Sunday, April 2, 2017

Creekfinding: A True Story

March 2017 saw the release of Creekfinding: A True Story.  This tale based on the true story of Michael Osterholm and his efforts to bring back a lost stream that once flowed through a field on his farm.  With heavy equipment, thoughtful plans and plenty of ingenuity Osterholm created an environment that allowed the spring fed stream to come back and when the water came so did the birds, and reptiles, and hundreds of insects.  This is the story of the finding of that creek and the efforts to restore the creek as a habitat for the trout that once inhabited the stream.

In March, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Claudia McGehee, and Michael Osterholm were at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa to share the back story of the book, and to introduce the work to the many bibliophiles that came to hear the reading and learn about the stream and the story.  On April 1, Claudia and Jackie shared their book at the CSPS hall in Cedar Rapids as part of a program arranged and sponsored by Next Page Books in the New Bo District.  And on April 15th there is a celebration at the Perfect Blend in Mount Vernon, IA.  But the celebration does not stop there, on April 23rd, the Red Balloon Bookshop celebrates the book with another reading and appearance by Martin, McGehee, and Osterholm.

Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Claudia McGehee, Michael Osterholm
at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City, Iowa.

Watch for this blackbird who seems to show up
throughout the illustrations for the story.

Max is a real dog that was by Michael's side throughout
the Creekfinding activities.  Ask the book creators about
his story.

Michael Osterholm began his adventure with the creek
through his efforts to create a prairie area on his newly purchased
farm fields. Now cone flowers and other native wild flowers have a
home along the banks of the creek that runs through the field.

 Gtotaku - making a fish print

The first step in creating a fish print (Gyotaku) is to cover
the fish with the black ink which will create the print

Those who attended the reading at the CSPS hall in Cedar
Rapids were given an opportunity to make a fish print in the
manner that has been used in Japan for centuries.  Here the
fish which has been covered with a printer's ink is being rubbed
with the paper which will yield a print of the fish.

This is the finished print, framed, and ready for his mother's day gift.

Earlier at the CSPS hall Jacqueline Briggs Martin reads
from Creekfinding: A True Story.

Children attending the reading helped put the animals in
the prairie.

Be sure to ask the creators about the role the fox played in
the book - or at least the backstory about the origination
of the story and its role in finding the collaborators.

  From the publisher - The University of Minnesota Press

"In the words of award-winning author Jacqueline Briggs Martin and the enchanting illustrations of Claudia McGehee, this is the heartwarming tale of an ecosystem restored in the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa. The story will charm and inform young readers who are drawn to a good mystery, the wonders of nature—and, of course, big earth-moving machines." ~ University of Minnesota Press
"The main narrative reads smoothly aloud, and the pictures, though detailed, should show well to a small group. Author's and illustrator's notes and a comment from the actual creek rescuer complete the package. A heartening story of environmental restoration." ~ Kirkus Reviews

Jacqueline Briggs Martin - author of Creekfinding: A True Story (and many other picture book titles) is available for author appearances -- find out more at McBookwords.
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.