Fox Chapel author wins award for children’s book, ‘Brave Buddy’

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

“When I was little, my dad used to read picture books to us before we went to bed. I associate that with having a wonderful time,” Yukevich said.

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

His latest children’s book, “Brave Buddy”, was named a 2022 Next Generation Book Awards finalist in two top independent 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 wrote a lot of books and didn’t win,” 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 must fend for herself in the woods. Another of her cats, Little Ruthie, died just a few weeks ago. She was a wanderer and was 14 years old.

“‘Brave Buddy’ is a must-have picture book for kids to understand the special way of dealing with a stray cat,” Yukevich said. “Children naturally want to run to a cat, pick it up and cuddle it. For a cat that has been alone, it may be too much, too soon. In ‘Brave Buddy’, the little girl learns to be inspired by Buddy and slowly, a trust and love grows between them.

Yukevich was to be honored at a June 24 gala in Washington, DC, at the Mayflower Hotel, coinciding with the American Library Association’s annual conference.

Yukevich graduated from the Ellis School and Vasser College.

“I grew up a few miles from where I live now. I live among the trees. Fox Chapel Manor makes me feel like home.

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

Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

Fox Chapel resident Chris Yukevich has written several children’s books and was recently awarded 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 worked together successfully before and had developed a good relationship. I could see great illustration possibilities in this new project, so it was an easy decision to say yes,” Walker said.

Yukevich has three adult children and eight grandchildren.

“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 editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, [email protected] or via Twitter .