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Print Media: Cat’s curiosity cues learning in book series by Goshen author

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Emily Mishler, of Goshen, has worn many hats/crowns already in life — college student, beauty pageant contestant and entrepreneur. Now let’s add author to the list.

Emily has written four children’s books that feature a cat name Esmè. The cat travels the world seeking adventure, meaning and connection in every space and situation she finds herself. The books, which are geared for first through fourth grades, focus on topics such as character development, cognitive skills, conservation and advocacy.

The cat has a lot of personality and gumption.

The books, which started to appear earlier this year, are published by The Cultivated Group, which is her firm that specializes in business development, nonprofits, creative and brand strategy. The fourth book will be available in October.

It could be just the kind of book that children may be looking for, according to the author. The books come with curriculum guides, PDFs and teaching tools. Pretty neat if kids are in the midst of e-learning.

If you look for Mishler on the front of the book, you won’t find it there. They are written by EM Valentine and that’s a lovely pen name. The name has importance on both sides of her family. “I didn’t want the book to be ‘Pageant, Part II,” she explained. “I didn’t want it about me. I wanted the books to be about Esmè.”

Emily gave a big thanks to Purdue graduate Erin Spencer, who is the illustrator. “She breathes life into the character.”

She also added a sweet thank you to her dad John. Her father was getting chemotherapy and spent time as her editor. He, unfortunately, died earlier this year.

Emily is a graduate of Northridge High School, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame. At Purdue she studied communications and design. During her Boiler time, she was in pageants such as Miss Indiana. She said the pageant chapter of life ended in 2016.

She received a master’s degree in business from N.D. and formed her consulting company.

And she traveled between school and work. In her travels, Emily took a lot of notes and made journal entries about what she saw, people and culture. Those notes are the basis for Esmè. She didn’t know that but it worked out. “I have a big bucket list, but writing a book was not on it,” she said.

Now she sees Esmè as having many lives and many books.

Are you a long-time cat lover? “No,” she said, “I’m allergic to cats. I love the curiosity of cats, their independence. You often hear that curiosity killed the cat. Did it? I don’t think so.”

Emily thinks curiosity is definitely a good trait.

The books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Wal-Mart. Visit the website at

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