About The Book
“Do you ever wonder where the animals go when they leave this world?”
Nearly eight years ago after a family friend’s beloved German shepherd died, we were inspired to write a picture book which could be given to anyone who was grieving for a pet who had passed away. Based on our shared experience as siblings growing up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge with the pets that we loved, our story begins with two young children standing on a hillside under a weeping cherry tree where their dog, Indiana, has just been laid to rest. Missing Indy and wondering where he might be, the children imagine a special ark that takes them to a wondrous place where the love they have for their dog “shines forever”.
The journey from idea to publication has been an incredible adventure, and we feel blessed to have found a talented and kind illustrator in Lucy Koo along the way. The dream of sharing our story with the world came true when publisher Robert Pruett decided to give us a chance and release our book through Belle Isle Books. His team in Richmond, VA at Brandylane Publishing has been indispensable in making The Great Big Ark in the Sky everything we hoped it would be.
Thank you for visiting our website, and may God bless you and your family, friends and furry pals, both here and beyond.
—Liz Ballard Hamm and Andrew Ballard, 2019