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Local author releases children’s book, ‘Pen Pal Gals’ 

pen pal gals

Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever is written by Paso Robles author Julie Thiessen, (pictured) with illustrations by Vanessa Alexandre.

New children’s book shows kids the importance of friendship, staying connected

– Mascot Books has announced the release of Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever, written by Paso Robles author Julie Thiessen, with illustrations by Vanessa Alexandre.

About the book

It’s summer break! Reese is on her way to vacation at Camp Lake Shore with her family. When Reese meets a new friend, Addie, the two immediately connect and form a lasting friendship.

Swimming, boating, laughing, and soaking up the sun are just a few highlights of their summer vacation. The girls become best friends. When their vacation comes to an end, Reese realizes she may never see Addie again. Determined to stay in touch forever, can Reese and Addie find a way to continue their friendship and share their adventures?

Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever is the story of friendship and determination to stay connected when we are separated by distance. Inspiration for the book came from Thiessen’s daughter, Reese, and her cousin Addie, who are represented as the main characters in the story. “It started with my daughter Reese when she was around 8 or 9,” said Thiessen. “She would see her second cousin at least once a year at an annual family campout we hosted at our lake property. The two were always sad to leave one another but found a way to keep in touch by writing letters back and forth.” Through her tender, heartfelt, and beautifully illustrated story, Thiessen says she hopes kids will realize the value of friendships and relationships and the importance of staying connected when we can’t be together. “Friendships help children develop important life skills. Children with good friends have a sense of belonging and importance — someone to care about and make them feel good,” said Thiessen.

The book has an underlying message as well: There’s always a way, as long as you never give up.

Thiessen also created a Pen Pal Gals stationery package which she sells separately, as a way of inspiring girls to send letters to their friends and loved ones. Thiessen always had a passion for creativity, design, and adventure, but above all, she says she values her lifelong friendships. With her bachelor’s degree in graphic design and the inspiration of her daughter Reese, she created and branded Pen Pal Gals for all to share the gift of an everlasting friendship.

Thiessen lives on the Central Coast of California with her husband, two daughters, and son.

Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever is registered with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, the American Wholesale Book Company, Follett Library Resources, and is available online with the following retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, Mascot Books, Target, and Walmart.

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at