Since the publication of David Saltzman’s The Jester Has Lost His Jingle in 1995, numerous educators, medical professionals, children and their families as well as celebrities have praised The Jester for its poignant message: “It’s up to us to make a difference. It’s up to us to care.”

Educators across the country praise The Jester & Pharley Phund’s Literacy & Outreach programs for their ability to ignite interest in reading and caring in children. Students never fail to identify with The Jester’s mission to brighten the lives of others.

Medical professionals applaud The Jester & Pharley Phund’s Smile Cart and Literacy & Outreach programs for the outstanding support they give hospitalized and special-needs children. Ill children and their families enjoy the laughter and hope that The Jester & Pharley Phund brings into their lives on a daily basis.

Celebrities, including authors, actors, community leaders, sports figures and others, enthusiastically support The Jester & Pharley Phund’s efforts to bring joy and hope into the lives of families when they need it most.

Literacy Endorsements

Educators throughout the country endorse The Jester & Pharley Phund for providing exciting ways to motivate students to expand their reading skills.  Educators also praise The Phund for enabling students to help ill and special-needs children.

Praise From Educators

"Our students don't often have the opportunity to help someone less fortunate than themselves. Reading for sick children whom they don't even know was an unfamiliar concept for them, but it gave them the opportunity to exhibit empathy and pride in a job well done."

Susan Balmanno, Principal, Point Fermin Elementary, San Pedro, CA

"Our children now know that they can help others and feel good about it without receiving any sort of reward. The reward, of course, is in improving their reading. This program helps to build character in our students, which so many times seems to be overlooked and taken for granted."

Christine C. Flannery, Principal, Victory Elementary, North Hollywood, CA

"The outreach component of your program has motivated many of our students to perform community service."

Joan Blair, Principal, Nestle Elementary School, Tarzana, CA

"This program reached far into the hearts of our kids and gave them an opportunity to demonstrate what a caring, compassionate person does for others."

Pam Sich, Librarian, Lincoln Elementary School, Long Beach, CA

"This charitable program uniquely promotes both compassion and literacy in students of all ages."

Carol Scully, MacArthur Elementary Home Reading Coordinator, Long Beach, CA

Welcome to Chadbourn Elementary in NC

"I am looking forward to sharing David's story every year with future students. I hope they will embrace your son's message with the same fervor as this year's students."

LeAnn Johnston, 2nd Grade Teacher, Chadbourn Elementary, Chadbourn, NC

Dooley Elementary Group with Studnets with The Jester's Mom

"My students were inspired to meet the Reading Makes A DIfference challenge and one classroom alone amazed everyone by reading more than 50,000 pages! The students in this classtoom have all become motivated readers and are now reading at grade level - thanks to your program. The student who read 6,381 pages, more than any other, is a 5th grader by the name of Rodrigo and he made huge strides in reading as a result of this program. Before the program's start he was reading two-and-a-half grades below grade level and did not have a satisfactory comprehension of English. Rodrigo is now reading above grade level, and his English has improved significantly. I attribute this dramatic improvement to the motivation your program provided."

Julie Nyssen, Principal Dooley Elementary School, Long Beach. CA

"It is unusual for me to select a 'picture' book to read to my class, as fourth graders take great pride in reading 'chapter' books…They laughed and enjoyed the book so much. They marveled at themselves deriving such pleasure from a book void of chapters and filled with vivid illustrations"

Alex C. Seeple, 4th Grade Teacher, Frank C. Havens Elementary, Piedmont, CA

"My professor required that I find a book that could be used in a classroom in more than just a language arts format. When I found The Jester, I was so inspired by its message and the story behind the story that I was able to incorporate it into lessons for everything from history to math."

Heidi Bleitchman, Arts Teacher, Kennedy Middle School, Cupertino, CA

"When a book comes along that caters to children but is not condescending to them, it should be noticed. The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a wondrous book that I not only read to my children but occasionally will read it to myself."

Thomas Kirkpatrick University of Iowa

"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle has inspired the students. They have been cheerful, better friends to others, and have had a better attitude overall. David has taught all of us that each individual has the opportunity to make a difference in the world, beginning with ourselves first."

