I’ve always felt my writing career began in kindergarten when I was handed a first-place trophy for writing for my school district. The truth is I wrote that little essay about raccoons and entered it in the writing contest when a very understanding teacher presented it as an alternative to participating in the dreaded poetry recitation contest.
Years later, I’m still writing to avoid doing the things I don’t really want to do. Over the past 10 years, I’ve written and edited for a variety of print and online publications, including serving as managing editor of two magazines. I hold Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art.
I’ve spent 11 years as a professional writer, six and a half years as a mother, and nearly a lifetime dabbling in the arts. With these combined experiences, I set out to create a new kind of picture book for creative children, one which allows them to enjoy the journey of reading with the joy of creating.
Children are natural and prolific artists, and I believe strongly in the value of drawing in the realm of education. While many children abandon the act of drawing somewhere between the ages of eight and 10 when they begin to feel their drawings are not “good,” I hope to encourage children (and the adults to raise and teach them) to understand the benefits of drawing and to continue to pursue it. While drawing can be fun and expressive, it can also be a useful tool in the academic arena, helping us to process new information, remember facts, plan out projects, and prepare for writing assignments.
Reading a story and drawing out pictures to go with it is not only a fun activity but also a chance for a child to engage with a text on a deeper level. It offers children practice in visualizing, interpreting, and gleaning meaning from text in their own way.
With this in mind, I created my debut children’s book, The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie, an illustrate-it-yourself adventure. I created atmospheric watercolor scenes on each page and left the rest of the creative journey up to the young readers. They are invited to illustrate the characters, their actions, and other details they imagine.
The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie will be released this November.
I also blog regularly about creativity and the relationship between drawing, reading, and writing. On my blog, you’ll find information on how to make the most of story time with your child, how to encourage creativity in your home, as well as resources for drawing, creativity, and literacy.