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I wanted to capture the essence of her spirit - Geneseo author pens book about her disabled daughter

I wanted to capture the essence of her spirit - Geneseo author pens book about her disabled daughter


Ginny Pettit, author, and her daughter Joey Pettit, illustrator, pose with a copy of their book, “Inside Suzie” an imaginative story about the inner feelings of a severely disabled little girl named Suzie, - daughter and sister to the author/illustrator.

GENESEO – A recently-penned children's book will most certainly bring tears to the eyes of readers as it shares the story of a disabled little girl named “Suzie,” told through her mother’s eyes.

The author, Ginny Pettit, is married to Bob Pettit, mother of six children and grandmother of 14. The Pettit’s daughter, Joey Pettit, is the illustrator of “Inside Suzie.”

Ginny Pettit describes her book as “an imaginative story about the inner feelings of a beautiful, severely disabled little girl named Suzie. Although communication is difficult for her, Suzie has been given a very special gift. Her spirit is filled with love, patience, and joy.”

Pettit said she wrote, “Inside Suzie” based on the first 10 years of her daughter’s life.

“I wanted to capture the essence of her spirit,” she said. “She was able to touch our entire extended family with her smile and her cute mannerisms. Although she was never able to communicate verbally, she would often make her needs and wishes known to us through facial expressions and gleeful squeals of excitement of shrieks of dismay.”

She first wrote the book about 10 years ago but didn’t pursue sharing it with others except with family and friends.

”One of my hesitations in pursuing publishing the book was the need for an illustrator. I wanted someone that could capture Suzie’s mannerisms and convey the love that our family felt for her.”

About five years ago, Pettit approached her daughter, Joey Pettit, and asked her to do the drawings.

“Although this would take her a bit out of her comfort zone as a graphic artist, she was willing to take on the project,” her mother said. “I feel she truly made the story come to life with her spot-on illustrations.”

“Many family members have told me that Suzie was instrumental in teaching them how to share their feelings and affection with others,” Pettit said. “Because of her special needs, Suzie was always available to talk to, to hug and to share a smile with.”

“Our daughter Suzie was an important member of our family and taught us all so many life lessons. Over the years we went through a whole gamut of emotions from shock over her diagnosis, to denial, grief and finally acceptance that she was a gift from God, made in His image and truly a blessing.”

Pettit said her hope for the book is that it will be a comfort and encouragement to parents, grandparents, extended families and friends of special needs of children everywhere.

“If this story book helps children and their families to realize the many gifts their disabled classmates possess, perhaps in some way Suzie’s gentle spirit will bring a sense of kindness, compassion and love into the world,” she said. “Suzie passed away in 2014 at the age of 40 and her memory is cherished by all who knew and loved her.”


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