2nd Grade Teachers Alpert, Jacobs, Grant, Solana Vista School, Solana Beach, CA

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"The Jester & Pharley Phund's Literacy & Outreach Program provides a wonderful way for students to give back to the community."

Delia Gasco, Assistant Principal, Fifteenth Street Elementary, San Pedro, CA

Praise From Students

"Five years ago, Barbara Saltzman came to my elementary school. I was the top reader in my fourth grade class. I finally realized what I did 5 years ago and the importance it was for the children at Miller Children's Hospital. Thank you for educating not only me, but others of elementary school age that in life, there is a silver lining in every cloud. I hope you continue to go on and educate many other children because it truly make a difference."

Annie Pham, 9th grader, Long Beach, CA

"I think The Jester should be in every language so that every kid & adult in the world can read it."

Priscilla R., 4th grader, Telfair Elementary, Pacoima, CA

"The Jester gives me feelings that are happy. If I am sad, I will read this book. It will cheer me up…I will always remember that the laughter is in us."

Bobbie, 2nd grader, Madison, OH

Medical Endorsements

Health and medical professionals throughout the country use the Jester & Pharley’s message and story to help their patients cope with illness and trauma. Day by day, the book and doll help children everywhere laugh instead of cry,

The Jester & Pharley offer something that no other book or characters do:

  • a means of helping them remain positive.
  • a tool to help them stay still during painful or lengthy medical procedures.
  • a way to help them find their jingles.

Praise From The Medical Community

"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a beautifully illustrated and well-written children's book with an engaging manner and important message. The message that we all harbor the potential to rediscover inner joy, no matter how bleak things may at first appear, is a positive and uplifting one...The Jester & Pharley offer support, encouragement, and hope to the children and families we care for. The book will be much valued across the country and beyond."

Gerald R. Koocher, Ph.D., Executive Director, Linda Pollin Institute, Harvard Medical School

"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is just lovely – funny, gentle, and inspiring. It is perfect for our kids while they are in clinic, giving them entertainment and comfort that helps to get them through treatment."

Martha Young, Manager, Patient Education Program Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center

"We’ve been committed to having The Jester Has Lost His Jingle as a primary resource available for that moment when a child needs a special intervention to brighten their day and plant the seed of laughter again. We can utilize this story as an allegory to relate to feelings and thoughts that everyone feels sometimes, and a special book like this is the magic that brings it to life."

Melissa Turgeon, Child-Life Specialist, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital

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“Thank you for your support of CHOC Children’s Hospital. The Jester Has Lost His Jingle books will be used in our Family Resource Center’s gifting library. Each day patients may select one book to keep and take home. They are so excited to receive a brand new book each day and often go home with a library of books. In addition, these books will support our efforts in promoting early literacy. We appreciate all of your hard work in making this donation possible!”

Rose Ovalle, Family Resource Center Coordinator, CHOC Children's, Orange, CA

"Each year, over 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer. We want to distribute copies of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle and Jester & Pharley Dolls to every one of them who enters our hospitals for treatment, to raise their spirits and offer them the hope for a cure."

Robert L. Pannoni, COO & President National Childhood Cancer Foundation

"Laughter is always the best medicine and David Saltzman's The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is the perfect prescription for all of us, children and adults alike."

Art Ulene, M.D. America's Family Doctor

"Humor is truly a healing modality and this book will inspire our patients to laugh. The book is powerful and will greatly help those who feel worried about their first visit to the hospital or are overwhelmed by a new diagnosis. The Jester Has Lost His Jingle brings families together as they read it during their visit and again at home."

Alison Leighton, Child Life Specialist, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover, NH

"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a whimsical story with a poignant message for children whose lives are threatened by despair. It is an allegorical tale of how the author overcame despair with courage and purpose. For those touched by childhood cancer, it will come as no surprise that the Jester's lost jingle is brought to life by a girl with cancer, nor that the lost art of laughing is rediscovered through her resilience."

John N. Lukens, M.D., Former President, The American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

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"This book has such a positive impact on everyone and it fits right in with our literacy program. Most of the time, hospitalized children don't feel like reading, but in this case it becomes healing. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have this gift for our children all the time?"

