Lepera has crafted stories for a variety of audiences throughout her career. She hopes this book will inspire children to see the world from their own unique points of view, and also provide the perspective of offering kindness to all sentient beings.

"The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal" is now available in both print and ebook versions (,,,

Source: Margaret Lepera Communications
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