PARIS, Ill. (WCIA) — Paris Union School District Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Larson recently announced the publication of a new children’s book, written by fourth-grade teacher Marie Wimsett.

“Herbert the Edgy Hedgie” is a heartwarming story about friendship and perseverance in the face of adversity. It follows a hedgehog named following Herbert who is feeling overwhelmed by the troubles of the day. With the help of his true friend Sasha and the inspiration from a beloved teacher, Herbert is able to turn his troubles into a positive outcome and save the day.

Wimsett said the idea for the book was sparked by a hedgehog emoji she sent to co-author Tara Elmore, to which she responded, “He’s so edgy!” The story’s basis was written that evening over text messages.

“I love the story because it lets readers know it’s perfectly okay to have a bad day,” Wimsett said. “If our creation can bring a smile or a giggle to a reader, then I’m a happy girl.”

Wimsett, a former winner of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, wrote the book with Elmore and her son-in-law Jesse Roberts, who also illustrated the book.

“Mrs. Wimsett is a shining example of the outstanding staff we have here at Paris Union School
District,” Dr. Larson said. “Her dedication to her students and her ability to inspire creativity and perseverance is truly remarkable. We are so proud to have her as a member of our school community.”

The school district will host book signings for students in the near future as a way to promote careers in literacy and make learning fun.