Available in print and as an ebook by Halo Publishing International

a new children's book!


Families come in all shapes and sizes and from every corner of the globe.  There are fathers and mothers and sons and daughters – each of whom is a vital member of the family. And the common bond they all share is…love. A deep love for one another is the glue that holds the family together – the love they all exhibit to one another is through their actions, which speak louder than words.  And it is this “action” that will serve as the beginning of this story.

When Dusty heard the sound of the bulldozers arriving to demolish the old house he and his family had been living in, he knew it was time to take action.  As the sound of the bulldozers grew closer, the dust ball family caught a stiff breeze and floated out an open window, leaving behind the broken toy fort in the basement where they had always lived and hoping to find a new one out in the world. 

The Dust Ball family will have the adventure of a lifetime as they discover a forgotten dollhouse in the attic of a nearby house, which could prove to be a perfect new home.  But they must first meet the family who lives in the house, figure out a way to communicate with them and hope they will be allowed to stay.  Dusty, the Dust Ball and Family is a story of a family – a family the likes of which you have never seen before.  This is a story of love, acceptance and a truly unique friendship, above all. 



Author Edward Pickhardt, Jr. has been very busy visiting schools, libraries and bookstores to promote his new book, and children everywhere are thrilled by exciting and inventive family tale of love, friendship and new beginnings!  Check out our reel to see what he has to say about the process.  Be prepared to "get lost in your imagination" as Edward so eloquently puts it!



Many years ago, author Ed Pickhardt was trying to come up with a bedtime story for his his four-year-old son Chris .  Having read all his son’s children’s books countless times, he wanted to make up a story himself.  As he thought for a moment, a tiny dust ball was blown in on a gust of wind.  That was the moment when Ed came up with  the idea of a dust ball family that got around by floating on air currents.  Thus, the story of Dusty was born



A child’s imagination has no boundaries!  Anything is possible in their world.  When he imagined Dusty’s adventure unfolding, Ed knew that his readers much like his own children would love the idea of a mysterious forgotten dollhouse tucked away in a corner of an attic – the perfect home for a family of dust balls.  It would be a white dollhouse with blue shutters and an outside deck on the second floor.  Elsewhere in the attic, Ed imagined a clutter of furniture and boxes draped in cloth and cobwebs, a bicycle standing beside a cracked mirror, old clothes and some dolls sitting on a couple of folding chairs, setting the scene for Dusty, Esmerelda, Tinker and Treasure to meet the Johnsons.



When Ed first caught a glimpse of illustrator Kim Sponaugle's take on Dusty and his family, he knew right away that she had captured his characters exactly as he had imagined them.  Ed was excited to be working with an accomplished artist/illustrator of children's books who would be able to bring his story to life through images that would compliment the story.  Kim's artwork inspired Ed and helped to motivate him throughout the creative process, adding an imaginative new layer of striking details to the already colorful world inhabited by Dusty and his family.

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