I have returned to writing children’s stories, including original and adapted folktales, picture books (fiction and non-fiction), and poetry. I have been a member of national Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and its Oregon chapter, the 12 by 12 Challenge, and two local and two online children’s writing critique groups.
My subjects and genres span picture book biographies about African-American women (based on my earlier historical work); fiction picture books whose styles are lyrical, humorous, and full of wonder; haiku about gardens, nests, and other natural phenomena; and fiction and nonfiction picture books that focus on saving the environment.
From Bread-Baking Day
Outside the snow falls and falls. White beards have grown on the shaggy branches of fir trees. When the wind shivers through them, the snow tumbles on me. I chase my boot prints around a tree and then the boot prints chase me.
From The Loon and the Mermaid
The loon taught the mermaid where to find berries. He warned her about the eagle, its wings darkening the shore. He cautioned her about raccoons and skunks that prowled for bird eggs in nests. And there was the danger of fishermen, for whom she would make a lovely catch.
From The Composer Who Loved Birds — Olivier Messiaen
On grand-mére’s farm, Olivier curled up in a haystack. He watched the moon rise above the snow-peaked French Alps. At sunrise, he awoke to whistling and warbling birds. He had never heard such songs before!
Grand-mére told him and his younger brother Alain family stories. Olivier performed plays that his mother wrote in a toy theater. He discovered his uncle’s old piano and loved how the notes answered each other, like birdcalls. He made up his own bird songs.