Sitting_pretty.jpgAn inspirational story.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is delighted to announce the publication of Mogie: The Heart of the House, a picture book by award-winning author Kathi Appelt and illustrator Marc Rosenthal, in June 2014. Mogie tells the true story of an extraordinary dog at Ronald McDonald House Houston who has comforted thousands of children and families from all over the world.

Mogie is a rambunctious, rule-breaking Labradoodle, unsuited for jobs like service dog or search and rescue. But after he broke the rules and wandered into a very special house in the middle of the big city, his job became clear. Mogie has the uncanny ability to know exactly who needs him and exactly what they need—from playing fetch with a kid who needs to play fetch to sitting quietly beside a boy who just needs a pal. Now Mogie, the dog that didn’t seem good enough, is making a big difference in the lives of seriously ill children. Mogie is a heartwarming story about finding your place in the world and lending a paw to those who need it most.

“To watch Mogie is to watch a dog with a sixth sense,” says Kathi Appelt. “He intuitively knows when he needs to curl up and rest his head in a child’s lap, or when to be a clown with a kid who needs a belly laugh. He’s one truly remarkable pup.” The book is published in conjunction with Ronald McDonald House Houston, a charitable organization that provides a place to stay for families with critically ill children who are receiving treatment. For its participation and support, the Ronald McDonald House will receive a share of the proceeds from sales of this book.

“The heart and soul that Mogie brings to Ronald McDonald House Houston is absolutely incredible,” said Leslie Bourne, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Houston. “His presence truly makes our House a home for the thousands of families that pass through our doors. We are thrilled to share Mogie’s story with children everywhere.”

The book will be edited by Caitlyn Dlouhy, Vice President and Editorial Director of Atheneum Books for Young Readers, who acquired it via Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties. “I’ve had to choke back tears when describing to others Mogie’s effect on seriously ill kids who need some puppy love. He’s a marvel, and Kathi and Marc use just the right blend of the humorous and the wistful to bring him to life on the page,” Dlouhy said.