The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

The international school connection

Lanie’s best friend Dakota has waltzed off to Indonesia, where she is getting to work on saving orangutans.  And where did that idea come from?  Simple: I was visiting an international school in Indonesia (with a terrific orantuan project) when I was contacted about writing the doll of the year books.

How fun to be doing an international school visit in Norway and talking about Lanie (as well as my other books…and–as two fifth graders earnestly asked for–how to become an author).  Here I am in the office of the school with a few of the trolls. 

Norway, of course, loves its trolls.  What do people think of first with Norway?  Snow and ice.  Usually, though, Stavanger–on the sea–has more of a Portland winter: overcast skies and rain.  This year, though?


Most churches in Norway–I hear–are simple and modest.  This rare medieval church (built in the 1200s) is unusual.  Add the sound of accordion music and a faint smell of the sea…

I love the way these schools are full of children from all over the world.  I love the way connections to my books seem to be pretty much the same everywhere.  Some of the kids who saw my pictures of cheetahs and leopards, guessed “jaguar.”  Bella showed me her jaguar and promised to do research to see if there are any jaguars in Africa.

One of the classes used my juicy words in WATER HOLE WAITING to inspire their drawings and their own word choices.

If there’s hope for world peace and deep cross-cultural understandings, it’s probably these great kids at these great international schools.

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