New Children’s Picture Book Teaches Importance of Tolerance

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Author and English Professor Renee Barstack’s new story highlights the importance of problem solving and being tolerant of others

Cover of Renee Barstack's New Children's Book "My Pet Peeve"

"An educational story that promotes the importance of being tolerant of others, “My Pet Peeve” is also a good problem-solving learning tool."

Author Renée Barstack, an English Professor currently specializing in Children’s Literature, has released her debut children’s picture book, “My Pet Peeve.” Encouraged by her college students to publish her own story and inspired by the love for her cat Munchkin, Barstack incorporated life lessons into a beautifully illustrated rhyming story for all ages to enjoy.

The story follows a little girl named Molly who finds a stray kitten in her barn. Molly has always wanted a cat but knows her father would disapprove. In order to convince him to let her keep it, she utilizes problem solving to come up with a solution to keep the kitten she names Munchkin. However, when her father discovers she has the kitten, he demands she give Munchkin away until the kitten does something heroic that permanently changes his mind.

“One day before class, I showed a picture of my adorable Scottish-fold Munchkin kitten to my college students and they said, ‘You should write a book about that cat and call it “My Pet Peeve” since you use that phrase in class when we make a lot of grammar mistakes,’” said Barstack. “I thought about it for a couple of years and then began to write the rhyming words that became the story that led to this book.”

An educational story that promotes the importance of being tolerant of others, “My Pet Peeve” is also a good problem-solving learning tool for children and college students. To learn more, please visit

“My Pet Peeve”
By Renée Barstack
ISBN: 978-1-5245-8280-7 (softcover), 978-1-5245-8279-1 (hardcover)
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and

About the author
An accomplished educator and community member, Dr. Renée Barstack has a doctorate degree in English Education and is a proud recipient of the American Spirit Award by the U.S. Air Force which is the highest award given to civilians. She lives in Phoenix with her three cats, which includes Munchkin, and two tortoises and is currently teaching Children’s Literature at Glendale Community College in Arizona. She already has a sequel in the process called “Pet Peeve Jumps the Wall.”

The illustrator, Mar Fandos, is an artist living in Argentina who has illustrated several other children’s picture books.

Review Copies & Interview Requests:                    
LAVIDGE – Phoenix                        
Lauren Dickerson                    

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