Reming Axelson felt different from her classmates after her parents' divorce.
She told her "bonus mom," Olivia Larson, that she felt like a black dot in a sea of blue dots at school. To help her cope, Larson took a Sharpie and put a black dot on the back of both their hands — to remind Reming that she wasn't alone.
To help other kids who felt different because their parents divorced, the Richfield 8-year-old wrote "The Purple Dot" — a children's book, released earlier this month, that shows all types of families in the form of dots and shapes. The book, written with the help of her dad, Chris Axelson, and Larson, can be purchased on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Kindle.
The book follows the story of a purple dot, who transforms into different colors following the divorce of its parents (red and blue squares). The dot feels lonely surrounded by other purple dots — and longs to be back to that color.
But soon it meets other types of dots who come from different types of families. There are the dots with single parents, same-sex parents, dots who are raised by their grandparents and so on. Finally, the dot realizes it's OK to change colors and that there are many non-purple dots out there.
The story represents Reming's journey with coping with her parents' divorce and can help other children, too, her father said.
"Before Olivia and I moved in and became a couple, Reming was a blue dot when she stayed with me. With her mom she was red," Axelson said. "Now that she has an official step-parent [Olivia] she's a yellow dot."
Larson, who is a clinical psychologist, said the book can help other children who are finding it difficult to fit in.
"It's so relatable: Everyone feels different at some point in their life," Larson said. "We thought how cool would it be if we took this concept of dots and made it for kids?"
So far they have sold 75 copies, Axelson said.
"When I first saw the book, I ran into my room and screeched into my pillow. I was really happy," Reming said.
"It's been two years in the making for Reming to understand these family relationships," Larson said. "For her to create this book to help other kids, it gives parents a tool to start that conversation or answer some questions."
Reming will have a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 18 at Protagonist Kitchen and Bar, 6601 Lyndale Av. S., Richfield. For every book purchased, one will be donated to Minnesota schools.
With the publication of her first book, Reming said her writing career isn't over. In fact, she has another book in the works.
"I make little paper books at home," she said. "I'm making another book this weekend; it's going to be fun facts about animals."