Wendi Kellaris, Manager, Volunteer Resources, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Praise From Children & Families

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"I really love the way The Jester & Pharley Doll jingles. It makes me laugh. It also makes my sister giggle. I take the Pharley Doll with me to the hospital. I like to hold the doll when I get my spinal taps. The doll and the book make me feel better when I get chemo."

Morgan O'Brien, 9-year-old cancer patient


"When I go to a doctor's appointment, I take out Jester and try to hold him still so I won't make his bells jingle. That means I am going to stay still for my treatments."

Emily Olvera, 10-year-old cancer patient

"Thank you for the Jester Doll. I always sleep with it. It always reminds me to smile and laugh."

Richie Ang, 7-year-old cancer patient

Special Needs Endorsements

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Praise from Counselors, Therapists, and Other Caregivers

Hospice of the Valley Reading Round Up

"The Jester & Pharley are an integral part of our children's grief support program. The children gain a meaningful friend in The Jester; they gradually see hope in their lives and they learn to laugh again."

Sally Adelus, CEO, Hospice of the Valley, San Jose, CA

93rd Street School Students Cheering for Fellow Students

"I personally love the book and Jester Doll. It has comforted many children through grief and loss issues as well as sadness in their lives. It has lifted their spirits and given them hope when they have felt hopeless."

Judy Deutsch, Former Counselor, 93rd Street School, Los Angeles, CA

"Too often a child experiencing a serious injustice to themselves or a member of their family is filled with a variety of emotions from fear of the individual who hurt them to the uncertainty of what will happen next. The Jester & Pharley provide these children with a sense of comfort and a smile."

Kirk J. Albanese, Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department

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"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle has become a potent therapeutic tool here at Richstone. The children who are counseled here are all victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as severe neglect. The spirit of these children is often drained from them, leaving them without hope or joy. Their 'jingle' is lost. The sharing of David's book and the Jester doll has become one of the avenues for the counselors to assist children to discover the healing power of laughter."

Dorothy Courtney, Former Executive Director, Richstone Family Center, Hawthorne, CA

"A fifth grade boy's mother died of a drug overdose and he was taken from his father who abused him while intoxicated. He was placed in a foster home for the first time, and in addition, has had to adjust to a new school and make new friends. He has frequently burst into tears, since he still loves his father in spite of everything and his father has disappeared. I gave him a copy of David's book and he took it home during Thanksgiving vacation and he read it over and over, 'I just couldn't stop reading it,' he said, 'especially the last page where is says that Laughter is hiding inside of you.'"

Lisa Rountree, Counselor, 96th Street School, Los Angeles, CA

Celebrity Endorsements


"David's book gives us a lot to think about. It has certainly done that for me."

Charles Schulz, creator of "Peanuts"


"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a magical story that captures the healing power of laughter."

Carol Burnett, entertainer


"I defy you to read the ending without a smile crossing your face. I should leave such a legacy."

Erma Bombeck, columnist and author

"Thank you for making The Jester Has Lost His Jingle available to those of us who care about the emotional well-being of children. During my school and hospital visits around California, I am able to personally witness how David Saltzman's heart-warming story brings smiles to children for whom life presents myriad challenges. The book as well as David's story inspires people of all ages to live life to the fullest.

As part of my commitment to literacy and children at-risk, I seek out inventive books that teach children a vital self-empowering message. The Jester Has Lost His Jingle provides a warm, inviting way to remind children that no matter what may befall them, laughter always resides inside. I commend your literacy and outreach programs that creatively encourage children to read and help others while simultaneously helping them develop a sense of empathy and building a positive lifetime pattern of reading.

Thank you for bringing David's message to so many children who need an outlet from their difficulties. I wish you every success in bringing the book to thousands more who will benefit from it as well."

Sharon Davis, Former First Lady of California

"A sweet fable about a cheerful soul who temporarily loses faith in himself, but ultimately reaffirms his true calling- helping others discover the joy within themselves. Read it and smile."

Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury


"This is one of the sweetest books I have ever read in my life. It's a beautiful story. It will be a blessing in somebody's life."

Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host, Today Show


"The Jester and Pharley are extraordinary characters, at once, poignant and humorous. The Jester's message of laughter and joy is welcome."

Faith Hubley, Yale School of Art and Academy Award-Winning Animator