From the Author
What drew you to writing, children's books especially?
I write because I read children's books to my own children. With four kids, it meant years and years of reading books, during which time I developed a love of the picture book form and a passion for chapter books for kids. I started writing when they were young and have never grown up.What do you hope children get out of your stories?
My goal is to help kids enjoy playing with language. Of course, that means a story and I hope they enjoy the story, too. And since Prairie Storms is a non-fiction book, it also means facts. I want kids to have fun learning about the animals and the storms and how living creatures interacts with the weather and climate of their area. But mostly, this is meant to be a great read aloud that an adult can share with a kid, and enjoy a moment of shared pleasure in the words, the art, the sound of literature, the joy of knowing something.
What tips do you have to encourage young readers
Read, read, read. The more you practice, the better reader you will be. And why should you want to be a great reader? So you can travel to places you've never seen, can feel emotions you'll never feel any other way. In Prairie Storms, for example, you'll stand stare into the face of a blizzard and stand, "prairie strong and defiant." Any advice for those interested in writing?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Practice is the most important thing you can do. If you want to be in a rock band, you don't just pick up a guitar and wind up rich. Instead, you learn how to play chords, how to write music, how to sing. In other words, you practice. Don't expect to sell the first thing you write. You may need to write ten novels before you write well enough to sell well. Consider those books and those years as an apprenticeship and you'll be fine. What is the most rewarding thing about having your books published?
Because I'm published, it means I get to visit many places and talk to many people. In that sense, writing and publishing has enlarged my world, made me friends with widely scattered folks. I love the book, as something you can hold and open together. But mostly, I love that creative work can connect people in special ways.
--This text refers to the
About the Author
, (darcypattison.com) author of both picture books and novels, has been published in eight languages. Her books include:
- 19 Girls and Me (Philomel,)
- Searching for Oliver K. Woodman(Harcourt)
- The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt)
- The Scary Slope(graphic novel from Stone Arch).
Her books have been recognized for excellence by **starred reviews in Kirkus and BCCB, Child magazine Best Books of the Year 2003, Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year 2003, and various state award reading lists.
Current books include
- Prairie Storms
- Desert Baths (August, 2012)
- 11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph (11ways.darcypattison.com)
- Wisdom, the Midway Albatross: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and other Disasters for over 60 Years (wisdom.darcypattison.com).
A lifelong artist and lover of art, Kathleen Rietz was drawing and painting before she learned to write her name. Originally from Peoria, IL, Kathleen received her formal training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. For nearly two decades, she has worked as commercial artist, and has recently rediscovered her talents as a fine artist. In addition to illustrating Prairie Storms and Champ s Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! for Sylvan Dell, Kathleen s other books include Little Black Ant on Park Street, The ABC s of Yoga for Kids, and Prayers for Children, as well as numerous scholastic readers. She has taught art to children and adults at the Community School of the Arts at historic Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, and through a local home school program in her community