LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Flipping through the pages of "The Ant and the Bear" looks like the work of a seasoned author and illustrator team, but the words and pictures on the pages come from emergency room doctor Michael Dodd and his friend, a first-time children's book illustrator, Kathleen Rehner.
"I used to be a teacher at Dunbar actually, and I really loved that, but then I had a baby and I fell in love and I hated the thought of not being with her. Now I have three and I'm like get me out," Rehner joked.
Dodd originally wrote the book nearly three years ago to help his oldest child adjust to sharing mom and dad with siblings.
"I thought I would just be able to share with them, they'd be able to read it -- hopefully learn something from it," Dodd said.
A few days later at church, he mentioned the book to Rehner knowing she was an artist. She had never illustrated a book before but had always hoped to. However, with two little girls and a third on the way, time was an issue.
"Now that I've started this I can't stop," Rehner said "It's literally all I want to do."
Over the next year and a half, she chipped away, bringing Dodd's characters of "Grant the Ant" and "Daisy the Bear" to life.
"One day out of the blue, I get this text, and she's like, 'Hey, take a look at these pictures!'" Dodd said. "And I mean, my jaw hit the floor when I saw what she had done because they were unbelievable."
Now the book is for sale and it seems the timing of it all could not be more perfect. Grant the Ant and Daisy the Bear teaching lessons of selflessness, forgiveness, kindness, and grace. Lessons written about years ago but never more relevant than today.
"It's perfect for right now, so it makes me even more joyful to have it out exactly now," Rehner said
In the true spirit of the book, a portion of proceeds are being donated to a friend in need -- a mother of three recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
"We thought we could use this book as a means to kind of raise support for her, " Dodd said.
Click here to purchase the book.
To see more of Kathleen Rehner's work follow her on Instagram at @kbrehner.