Walking to School

August 25, 2019

I love this time of year, as summer days grow cooler, and monarch butterflies emerge from their chrysalises and head south. I think back to my childhood in Brookings, South Dakota, where this turn of the seasons meant “back to school.” And that meant walking to school with sisters and friends. We walked through an alley where, for some reason, a huge bell had been abandoned. We named the bell “Old Nellie” and we’d ring it and run away before anyone could come out and yell at us. We also kept an eye out for “the chasers” a group of boys about our age who liked to chase us, but rarely caught up with us. There was a  lot of teasing banter between the boys and the girls, and I wasn’t very good at it.

“Hey, look, Frost is wearing her big brother’s raincoat,” taunted one of the boys.

“I don’t have a big brother,” I shot back.

“Oh, your father had it when he was a little boy?”

I definitely lost that one–I hated the raincoat to begin with, and that just confirmed how awful it was.

These memories of the streets and alleys on our way to school came to mind as I imagined the landscape of Blue Daisy. I now have Advance Readers’ Copies, and I love how Rob Shepperson has depicted the community and the place so that it feels both contemporary and nostalgic.

Blue Daisy will come out as an audiobook, published by Recorded Books, and maybe some readers will listen to it as they follow along with a print copy so they can enjoy the delightful illustrations.