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Memory of daughter inspires local art teacher to finish children’s book

Any Profits of “Ostriches Eat Sausages” will go to Jayna Kelley Memorial Foundation
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) - Nearly two and a half years have passed since the tragic deaths of three girl scouts and mom along a Chippewa County road. The troop was picking up trash when a drug-influenced driver went off the road and into the ditch. Among the scouts killed, Jayna Kelley. Jayna’s mom recently finished a children’s book in her daughter’s honor.

“And I had the phrase ‘Ostriches eat Sausages’ stuck in my head for some reason. And I just thought that would make a great children’s book.”

For Robin Kelley, ‘Ostriches Eat Sausages’ is a children’s book nine years in the making. It started when she asked her third grade art class in River Falls for ideas for rhyming animals with food.

“I even have a girl scouts, the caramel delight cookie is in here.”

Now a K-5 teacher at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, Robin takes pride in being both illustrator and author for her book.

“A lot of times the author has some message they want to get out to the world and teach kids something and mine is more Dr. Seuss and it’s just silly. It’s just to enjoy books and learn to read and practice reading or listen to mom and dad at night. And that’s what I used to do with my daughter’s, every single night I would read a book to them and I loved the ones that were run and rhyme. Because it had a flow and talk in a different character’s voice and they loved when I read books to them,” says Kelley.

The loss of her younger daughter Jayna, who was only nine years old, helped inspire Robin to finish the book. Any profits that come from its sale will go to the Jayna Kelley Memorial Foundation to honor Jayna by helping children and their families in the community.

“Anytime I do something in honor of Jayna it makes me happy. I love seeing her picture in the back of the book. I love that once I make profit from this book we are going to contribute to the Jayna Kelley Memorial Foundation and so it’s just another way of giving back. And share something that I love, share my art and just anything that I do like that helps me heal.”

A lasting legacy to honor the memory of her daughter.

“It really has been a fun experience to see it finished and to make it in honor of Jayna in the end has just been wonderful,” adds Kelley.

If you’re looking for a last-minute Easter gift, stop by the Ostriches Eat Sausages Chippewa Falls launch party this Saturday, April 3rd from 1-6 pm near the I-P Hollow Pavilion in the park. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Click HERE to order a copy of the book.

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