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Tyler's Purple Arm

Amanda Donahue is the author of Tyler’s Purple Arm, a children’s book intended

to teach children the importance of treating everyone with kindness regardless of appearance. Inspired by Donahue’s husband, the story is about a boy with a purple birthmark covering his entire arm. Using rhyme and colorful illustrations, Tyler’s Purple Arm encourages dialogue about how to promote inclusivity and compassion in all environments.

Amanda Donahue’s husband, Tyler, was born with a large, purple, port-wine

stain birthmark on his right arm. Having taught elementary school prior to staying home with our children, paired with spending years at our local library, Donahue realized that a book on birthmarks did not exist. She eagerly began writing “Tyler’s Purple Arm,” based on Tyler’s true story. She wanted it to serve as an uplifting story on skin differences, teaching children about them and focusing on all the incredible things kids with birthmarks can still do.

The SBDC assisted Amanda Donahue in bringing her idea to completion by

helping her create a visually-pleasing website, adding images, links, and teaching her how to do so along the way. She is now proficient in updating her website with new content, utilizing it to both promote her book and in continuing to spread awareness of skin differences.

Tyler’s Purple Arm continues to provide for the Bloomington-Normal Community,

as Donahue and her husband have read the story at a nearby library for a story time

event and have enjoyed speaking at various schools in McLean County. Amanda

Donahue was also able to be a guest speaker at a school’s Young Authors meeting.

They continue adding events to their calendar, including meet-and-greets and will be at a local bookstore in Downtown Bloomington in April. The Donahues will read to children at an after-school program next month to speak on skin differences, bullying, acceptance, and kindness. They hope to reach all the kids in our community and beyond.

Amanda Donahue hopes to reach children across their community and, eventually, worldwide. Tyler’s Purple Arm has reached children in a variety of European countries and even Australia! Tyler’s Purple Arm is available to purchase online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart. You can locate their website:


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