How This Book Got Started

Kids and grown-ups alike are usually curious about how a book gets its start. Here’s half of what I have on my Oskar’s Voyage page (I have similar info on each book page): It was the best research of my entire life! Speaking of research, you know Melissa Stewart’s amazing blog, right? (If not, get

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Underwear, a Poetryaction

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Ooh, you guys, I was on the radio this morning talking about Finding Family for the MN Reads segment on The North 103.3 FM with Luke Moravec. That was nerve-wracking, and I have no idea how I sounded! I’ll be listening to it tonight after

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How Does Oskar Feel?

One of my favorite things about books is how they prepare us to handle real life. I think illustrations, in particular, can be super helpful in promoting emotional awareness and helping kids learn how to decode facial expressions and body language. Here’s a downloadable activity sheet that illustrator Kayla Harren and I created featuring Oskar,

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Smoky Mountain Campground, a Poetryaction

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Thank you for all the Oskar’s Voyage love last week <3 Carol, it was so lovely to see you in the gallery of the Zoom that illustrator Kayla Harren and I did on Monday. Thank you! I’ve been sick with the crud this week. Ugh.

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The Trip That Inspired the Book

The photos and videos I took on a 2019 voyage were absolutely the bedrock of the text and later the illustrations for Oskar’s Voyage. Here’s a montage of images from that amazing journey! And find more resources on my Oskar’s Voyage page! Oh, and if you’re in the Twin Cities, I so hope you can

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Poetry Friday Is Here–and So Is Oskar!

Welcome to Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) I’m so happy you’re here! Also, thank you to everyone who commented last week. I appreciate the hugs and reading suggestions :>) This week, my first 2024 picture book came out. Whee! Oskar’s Voyage is running around loose in the world now. Like Oskar

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Oskar Is Loose in the World!

Whee! Oskar’s Voyage, my first book of 2024, published yesterday, so little Oskar is not only exploring a giant boat, but he’s also making his way around the world (hopefully). I am sososososo excited! The fantastic illustrator, Kayla Harren, and I are doing a FREE ZOOM for classrooms (or individual readers and educators) on Monday,

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Chronic Pain and a Poetryaction

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Question for you all: Can you personally recommend any good books about living with chronic pain? I was recently diagnosed with some spinal maladies. At least I have an answer to the back pain that began a year ago and has gotten steadily worse. I’m

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Helping Student Writers Deal with Feedback

Hi, teachers! We all know that to grow as a writer, you need feedback on your writing. But feedback’s a hard part of the writing process for many people–of all ages. Here’s how I think about feedback and rejection. If I’m writing to express myself creatively, and I get negative feedback, I might feed sad

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Thank You for Asking (an epistolary poem)

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Just a reminder of a free Zoom about Oskar’s Voyage. Hope to see you there! This month, we poetry sisters wrote epistolary poems. I love this form of poems written as letters, even though I’ve only written a few of them. We were

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Good News for Finding Family, and Why It Matters

[Teachers, click here for info about a free Zoom about Oskar’s Voyage with me and illustrator Kayla Harren in March!] I’ve been thinking a lot about why I write and where I find affirmation for my writing. While I’d like to say that internal satisfaction is all I require, that’s not really true. Huge book

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I Am Heat, a Poetryaction to A River of Dust

  Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) I am so excited! We got snow last night! My husband Randy is out right now at the airport picking up family that’s visiting from Georgia. They were so hoping for snow! And we got some. It’s our first snow since late October, I

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Single-Session Author Visits for Poetry

[Teachers, click here for info about a free Zoom about Oskar’s Voyage with me and illustrator Kayla Harren in March!] Happy Valentine’s Day! Teachers, I’ve been somewhat stuck in the “contact with all students over multiple sessions” structure for my virtual visits, because that’s the structure of most of my in-person visits. But I’ve been

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Lake Superior, a Poetryaction to Blue

Happy Poetry Friday, friends! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) I had a lovely World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday, reading to and chatting with students in 5 states and 1 Canadian province. It was fun to share Oskar’s Voyage with them–and if you missed that, there’s an opportunity for a more in-depth Zoom

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Write an Equation Poem for Valentine’s Day

[Teachers, click here for info about a free Zoom about Oskar’s Voyage with me and illustrator Kayla Harren in March!] Teachers, here’s a fun writing activity you can do with your students, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! These snappy poems are short enough to fit on a handmade card! Just pick a person to

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