Daily Archives: October 19, 2009

Bear-ly There: Interview & Give-Away!

Bear-ly There web

TGSG Note: Readers of this blog know I am crazy about children’s books and wildlife, so I am very excited to have author Rebekah Raye stop by TGSG today and discuss both! Bear-ly there is written for children in Grades 3-6, and is full of fascinating bear facts and beautiful illustrations. I hope you enjoy the interview — and the book!

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

1. What type of child were you, and how does that influence you as a children’s book author?

I had the natural curiosity that all children seem to have and would be happy drawing alone , but was hardly ever alone, being the oldest of 5 children.  My artist father is a great story teller, expressing wonderful details which always transported me to the places he talked about. I found box turtles and frogs, tried to catch a rabbit in a box tilted up by a small stick, with carrots as bait in the back yard.  My dreams were always of animals.  I loved animal stories, and drawing them. Some things seem to stay with you “forever and a day”.

2.  Why do you think spending time in nature is important for today’s kids?

Through understanding nature and the creatures in it helps us become aware and care about the world and it is the basis for understanding ourselves.

3.  Tell us a bit about
Bear-ly There. Why did the story need to be told?

Wildlife is having a hard time in our day and time.  It seems if we can learn to care about and live with these amazing animals, the better for all of us.  The editors at Tilbury House felt it was important to address the problem of a bear that truly visited our backyard, which seems to happen to many others, and express some simple solutions to this issue.

4.  Name three nature activities you think all kids should participate in.

I love to encourage children to draw in nature, science journal books,  drawing detailed plants and animals.  Tree identifications, leaf and bark studies by bark and leaf rubbings on rice paper with flat crayons. Make a wildflower poster, drawing and pressing a piece of the plant and identifying each characteristic of the plant.  Taking frequent walks outside looking for birds and listening to tapes of bird songs to learn their particular songs.

5. Do you have tips or advice for parents struggling to get school-aged children to enjoy reading?

I would suggest having the child draw a character they really liked, could be their favorite pet and have that pet do something completely out of the ordinary.  Their kitty who could  go to a place from a book they read and what would he be doing. Would he be friends with the main character, would he help solve the problem in the story.  Drawing always helped me read. Reading always helped me draw.

6. OK, silly question –  but we love silly at  The Grass Stain Guru.  If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

I love the amazing Hummingbirds and their ability to fly across the oceans during migrations. Their speed, agility, and beauty. Their desire to seek out nectar from the most beautiful plants. In contrast, a black bear, for it’s survival tactics, ability to be in the shadows of the forrest looking out as we go by.

Author Bio: Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture. Her warm, expressive work is derived from her affinity with the natural world around her studio and home in East Blue Hill, Maine, where she had a bear visitor not too long ago. Rebekah also wrote and illustrated The Very Best Bed, and illustrated Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin. You can follow Rebekah on Twitter.

Visit Tilbury House Publishers for more information on the book.

Editor’s Note: As part of the book tour, author Rebekah Raye and publisher Tilbury House have arranged to give out some great prizes. See all the info below. I hope a TGSG reader wins! :-)

Blog Comment Prizes:
They will draw 9 lucky winners from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts, including this one, from October 16-30 to win one of the following prizes:

  • A set of four art cards (2 sets available)
  • A signed wildlife art print
  • An original sketch from Bear-ly There
  • An original sketch from The Very Best Bed
  • An original sketch from Thanks to the Animals
  • A copy of Bear-ly There, The Very Best Bed, or Thanks to the Animals, signed by Rebekah Raye

Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.

Twitter Prize:

Everyone that participates in the Twitter Book Party, and/or posts anything about the tour using the hashtag #BearlyThere from October 15-30 will be entered to win a complete set Bear-ly There, Thanks to the Animals, and The Very Best Bed, all signed by Rebekah Raye.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.

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