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A Pit Bull On My Pillow: A children's picture book helps debunk pit bull myths

Cathy Klein Nakayama with her pit bull rescue, Callie
Cathy Klein Nakayama with her pit bull rescue, Callie

Pit bulls, who once were the iconic American family dog, have become outcasts of society thanks to unfair stereotyping and misinformed media hype. As a result, pit bulls and pit bull mixes are flooding shelters.

A Pit Bull On My Pillow, a pit bull picture book for children, is on sale now
Courtesy of Cathy Klein Nakayama

Contrary to popular belief, most pits make great family pets. But because of the myths that surround them, the breed is often deemed unadoptable. As a result, pit bulls make up the majority of dogs being killed in shelters -- not because of anything they’ve done, but because of what they look like.

A Pit Bull On My Pillow, a children's picture book, aims to dispel such myths. In its 116 pages, author Cathy Klein Nakayama showcases various pit bulls in sleepy bedtime poses. The book is a cozy and colorful compilation of red noses, blue noses, black pits, spotted pits and more, as well as about a dozen pages at the end on dog care tips and responsible dog ownership -- something the author takes very seriously.

Ms. Nakayama, who is a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, has been rescuing animals for years, only recently becoming active in pit bull rescue. She rescued Callie, a chocolate-colored pit, from death row at a high-kill shelter in South Carolina last year.

Callie, who graces the cover of the picture book snuggled next to the author's rescue bunny, is notorious for her mellow and loving demeanor, says Ms. Nakayama. That same demeanor enabled her to pass the Canine good Citizen exam. Callie now wears her service vest in public to serve as a pit bull ambassador to the world.

As Ms. Nakayama tells it, the picture book effort was two fold: to show children how sweet the breed is and to raise money for pit bull rescue. “I didn’t do this to win a Life Magazine award,” she said.

A percentage of the proceeds from each book purchased will benefit a North Carolina-based pit bull rescue, Carolina Care Bullies. The book retails for $18 on’s “createspace” platform.

The rescue takes $5.43 per book sold while Amazon takes $12.57. What does Ms. Nakayama take? “The joy of teaching people about what darling, sweet, precious souls pit bulls are. And of course to see that more pit bulls make it out of the shelters.”

To purchase a book, please click here.


  • Shelley Bright 5 years ago

    Beautiful job...Reedu!

  • Kristine Bottone- LA Bartender Examiner 5 years ago

    I love it! I hope this book helps people realize there are more truly great pit bulls out there then there are bad ones.

  • Sharon Pet Rescue Examiner 5 years ago

    What a wonderful story!

  • Louisville Pet Rescue Examiner 5 years ago

    This is great! I'm going to send it to Facebook and Twitter.

  • Jen 5 years ago

    Go Cathy! You are so awesome and Miss Callie is such a beautiful breed ambassador!!!

  • The Baltimore Pets Examiner 5 years ago

    Kudos to Ms. Taha for this article and to Ms. Nakayama for her book and efforts to help the dogs. Well done on all fronts. The dogs need thoughtful, honest, caring advocates and have clearly found two in the authors of this article and this book. It is on my Christmas list and will no doubt, be a gift I will give to numerous friends and dog lovers.

  • Megan Drake, Philadelphia Animal Advocate Examiner 5 years ago

    I think I'm going to have to go right out and buy a copy. This is a wonderful way to show the loving nature of pit bulls!

  • Valerie 5 years ago

    I was always a bit uneasy around pits . . . then my daughter got one, then my son. They have become wonderful members of our family! This book (and both of our pits are in it!!!) hopefully will help other see how sweet and loveable these babies are.

  • Aurora 5 years ago

    I'm ordering the book right now! My heart breaks when I think of all the pits that are never given a chance to live a normal, happy life. My daughter has adopted two pitties and they are wonderful companions.

  • author of book, cathy nakayama 5 years ago

    thanks everyone !! it was such a joy making the book and seeing all these precious beloved pit bulls in their loving homes.. if only ALL pit bulls were so lucky.. well, if this book keeps ONE kid from torturing a pit bull later in life, then it was well worth it. all dogs deserve to be beloved, treasured, precious family members. all dogs WANT that. you just have to look into their eyes and you can see that that's what they want.

  • author of book, cathy nakayama 5 years ago

    whoever poured acid on smokey and charlie and left them to die in the desert, if only their parents had showed and read them books like mine when they were little kids and instilled a sense of empathy towards animals at a young age.. i can't help but wonder if they still would have committed these atrocities towards these lovely dogs. parents : teach your kids YOUNG about how good it feels to love and care for an animal.

  • cathy nakayama, book author 5 years ago

    thanks reedu for the article, i love it !!! thanks everyone for buying the book and supporting rescued pibbles !!!

  • Oliver Siodmak 5 years ago

    I had a very difficult time ordering the book from the CreateSpace website (tried using IE on PC and Safari & Firefox on Mac). The checkout process appears to be broken. Author should contact her CreateSpace rep and have them investigate the problem. Don't want people to have problems ordering the book!

  • Connie Lowe 5 years ago

    Thank you for doing a story like this. There just aren't enough! I know Cathy through Facebook and she is an inspiration to myself and others who love animals.

  • Gary 5 years ago

    Thank you

  • cathy nakayama, book author 5 years ago

    please join the book FAN page on facebook. just search the title of the book. then post on the wall if you are having trouble ordering the book from create space please ! thanks, cathy

  • cathy nakayama, book author 5 years ago

    oliver were you able to finally order the book ? anyone having trouble??

  • Bart Peluso 4 years ago

    Cathy is such a sweet person , she sent me an autographed copy for my daughter in law who has the best Pit in the World Cowboy.. Thank you to Cathy for exposing some of the myths about these wondwerful dogs Bart Peluso

  • Willie Wonka 4 years ago

    I am proud to be your friend.
    What an excellent example you have set for everyone !!
    Responsible ownership is the key. We are custodians for these animals. There is no better friend than a well behaved dog.
    Thank You Cathy for a truly inspiring book !!

  • Cathy Nakayama, book author 4 years ago

    update on Callie Pibble, the cover dog for the book :
    Callie received her Delta Society Therapy Dog Certification in March of 2010. we are getting our ducks in a row right now so that we can start working at UNC hospitals in chapel hill , NC soon !!!
    Callie studied her therapy dog training at Paws4Ever in Mebane, NC.

  • Sue 4 years ago

    What a wonderful idea! My 2 pit bull pillow thieves and I thank you!

  • cathy nakayama, book author 4 years ago

    callie and i now see children at UNC hospital, as she is a Delta certified therapy dog now. we really enjoy it and callie is so sweet and precious and the kids love her <3

  • cathy, callie's mom 3 years ago

    please join the facebook page for the book, just search for the book title on facebook.
    at the left under INFO will be links to order the book. there has been intermittent trouble ordering
    but if you wait a day and try again it usually works. thanks for supporting pit bull rescue.

    thanks to all who share a pillow w/ a precious pit bull or three or four.....