Meet The Author





Educator, Playwright,

Lyricist, Speaker, Filmmaker


 Author SissyMarySue is Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser!

                                                     (pictured above with Editor- Hanna Kjeldbjerg>)

                                <<CLICK HERE for SissyMarySue Youtube MUSIC Channel!      

Lifelong Minnesota educator, scholar and "Thought Leader" is also accomplished children’s Author SissyMarySue. She has been widely recognized for her play for learning pedagogy. She has shared best practices with teachers and parents extensively. SissyMarySue a.k.a Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser is highly accomplished too, in teaching youth, Pre-K to 12th grade, as well as teaching / mentoring college students.


SissyMarySue earned an M.A. in Human Development, from the Minneapolis site of St. Mary's University. SissyMarySue has a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Leadership for Change, and with a concentration in Media, Technology and Innovation from Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara, CA) . She was humbled to have received, one scholarship from St. Mary’s University and two from Fielding Graduate University, for her leadership, literary work and communication skills surrounding youth, empathy, equity, and inclusion. She was chosen as a Marie Fielder Fellow -through Fielding Graduate University's Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership and Education.   


SissyMarySue designed and taught a graduate-level class through Hamline University’s Graduate School of Education, surrounding the play-based, learning technique, she originated. She presented countless speeches to educators and members of the business world successfully, as well, about the needs of youth and mankind.

SissyMarySue used her play for learning-pedagogy, to teach from the text of the "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" story, long before it was published. In fact, she fully utilized the interactions, reactions and opinions of students to inform the editing process. Ultimately, the book that was published reflected the students' preferences and learning.     


SissyMarySue/Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser has founded and run two acclaimed education organizations with the intention of serving youth and the greater good for mankind.


SissyMarySue exudes, unbridled passion in equity, teaching, training, speaking and in authorship. Her first children’s book AWARD WINNING (GLOBALLY MINDFUL)

“Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope” received FIVE STAR REVIEWS and SOLD OUT in a multitude of states, at her many Barnes & Noble signings. Since the first book was so well received, SissyMarySue has launched the second book in the series AWARD-WINNING, FIVE STAR “EMPATHY AIRLINES-Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope” Book Two. "Tristy Sparkles-The Teacher and Others who Shine" has a beautifully diverse classroom. It is a new series soon out as well. She just began illustrations for "Dunnigan Bower" about a beloved Black male teacher. This is her third MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) intern she has hosted. She has enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with the college. All of her books are illustrated by students. 

International translations and music production are being accomplished through intern talent, for both books. We have an album and a single out. CLICK HERE


SissyMarySue has a passion to empower through mentoring youth, college-age students and adults. Her books are marketed, recorded, supported and illustrated by the high school and college-age student interns, she mentors. She has devoted her life to youth and in making sure that equity is realized for as many, as possible.


She has served with distinction on many volunteer boards. SissyMarySue leads in all she does with a thoughtful, optimistic, open, welcoming communication style. She speaks extensively about the needs of our youth, humankind, empathy, equity, inclusion, shared humanity, and perseverance.  





Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser began Jelly Beans Creative Learning in 1996. With this organization, she emphasized emotional competence and called upon drama and play-as-learning as tools for development and education. As an educator, Dr. Muhlhauser provided an educational experience that used dramatic activities to facilitate child development, social and emotional growth, and critical thinking. She strongly believes that if youth are given a chance to develop these skills, it's less likely that they will engage in violent and self-destructive behavior. As a business, Jelly Beans expanded to encompass: ages 3-18; keynote speeches; teacher and childcare provider training; a Hamline graduate class; diversity classes; humanitarian-based curriculum development; and a children's book about empathy, set in Tanzania. The mission of Jelly Beans was recommended, endorsed, and written about in twelve regional publications! 


Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser's goal is to offer youth the child/human development they need. She is concerned that kids are playing and interacting less, which is essential for brain development, as well as for acquiring soft skills and obtaining strong language development. Dr. Muhlhauser seeks to provide that element of play to respond to this deficit, using dramatic activities (dramatic play/creative dramatics) to mimic playing.

First, Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser implemented the technique broadly. It was in eight cities concurrently. She taught literature, social studies, science, foreign language, and diversity classes using the technique. Next, Dr. Muhlhauser introduced the ideas and trained as many teachers and caregivers, as I could. She set out to encourage children's confidence, to empower them, and to inform other educators about this technique as a way to enhance any learning topic. 


In 2014, Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser launched "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope", which is set in Tanzania. It features the Barabaig tribe, a community of people that she had the privilege to meet in 2007 when she participated in a clean water project. The book is set in rhyme and communicates a message of empathy. It is also about kindness, resilience, and the power of love. Dr. Muhlhauser believes that we only need to inform youth about world issues to spring them into positive action! She has long relayed an understanding that there are positive implications when our world has emotionally healthy people who can think critically. Dr. Muhlhauser confidently shares-that people who are grounded and stable emotionally are able to make choices from that frame of reference. She shares true critical thinkers are innovators and problem-solvers, and it is imperative to foster these strengths early.  

Sending GREAT JOY, HOPE, LOVE and EMPATHY for our human/world/animal FAMILY! SissyMarySue a.k.a Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser


How SissyMarySue Started...

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2018, Spring


 Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope



Video Conferencing platfrom called CILC hosting five programs based on book "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" and EMPATHY AIRLINES: Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope, Book 2, delivered as a Virtual Author!



Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope, Book 2!"


Artist Sarah Williams  was selected from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and Jacob Peterson (one of the illustrators from the first  book) They collaborated to illustrate the second book in series!!


MUSICAL PLAY of "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" was Fall 2018 & April 2019 

CLICK>Music from PLAY


"TRISTY SPARKLES-The Teacher and Others who Shine"

A book with an inclusive classroom! Click- Description

CLICK HERE for SissyMarySue (Wendy Muhlhauser) HIGH SCHOOL and COLLEGE age youth deliver quality work, with REAL WORLD projects!







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More Info About SissyMarySue

Feb 18, 2021  
Doctoral Dissertation/ProQuest   (Written and Documentary Film)


Publication Description
APA Citation
Muhlhauser, W. J. (2021). Creative Play for Teaching Empathy to Young Children: an Inner Exploration of an Instructor's Process, a Visual and Narrative Journey (Doctoral dissertation, Fielding Graduate University).


Virtual Author

What is Virtual Author you ask?


SissyMarySue content provider PROFILE  Virtual Author gives you the opportunity to invite SissyMarySue into your classroom, school, organization or business anywhere in the world, via Zoom! SissyMarySue will read critically acclaimed, AWARD WINNING "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" LIVE to your class or group! She includes the inspiration for her books, songs, as well as, a question and answer portion! SissyMarySue also elaborates on the Cheetah Conservation and Clean Water efforts. SissyMarySue shares EMPATHY is a means to create peaceful environments, to circumvent bullying, violence and intolerance. You can also invite her for in person! Ask about scholarships!  Link to Programs-HERE                                                                                  



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