Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Local Writes Children's Book

Local healthcare administrator Gerald A. Starr's dog, Penny, who was born with one eye, was the inspiration behind his new children's book, "Penny the One-Eyed Puppy." Written from Penny's point of view, this book explores her positive outlook on life despite her disability. He even brought Penny to his recent book signing at Russo's Books at The Marketplace to meet her fans.

"She thought she was normal. It wasn't until she saw other dogs with two eyes that she realized she was different," Starr says. "She achieved everything the other dogs did, and she never let her handicap slow her down."

Rejected by her former owner, Penny found love and kindness with her new adoptive family where she reached her full potential. This book provides an important message about acceptance and determination. Geared to third and fourth-graders, children can relate to the differences about people through their four-legged friends while reading Penny's life story.

Starr's family friend, Brian Crawford, a senior at Centennial High School, illustrated the book. Through his remarkable drawings, Penny's adventures really come to life.

Starr, a vice president at Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield, has a long and active resume in the healthcare field including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of several hospitals. He began his career as a surgical technician in the United States Air Force. He is a Rotarian and a church volunteer. Married to his wife, Robin, he has two stepchildren as well as two children and five grandchildren from a former marriage. This is his first book to be published.

You can find copies of "Penny the One-Eyed Puppy" at Russo's Books and online at

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