Children’s Book "Stella and the Little Tree" Celebrates an Austin Holiday Tradition to Raise Money for the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation

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Stella and the Little Tree celebrates Austin’s unique holiday tradition of decorating trees along Highway 360, with the goal of raising money for Down syndrome research. The book tells the story of a little tree that is left undecorated year after year, while the other trees receive abundant ornamentation, until a little girl names Stella picks him to decorate.

Illustration from Stella and the Little Tree

Research for Down syndrome could lead to a 15% increase in cognition.

Stella and the Little Tree celebrates Austin’s unique holiday tradition of decorating trees along Highway 360, with the goal of raising money for Down syndrome research. The book tells the story of a little tree that is left undecorated year after year, while the other trees receive abundant ornamentation, until a little girl named Stella picks him to decorate.

The book was written by local Marilyn Cole, a retired elementary school teacher, and illustrated by local Angela Karam, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin. The lovable story is brilliantly illustrated with bright colors and endearing images. Ms. Karam worked to ensure that the characteristics of Austin, Texas were displayed through the illustrations. “My goal was to capture the unique beauty of the Texas Hill Country and its notable cedar trees in my illustrations. I wanted everyone to see how distinctive our Hill Country is and how festive it looks when people decorate the trees along the side of the road.”

The project was funded and initiated by Allie McCann, whose daughter Stella has Down syndrome. The character in the book is based on three year-old Stella, who finds a little, neglected tree by the side of the road to decorate. Mrs. McCann launched the project as a way to raise money for Down syndrome Research. At this point, all profits will go directly to the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, which grants money to researchers that are looking for treatments to help Down syndrome. “I chose the Down Syndrome Research Treatment Foundation because research for Down syndrome is disproportionately underfunded compared to other conditions and research could lead to a 15% increase in cognition, which could make a huge difference in the life of someone with Down syndrome,” explained Mrs. McCann.

The three ladies are pleased to launch the book officially on December 9th, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Austin Children’s Museum on 2nd and Colorado. The book is available for sale through http://www.StellaandtheLittleTree.com and via http://www.Amazon.com.

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Angela Karam
Jones-Dilworth, Inc
512-406-1443
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