Dorothy Gale, Amelia Earhart, and Marsha Diane Arnold. What do we have in common? We're all from Kansas! Today Kansas is celebrating some of its "children" and stories at the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka.
It's an especially wonderful festival as this is also the year Kansas is commemorating its sesquicentennial. The Kansas State Library selected 150 "Best" Kansas Books in celebration of 150 years, so this adds a glow to the festival, especially in my eyes as two of my books made the list. Thank you Kansas librarians.
My parents' family, grandparents' family, and great-grandparents' family spent many years farming and surviving on the Kansas plains. They knew dust storms, tornadoes, crop failures, and tornadoes.
Both of my books were inspired by my Kansas roots. Prancing, Dancing Lily, the story of a cow who doesn't fit in with the herd, was inspired by my father's Ayrshire dairy herd.
Helping my father feed an Ayrshire calf on "the farm".
The Bravest of Us All was inspired by my Grandmother Krehbiel's storm cellar, which she and her family used not only for root vegetables and laying hens, but to seek shelter from storms and tornadoes.
Check behind my father and that chicken to see my grandmother's storm cellar.
Illustrator Brad Sneed and I are delighted The Bravest of Us All is now available in digital form. You can find the digital storybook "app" for the iPad and the iPhone on iTunes. Enjoy the story, all about tornadoes, sisters, family, fear, and courage.
Find the Kansas Book Festival at: The Kansas Historical Society, 6425 SE 6th Avenue, Topeka, Ks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., today, September 24th.