MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — She wrote a children’s book 63 years ago, now at 81 she’s finally publishing it.

Janie Tesch-Cassidy was 18 years old when she wrote “The Purple Teddy Bear.” The story is about a child’s Christmas wish and learning to appreciate what makes us all different.

Even though Teddy Bears come in all different colors today, at one time all teddy bears were brown. No one had ever imagined a bear in another color, especially purple.

“The teddy bear didn’t think anyone loved him and then he found out that he was really loved,” Tesch-Cassidy said at a book signing. “I think a lot of times kids feel that way — that they’re not loved, but they really are.”

Tesch-Cassidy is also a painter. She not only wrote the book, but she’s also the illustrator. The mother of five daughters taught first grade in Buffalo before moving to Plymouth where she still paints and writes.

If that name sounds familiar, Tesch-Cassidy is the mother of former WCCO meteorologist Heather Tesch.

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