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

Fox Chapel native Chris Jokevich owns hundreds of children’s books.

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

Yukevich has authored and published several books, calling them her “passion”.

Her latest children’s book, “Brave Buddy,” has been shortlisted for the 2022 Next Generation Book Awards in two categories of Best Independent Books – Best Animator and Best Animals/Pets – by the group of independent book publishing professionals.

“When I learned that I was recognized, I was shocked that I had written so many books and had not won them,” said Yukevich.

Yukiewicz’s love of nature and her late cat, Tiger, inspired her to write “Brave Buddy,” a picture book about an abandoned cat named Buddy who is left to fend for herself in the woods. One of her other cats, Little Ruthie, died just a few weeks ago. She was a stray and she was fourteen years old.

“Brave Buddy is an illustrated book that children desperately need to understand the special way about stray cats,” said Jokevich. “Children naturally want to run toward a cat, pick up and cuddle the cat. For cats who have been on their own, this may be too much too soon. In “Brave Buddy,” the young girl learns to take cues from Buddy and slowly grows trust and love between them.

Yukevich was to be honored at a grand ceremony on June 24 in Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Hotel, coinciding with the American Library Association’s annual conference.

Yukevich graduated from Ellis School and Wasser College.

“I grew up a few miles from where I live now. I live among the trees Fox Chapel Manor looks like my home.”

“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.

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Joyce Hans | Tribune review

Fox Chapel resident Chris Jokevich has written several children’s books, most recently being awarded “Brave Buddy,” the story of an abandoned cat found in the woods.

British painter Sholto Walker, who lives in a village near Bath in western England, collaborated with Jokevich on I Don’t Wanna Make My Bed, and Jokevich asked him to illustrate Brave Buddy.

“We’ve worked together successfully before and have developed a good relationship. I could see some great possibilities in this new venture, so it was an easy decision to say yes,” Walker said.

Yukevich has three sons and eight grandchildren.

“Appreciation is so exciting, so comforting, and gives me a mission,” she said.

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

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

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