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Havasu woman authors children’s book

December 27, 2018

Joy Smith of Lake Havasu City has published a short book with a long title that carries a weighty message.

“The Little Mountain Goat Who Was Afraid of High Places” is a children’s book written by Smith. Richly illustrated by Christine Erwin, the self-published book is a story about a young mountain goat who struggles to get his footing in the high reaches of the craggy Rocky Mountains.

Young Sim is forced to face his own fears while weathering quite a bit of bullying. His parents offer firm support, but Sim must develop faith to overcome his many obstacles. He also has to learn to trust his specially-designed hooves that allow him to climb steep mountainsides without slipping.

“The Little Mountain Goat” has religious overtones, but they are subtle and support Sim’s story in the right way. In fact, the book would feel a little empty without the references to a Creator as Sim discovers his faith in himself as well as a Higher Power.

While the book is new, the story is not. Smith said she penned it 30 years ago. It wasn’t until she connected to the Boise, Idaho-based artist Erwin that her book sprang to life.

“I wrote the story more than 30 years ago when my grandson was in first grade,” Smith said. “I went to his school to read it to his class, but they put me in the auditorium and I read it to the whole school,” Smith smiled. At the time, she wasn’t happy with her story’s ending, so she asked the students for suggestions. Based on their input, she forged a new ending.

Still, it took 30 years before Smith’s story became a book. She added questions in the final pages to spur family discussions about faith in one’s self, the importance of saying “I’m sorry” and the effects of bullying.

“With the questions, I’m hoping if children are suffering secretly, it would come out during family discussions,” Smith said.

The book retails for $12.95 and is available on Amazon. It is ideal for read-aloud story time for age five to 10. Young readers age seven to 10 can also enjoy “The Little Mountain Goat,” Smith said.

This is not Smith’s first publishing venture. She wrote “The Chaplain is In” about working as a chaplain with hospice and hospital patients. She has also written “Why Not Make the Trip Worthwhile?” It is a collection of her faith-based essays that were previously published.

Smith is a certified chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. She founded Havasu’s NAMI chapter, which serves several dozen area residents who are affected by mental health issues. She is also a member of a team of chaplains that serve Havasu Regional Medical Center.

For details, contact Smith at www.healing-with-joy.com.

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