June 5, 2017 – Melissa Pellicci’s new children’s book, Best Friends Forest, resulted from decades as a life coach and yoga teacher and therapist. She discovered children learn mistrust and stop believing in the world’s positive nature, inducing anxiety, illness, and personal difficulty. The book is her way to help focus on the wonder of nature and the belief that the universe smiles on us.
“Keeping positive beliefs and connection to nature helps make the world a safer, kinder place. We find peacefulness in nature and Best Friends Forest can live in both children’s and adults’ minds, reassuring that extending a loving attitude to those seemingly different, can make things alright again. In today’s divisive and tumultuous world, this message of comfort is extremely important,” Pellicci states.
Pellicci, of Jupiter, Florida, describes the book and Lourdes, its young narrator, as a part of her life’s journey. “Lourdes brings transformation; she IS me and represents my inner child—reminding me, ‘all is OK.’ She guides us our walk through life.” On a whimsical walk in the woods, Lourdes interacts easily with all, uniting them in commonalities. She shares her joy, living in a beautiful forest, where she and her friends find safety and comfort through Mamma Earth and Guardian Angels.
The book’s characters bring emotions and experiences to life: Lourdes represents innocence, the flute playing spider, Cappuccino, represents disability and fear of those “different,” and the talking cat, Spirit, reveals loneliness. Lourdes’ open heart and desire to be friends, transcends rejection and fear and bonds her newfound community. J, her dinner host, represents the benefactor, which many can find, when searching for the right things. Lourdes is hope, trusting her intuition and guidance of African-inspired Mamma Earth to carry her on safe and caring ground.
Best Friends Forest is brightly illustrated by Romanian artist, Alexandra Zgondea, who met Pellicci on a retreat in Peru. They shared a mutual desire: improving the world through children’s storytelling, and the book represents a two-year, long-distance collaboration.
Vibrant illustrations reflect a colorful world blooming around Lourdes, the book’s golden-haired narrator. The trees’ and flowers’ faces warm the pages while comfort foods and cuddly creatures make the book embraceable.
Zgondea, lives in a forest and adds international focus, saying, “In Romania, nature is our life teacher, showing us how to live effortlessly and grow gracefully. Mother Earth is our anti-depressant. As a new mother to a young son, I want him to see a path to happiness and feeling safe with a book like Best Friends Forest.”
Proceeds from the book will help create a foundation to raise and distribute funds for communities to help “Heal neighborhoods, one green space at a time.” Local sponsoring companies will build these parks and playgrounds, bringing the spirit of Best Friends Forest to residents. The first playground is planned in Palm Beach County, and Requests for Proposals will select the contractor to build green forests to unite children worldwide.
Also, Best Friends Forest will interface with non-profit, One Tree Planted; one dollar from each book purchased will plant a tree and begin new, real forests. “We have experienced humanity’s ‘deforestation’,” states Pellicci, “Our Best Friends Forest program will help rebuild communities, creating a template to be replicated worldwide.” A Go Fund Me launch will kick-start the program and a directory to unite people globally to find Best Friends Forest playgrounds.
Best Friends Forest is available in hardcover at $19.99. It is sold online at major retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and by direct download at www.bestfriendsforest.com