Chris Pine to Publish Debut Children’s Book That He Hopes ‘Resonates With the Child in All of Us’ (Exclusive)

The picture book, about an unlikely friendship between a dog and a squirrel, will hit shelves this fall

<p>Patrick J. Adams; Chuck Groenink/Sophie Erb</p> Chris Pine and the cover of

Patrick J. Adams; Chuck Groenink/Sophie Erb

Chris Pine and the cover of 'When Digz the Dog Met Zurl the Squirrel'

Chris Pine has a new story to share with young readers this year.

The actor, 43, announced exclusively with PEOPLE that he will publish his debut children’s book this fall. When Digz the Dog Met Zurl the Squirrel, will be published by Flamingo Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.

“I love books, I love reading,” Pine says in a statement shared with PEOPLE. “And I owe this love to my parents: sitting curled in my dad’s arm as he read The Wind and the Willows for the umpteenth time; listening to my mom pick words out of the air to create a bespoke story just for me as I faded off into snooze town.”

<p>Chuck Groenink/Sophie Erb</p> 'When Digz the Dog Met Zurl the Squirrel' by Chris Pine and illustrated by Chuck Groenink

Chuck Groenink/Sophie Erb

'When Digz the Dog Met Zurl the Squirrel' by Chris Pine and illustrated by Chuck Groenink

The book, which features illustrations from Chuck Groenink, tells of the friendship between two unlikely pals: Digz the Dog and Zurl the Squirrel. Both animals feel that they are the rightful rulers of Ms. Pincher’s garden, and start a “backyard turf war” because they think they can’t be friends, per the book’s description.

Both animals, however, soon come to see that they might not be so different from one another after all.

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Pine’s childhood love of literature helped inspire the story, the actor says.

“My desire was to make a beautiful something that reminded me of the classics with which I grew up; to tell a simple tale, made up of delicious words and cuddle-worthy images that, hopefully, resonates with the child in all of us,” he continues.

<p>Patrick J. Adams</p> Chris Pine

Patrick J. Adams

Chris Pine

Pine has a busy year ahead of him, aside from the publication of his book. His directorial debut, Poolman, hits theaters on May 10; Pine co-stars in the film as well, alongside Annette Bening and Danny DeVito. Pine also voices a character in the animated film Wish, now streaming on Disney +.

Related: Chris Pine — with a Beard and Long Hair! — Seen Smiling on the Set of His Directorial Debut

His picture book marks a new chapter for the star.

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“I have long been a fan of Chris’ work as an actor,” says Margaret Anastas, Vice President and Publisher of Flamingo Books and Creative Artists Agency. “I’m thrilled and honored to take his signature wit and tremendous heart to readers everywhere with the message that, if we can keep our minds open, we stand to gain incredible friendships and experiences.”

When Digz the Dog Met Zurl the Squirrel will be published on Oct. 8 and is now available for preorder.

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