Former Post Reporter Pens Children’s Book

Danielle Gillespie-Hallinan Will Read and Sign Copies at Katie O’Neill’s Fine Art Studio

By ISABELLA KOZ | Contributing Writer

From a young age, Danielle Gillespie-Hallinan has had a continuous passion for writing—including a stint as a Palisadian-Post reporter. Though her interest has since shifted from journalism to creative writing, she has never drifted away from her love of creating content.

Gillespie-Hallinan was covering the opening of Katie O’Neill’s Fine Art Studio on Via De La Paz when she decided that she wanted to write her own book. Gillespie-Hallinan asked O’Neill if she would be willing to teach her how to paint and draw with the goal of creating her first book, “Moose Mischief: A Pancake Surprise!” O’Neill happily agreed, and the work began from there.

“The most challenging part in the process was illustrating the book,” Gillespie-Hallinan told the Post after the book was published. “I had decided I wanted to illustrate the book myself, but I knew nothing about art … I honestly could not have completed this book without [Katie’s] guidance, instruction and encouragement.”

The plot follows a boy named Cooper, a character based on her son, Gus King, who wants to make his mom breakfast for her birthday. Luckily, his friend moose offers to help, claiming that he’s an amazing chef. Later in the book, the kids will find out if Cooper’s mom is happy about what awaits her in the kitchen.

Growing up, Gillespie-Hallinan was always encouraged by her mother and grandma to use her imagination and to follow her dreams. While attending college, Gillespie-Hallinan worked at a daycare, where she fell in love with reading to kids at story time.

Gillespie-Hallinan’s first children’s book

Drawing on these inspirations, Gillespie-Hallinan’s husband suggested that she become a children’s book writer. She became enthralled with the thought, and decided to pursue it from then on.

Gillespie-Hallinan always envisioned herself writing a book at some point in her life, and shared the dream with her grandma, who was a librarian.

“Before she passed away in 2007, she made me promise to dedicate my first book to her, which I did,” Gillespie-Hallinan shared. “‘Moose Mischief: A Pancake Surprise!’ is written in her honor. She had confidence I would one day write a book.”

Although her book has just recently come out, Gillespie-Hallinan is already in the process of writing and illustrating another Moose Mischief book, which is set to follow Cooper’s vacation in Hawaii.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, Gillespie-Hallinan will read and sign her comedic children’s book, “Moose Mischief: A Pancake Surprise!” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Katie O’Neill’s Fine Art Studio on Via De La Paz.

There, she will talk more about her journey writing her first book, along with doing a read-aloud. At the Sunday event, children in attendance will have a chance to decorate their own chef hats and aprons, and pancakes will be served to the first 50 people.

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