BRIDGEPORT, W.Va — “Nugget’s Haircut” by Cathy Bonnstetter was this month’s StoryWalk book selection, a story about Nugget and his best friend Dot, who helps Nugget come to terms with how he looks after going to the groomers.
Cathy Bonnstetter is a writer from Morgantown and published Nugget’s Haircut in 2020 and was the first children’s book she had ever written. Bonnstetter said she had the idea for the book in her head for many years and was based off of two dogs she knew in real life.
“I was and still am a writer, but I’m a professional writer who writes for newspapers, magazines, and things like that. And actually, this book is nonfiction, I don’t have much of an imagination I guess. So I always need a story that’s true and this story Nugget’s Haircut is rooted in something that really happened,” Bonnstetter said.
During the course of the book, we are introduced to Nugget, his best friend and fellow canine Dot and their owner Hope. When Nugget is playing his favorite game fetch, he runs into a briar patch and gets dirty in a puddle of mud.
Because of how difficult and painful it is to get rid of the brambles, Hope takes Nugget and Dot to the groomer, where Nugget loses all of his glorious golden fur.
Now Nugget feels embarrassed and thinks Hope and Dot won’t love him anymore because he no longer looks how he did before. Dot comforts Nugget anyways, and eventually, Nugget feels good enough to come out and play again. Hope scratches Nugget’s newly shaved belly, and says it wasn’t the golden fur they loved about him, it was his golden heart.
Bonnstetter said sometimes she wishes people in real life were as nice to each other as the dogs in her story. “It really can give your child some confidence, to remember such a simple thing,” Bonnstetter said.
Bonnstetter said the book is geared towards children aged four to six years old and tells them that if you have a friend that doesn’t care what you look like, they’re a friend to keep.
This month StoryWalk also received a $3,000 donation from the Sacred Heart Children’s Center, intended to be used for permanent signposts for holding the pages of storybooks along the trail in the Bridgeport City Park.