Life can be complex, but a local teacher's message about life is simple:
Look at life as a tree. There are many different pathways to take. You should trust your gut and use wise decisions while making your climb, and hopefully it will lead you to happiness.
It's advice Kelly Kovacs Pascarella, new mother of a 5-month-old boy, always knew she would want to pass along to her child, so she made it the focus of her first children's book, The Climbing Tree.
"It's a positive story teaching people to follow their heart," Kelly said. "You do have power over your decisions and where you end up."
Having a love for poetry, the fourth-grade teacher wrote the story as a long poem.
"It's timeless and could be shared with people of any age. Kids might enjoy it for the pictures and adults like it for the message," she said.
Along with being a new mother and a teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Mt. Lebanon, Kelly is the wife of an Upper St. Clair volunteer firefighter, Joe Pascarella. They live in Upper St. Clair.
The book's illustrator also works at Lincoln Elementary; Jill Majestic is the art teacher. Jill lives in Peters Township.
Kelly hopes to write more poetry-based books in the future—more children's books and hopefully, one day, a young-adult series, she said.