Retired VUSD teacher pens children’s book based on family dog’s adoption story

For nearly 30 years, Barry Shein, taught Visalia’s children. Now retired, Shein is focusing his efforts on teaching the next generation of children about love, compassion, and belonging through his new children’s book, My Name is Brandan. 

My Name Is Brandan is Shein’s debut book that was inspired by the real-life adoption story of his family’s beloved dog, Brandan. The book is charming readers of all ages with its colorful illustrations and the entertaining true tale of Brandan’s adoption.

“After we returned from a trip, we decided to adopt a dog. My wife, Nancy, wanted a small dog, and I was OK with that. We went to PetsMart in Visalia on a Saturday morning in October 2009 to see the dogs that were available for adoption,” Shein said.

Shein recalls that all the dogs in the adoption center were barking, except a small white Havanese. He and his wife Nancy Shein, a retired Visalia Unified guidance counselor, took the Havanese for a walk and quickly fell in love, agreeing they were going to adopt him and rename him Brandan. Shein noticed their new furry family member was immediately fond of his wife.

“He attached himself to Nancy right away, but always checked in with me to see if I was OK with whatever he was doing,” Shein said.

As a retired special education teacher, Shein has always felt that reading was the most important academic skill a child could develop. This belief fueled his desire to write a children’s book.

“It all starts at an early age and it’s up to parents and teachers to make sure children are given the proper encouragement to be successful,” Shein said.

Shein looks back fondly on Brandan’s adoption and says Nancy, who currently lives in a memory care facility in Idaho, inspired him to bring this cherished story to life.

“She encouraged me to write about our experience with Brandan…Brandan was a great addition to our family,” Shein shared.

My Name is Brandan is available for purchase on the Blue Balloon Books website and everywhere books are sold.

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