Illustrated by Kathleen Kemly


Happily, quackily here we go...

Take a look ...

Where do you find water in this picture? Find some that floated down as snow settling on my fruit tree. And, what is that in the sky?

And, listen to the water sounds ...

Water is always on the move. It flows into tears, trickles with sweat , swirls into fog, and puddles into mud. Water is a traveler that has booked a trip on a never ending journey dropping from rain clouds, filling up ponds, and flowing into rivers that empty into oceans. On its journey, some water evaporates into the air and rains, mists, or snows back to earth. Water that is here today has been recycled just like this for years and years and years and years.

What makes water move and how does it stay so still on a glass-like lake? If you are thinking of the earth's force called gravity you are hot on the trail. Do a bit of investigating to find out about gravity. And, how about checking up on how wind and temperature work with the rain to make our weather and move our water?

Photos by Rae Mcdonald
Illustrations by Kathleen Kemly

Begin With Nature

What's that floating? Apples?

Nature is full of surprises. If we look very closely, amazing action is always taking place. While out on a bike ride I saw an unusual sight, apples floating down the stream. I wondered what the ducks, frogs, fish and heron would think of apples parading down their stream. "Aha," I said. "What fun this could be." And, not long after that bike ride, I was writing A FISHING SURPRISE.

Of course, that was not the title I first gave my story, but it was a perfect fit when I had finished. Often, I first title my story something very simple just to make connections and open the door to going back to work on it. Give your titles some thought when you are finished. You will want your title to invite the reader inside your story.

What goes on down by the stream? You, too, can get acquainted with the plants, animals, and insects that make the water their home. Take an adult with you to enjoy the watching and waiting by the waterside.

Did you know that half of all the insects in the world live in or near fresh water? Head to the library and check out an insect handbook and identify the ones near your waterside.

Start a researcher's kit made from an old satchel or backpack. Fill it with a notebook, sketch paper, pencils, and leave a little room to add that library book to help answer questions that are sure to spring out your wondering.

While we are on the subject of getting wet, do you know your water safety rules?

Let a responsible adult know when you are playing near water.

Always swim with a buddy.

Never dive into water if you do not know what is beneath the surface.

Life jackets help to save you in a water emergency. WEAR ONE!

Swimming lessons are a terrific way to get started swimming safely.


Great News! GRAN, GRAN, GRANNY release date: June 2018. Illustrated by Eric Groff.


Lizzie tells this “moment in time" story in first person as she, two brothers, and her parents hike up the well-worn trail to visit Granny. The forest is aflame with fall color and the path is carpeted with forest confetti on the day following a fierce and worrisome storm. A celebration cake swings along in mom's traveling basket, and Nick packs trail mix to share with the wild forest inhabitants. Little brother, Sam, finds a great deal to sing about as he echoes "the chat" on the way to Granny's.

(Party today, far away. Confetti, spaghetti, party all ready …)

The inspiration for this story comes from years of family hikes up the trails in a hilly and forested watershed near our home in northwest Washington. I am hoping that you will have a chance to read GRAN, GRAN, GRANNY real soon. Order now from Clear Fork Publishing.

Scene from Gran, Gran, Granny

A visit to the really Granny. Time for a hug!

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