Fox Chapel author earns prize for her children’s book, ‘Brave Buddy’

Fox Chapel native Chris Yukevich has hundreds of children’s books.

“When I was a little girl, my father would read us picture books before we went to sleep. I associate that with a wonderful time, ”Yukevich said.

Yukevich has authored and self-published numerous books, calling it her “passion.”

Her most recent children’s book, “Brave Buddy,” was named a 2022 Next Generation Book Awards finalist in two best indie book categories – best illustrator and best animals / pets – by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group.

“When I found out I was recognized, I was stunned because I’ve written a lot of books and hasn’t won,” Yukevich said.

Yukevich’s love of nature and her late cat, Tigger, inspired her to write “Brave Buddy,” a picture book about an abandoned cat named Buddy who is left to fend for himself in the woods. Another of her cats, Little Ruthie, died just a few weeks ago. She was a stray and 14.

“‘ Brave Buddy ’is a much-needed picture book for children to understand the special way of relating to a stray cat,” Yukevich said. “Children naturally want to run up to a cat, pick up the cat and cuddle. For a cat that’s been on its own, this may be too much, too soon. In “Brave Buddy,” the little girl learns to take cues from Buddy and slowly a trust and love grows between them. ”

Yukevich was to be honored at a gala June 24 in Washington, DC, at the Mayflower Hotel, coinciding with the American Library Association Annual Conference.

Yukevich graduated from The Ellis School and Vasser College.

“I was raised a few miles away from where I live now. I live among the trees. Fox Chapel Manor feels like home to me. ”

“People say you write what you read, and, while I majored in English in college, I actually don’t read adult books,” said Yukevich, 67, a former elementary school teacher, life coach, Realtor and entrepreneur.

Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

Fox Chapel resident Chris Yukevich has written several children’s books and recently was recognized for “Brave Buddy,” the story of an abandoned feline found in the woods.

British illustrator Sholto Walker, who lives in a village near Bath in the West of England, had collaborated with Yukevich on “I Don’t Want to Make My Bed,” and Yukevich asked him to illustrate “Brave Buddy.”

“We had successfully worked together before and had developed a good rapport. I could see some great illustration possibilities in this new project, so it was an easy decision to say yes, ”Walker said.

Yukevich has three grown children and eight grandchildren.

“The recognition is very exciting, a comfort, and it gives me a mission,” she said.

Yukevich said her future plans include editing and focusing on her writing.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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