Bernadette Peters Shines Spotlight on Stella, Her Favorite Pit Bull

The Broadway powerhouse pours her love of animals into new children's book

Pop Quiz: What breed of dog is most maligned in today’s society?

Bernadette Peters knows the answer (pit bull), but she doesn’t believe that the reputation is deserved. She can say that from experience – the Broadway actress, book author and passionate rescue advocate has lived with a pit bull named Stella for nine years, and in all that time, has only seen sweetness and love (and lots of licking).

“She goes out in the street and see babies –she loves babies – and puppies and she’ll crawl up to them so she doesn’t intimidate them,” Peters tells “She’s a very loving dog. She’s really like a lap dog.”

Peters wanted to do something to change people’s minds about the terriers, and while she was sitting on an airplane one day, she decided that the way to do it would be to write a children’s book.

And sometime over the course of her flight, Peters jotted down the text of her latest children’s book, called Stella Is a Star, about a pit bull who believes that nobody likes her.

Book character Stella (because in real life, Peters’ dog has no idea people are afraid of pit bulls) dresses up in costume and masquerades as a pig who also happens to be a princess. She goes to ballet class with other pigs, wearing a crown so that the pigs will respect her, but it’s only when her crown falls off and her true self is exposed that she realizes people will love her for who she is.

“They’re just so smart, kids. They get the whole idea of pretending to be something you’re not,” Peters says. “The minute you accept your individuality is the minute you can find what your path is.”

In addition to helping pit bulls’ reputations and children’s self-acceptance, Stella Is a Star will help pets in need. Proceeds from the book will go toward Mary Tyler Moore and Peters’ rescue and adoption program, Broadway Barks.

Stella Is a Star is on shelves now.

See more books about animals on
‘Oh My Dog’: Beth Ostrosky Stern’s Guide to Better Dog Parenting
Jill Rappaport’s New Kids’ Book Gives a Cat’s-Eye View of Pets in Need

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