Books by Kathleen Macferran


Kathleen Macferran is a facilitator, author, teacher, Certified Trainer and Assessor for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and the owner of Strength of Connection. She has spent much of her life bringing harmony to communities through music, including two decades as a classical music conductor and seven years as a public-school music teacher. Kathleen loves children and believes music and giraffes (the main characters in her children’s books) have much to teach us about interdependent social living. Central to Kathleen’s work is a vision for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. She is committed to co-creating a world where peace replaces violence, love replaces hate, equity replaces inequity, and all people live meaningful lives. She passionately believes safe and inclusive schools have a critical role to play in creating that world. In addition to being a teacher for grades 5-12 and college level classes, Kathleen has decades of experience in school visits including school assemblies, classroom visits and working one on one with students. Kathleen travels and teaches internationally offering facilitation, community building and conflict transformation, using practical skills that lead to reconciliation with ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. She has worked with schools, community groups, businesses, colleges, faith-based communities, hospitals, families, prison inmates, and correctional and law enforcement employees. Kathleen’s website is where her TEDx talks, books, workshops and music can be found.

  • Author of How Giraffe Found Their Hearts and How Giraffes Got Their Ears, children’s story picture books, and
  • Conductor for Giraffe Tales, a children’s CD setting these stories to music
  • Co-author with Jared Finkelstein of Choice: A field guide for navigating the polarization of our world and living interdependently
  • Certified Trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC)
  • TEDxTalks: Houses of Healing, TEDxMonroe Correctional Complex; The Art of Listening, TEDxRainier; Fearless Women, TedxSeattle
  • Conductor on multiple Rainier Chamber Winds classical music recordings


Giraffe Tales is a two-book series of beautifully illustrated children’s picture story books that are also set to music and narrated in the digital ePub editions. Giraffes, one of the land animals with the largest hearts, are sometimes referred to as symbols of Nonviolent Communication since our hearts are where we hold the feelings and needs we most cherish. In How Giraffe’s Got Their Ears, the giraffes find joy when they are able to hear the beautiful feelings and needs in all hearts, in other words, when they are able to empathize with each other. How Giraffe’s Found Their Hearts is a story of the importance of being connected to our own hearts so we can live from our own values and joy.

Teacher Guides coming soon!

How Giraffes Got Their Ears

Story by Kathleen Macferran

Illustrations by Kenneth Schrag
Genre: Picture Story Book
Audience: Ages 4-8
Trim Size: 8”x8”
Page Count: 42 Pages
LCCN: 2019940394
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0991174751
On-sale Date: 12/2020
Softcover ISBN: 978-1735789101
On-sale Date: 11/2021
Digital: Mobi; Epub includes music and narration
Retail: $20 / $9.99 USD

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon | Kindle | iBooks

Long, long ago, yet not so far away, when Animal Maker was creating giraffes, they loved all parts of their bodies except their ears. Their ears heard so many things that it was hard to focus on what was most important to hear. Animal Maker let them try out a variety of ears, including mouse ears and elephant ears. Finally, Animal Maker made a pair of ears that giraffes loved. These special ears helped giraffes hear the beauty in all hearts, even when the beauty was hidden.

How Giraffes Found Their Hearts

Story by Kathleen Macferran

Illustrations by Kenneth Schrag
Genre: Picture Story Book
Audience: Ages 4-8
Trim Size: 8”x8”
Page Count: 52 Pages
LCCN: 2019940395
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0991174744
On-sale Date: 11/2020
Softcover ISBN: 978-1735789170
On-sale Date: 11/2021
Digital: Mobi; Epub includes music and narration
Retail: $20 / $9.99 USD

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon | Kindle | iBooks

Long, long ago yet not so far away, Jordan Giraffe was searching for something to fill the hollow, empty space in her chest. Acting on the advice of her friends in nature, Jordan tries to fill her chest with carrots, stars, and pond water. After several unsatisfying attempts, Jordan hears the song of a young boy and follows the sound until she meets him. The boy helps Jordan hear the song inside herself, and in doing so, she discovers her own heart, the very thing she was searching for all along. 


“Both of these books are beautiful stories about the amazing giraffes. Whimsically written and illustrated, your heart will warm. In How Giraffes Got Their Ears, the Giraffes were unhappy with their ears – they heard every single sound far and wide yet couldn’t hear the other Giraffes trying to talk to them. They went to the Animal Maker to see if he could change their ears. After trying out elephant and mice ears and finding out they weren’t the right fit the Animal Maker came up with something just for them. Their new ears allowed them to hear each other as well as all the beauty in the world – they were perfect!

Then we have How Giraffes Found Their Hearts. In this wonderful tale we follow Jordan Giraffe. Jordan wishes he had something to fill his chest and goes on the hunt to find the perfect fit. He tries carrots and stars and even pond water but nothing is the perfect fit. One day he hears a little boy singing and the little boy explains that when you sing your heart expands. All of a sudden Jordan hears his own song and is amazed!

The illustrations that bring these stories together are phenomenal. Both stories are magical and ones children will thoroughly enjoy.”

Debbie Cooper, Future Bookworms

Choice: A field guide for navigating the polarization of our world and living interdependently

Text by Kathleen Macferran &  Jared Finkelstein

Icon Design by Nikki Cole Creative
LCCN 2019940392
Softcover ISBN 978-0999120064
Trim Size: 4”x6”
Page Count: 168 Pages
On-sale Date: 9/2020
Retail: $14.99 USD
Mobi & Epub On-sale Date: 10/2020
Retail: $9.99 USD

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon | Kindle | Kobo | iBooks 

Choice would be of benefit to individuals, community leaders, city councils, undergraduate and community colleges, and organizations in their work with conflict resolution, more effective communication, decision-making, etc. because:

  • it is non-directive and invites groups to engage with questions and discern values
  • it invites rigorous study, self-discernment, debate
  • the reflections are applicable to any life situation
  • it fits comfortably with practical/secular, modern philosophy and spiritual lenses
  • it can be a bridge between theories from many disciplines and application. 
  • designed for seminar study, to look at one differentiation and discuss it deeply

This non-fiction pocket book is about creating a reflective space where the reader can explore choices and philosophical perspectives that go beyond right and wrong and into the realm of interdependent relationship. Based upon the key differentiations and principles of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, this book provides a rigorous investigation of the life-serving motivation embedded in concepts which sometimes appear as polar opposites. Through differentiation and nuanced exploration of these concepts, light is shed on the life-serving purpose at both ends of a seeming continuum between ideas. Readers are invited to apply on a personal level a consciousness that leads to self-responsibility, connection and collaboration.


Jared Finkelstein is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication who believes that in a connected world what’s essential is the quality of our connection.  As a consultant and trainer he specializes in supporting people and communities to make choices that transform separation and misunderstanding into connection and collaboration. Jared is devoted to the idea of intergenerational interdependence.  In organizations, schools, homes, and camps, he brings the practice of Nonviolent Communication as a strategy to explore how to fine tune the qualities of connection in all our relationships, and for everyone’s benefi

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