The Story Behind Kathryn the Grape

The idea for Kathryn the Grape to be an illustrated book character originally came from Kathryn Cloward’s mother, Mary. In 1999, Mary shared with her daughter a desire to write a book centered on a character named Kathryn the Grape — the grade-school nickname Kathryn affectionately acquired from her softball coach, the late Nello “Mr. P” Pierozzi. At age 11, Kathryn welcomed the fitting moniker, a fun adaptation of Catherine the Great, because she loved the color purple and wore it every day. Although mother and daughter had discussions about bringing the stories of Kathryn the Grape to life, the momentum wasn’t there initially; it simply wasn’t the right time.

It wasn’t until January 2009, when Kathryn experienced significant life changes, that the messages of and purpose for Kathryn the Grape became clear. It was during this time that Kathryn started to really accept and love all of the things that made her unique. After being awakened at 3 a.m. a few days in a row with the message “get up and start writing Kathryn the Grape” flowing through her mind, Kathryn decided to do just that — get up and start writing. The more she wrote, the more she was inspired with purpose to be a messenger of love through stories and songs to help her son and people of all ages love and accept what makes them unique.

Every story Kathryn creates and writes includes experiences from her own life. She is intentional about simplifying life lessons she has learned into written and visual experiences all ages can easily understand and enjoy. Then, Kathryn takes the lessons taught through her book series and she writes songs to accompany them. Each Kathryn the Grape Affirmation Series book includes a special “tool” of self-awareness and self-love for readers to use throughout their lives.

Scroll through to see photos of some of the real people who are characters in the Kathryn the Grape series!

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