... About Kathryn

Growing up... Our family had five kids four girls and a boy. I was born first, in San Diego, California. But we moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin when I was small, and that’s where I grew up. Every couple of years, my family traveled back to San Diego to visit grandma and grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins. We traveled by train! It took over two days to get from Oshkosh to San Diego, so we slept and ate on the train. I have wonderful memories of those trips, and I still love to travel by train!

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I was very young when I learned to read and I wanted to read ALL the time! Some of the books I especially loved were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I read them over and over. I felt as if Laura and I were growing up together. On summer days, I walked to the library and checked out a huge stack of books. Then I sat under a tree and read for hours.

I have always enjoyed writing letters, and I had a pen pal in England for many years. I kept a diary and wrote poems for my elementary school newspaper. My dad always made up funny rhymes, and I like writing rhyming poems, too.

When I was in 2nd grade, I read a book that I liked so much, I tried to write a book myself. In college I studied to be a teacher,and I took a class to learn about children’s books. I was supposed to read 100 books, but I read about 300! I started thinking then about how much fun it would be to write books for kids.

Favorites…

Color: red, black and white

Hobbies: cooking and baking, reading, golfing, going to the theater

Animals: I grew up with Nipper the Dog and Felix the Cat

Food: cashews, chocolate and cheese

Places: the beach; Farmer’s Market; anyplace that I go with my family

Vacation: Alaska

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Kathryn Heling Today...

My husband and I have a grown up son named Joshua who is married to Amy. They have two children, and I love being Ben and Nora’s grandma! Sometimes we go swimming, or to the zoo, or the museum. Other times, we just read or play together. I’m glad that they live only about an hour away!

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I used to be a teacher but now I am a school psychologist. It makes me happy to be in school everyday, working with children and figuring out how each child learns best. Kids are the greatest!

... About Deborah

Growing up... I have a twin sister — when we were young, my sister and I looked so much alike that our own parents couldn’t tell us apart! I also have two brothers and a younger sister. We grew up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. I have great memories of our family’s camping trips. My dad used to warm up rocks in the fire pit, roll them in towels, and put them inside our sleeping bags on chilly nights. It made us feel like pioneer children who warmed their feet with hot potatoes!

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When I was very young I loved the books, “Are You My Mother”, by P.D. Eastman and “Put Me in the Zoo”, by Robert Lapshire. Later, I read and collected Nancy Drew books. I always asked for Nancy Drew mysteries for Christmas and birthdays. I loved the smell of a brand new book, and I often read the whole book that very same day!

I’ve always loved to draw, write and doodle in journals. My old diaries and journals hold lots of special memories. I have them stored away in a special treasure box. They were the beginning of my writing journey.

I love teaching young children — it’s different everyday! My Kindergarten students give me most of my story ideas. I listen to the children and watch them — and write what I see and hear. The inspiration for “I Wish I Had Glasses Like Rosa” and “I Wish I Had Freckles Like Abby” came from two kindergarteners, Kat and Abby.

Four and five year olds are full of energy and very curious about their world. They take me on grand adventures!

Favorites…

Color: purple and turquoise

Hobbies: dancing, making jewelry, motorcycling and bicycling

Animals: cats

Food: hamburgers and chocolate cake

Places: my patio with my husband and cats, my classroom and on the motorcycle... vroom!

Vacation: Smoky Mountains

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Deborah Hembrook Today...

My husband and I have two cats named Sadie and dolly who always make us laugh. They are both calicos that don't always get along.

My husband and I are motorcycle enthusiasts. We enjoy long rides in the country. I have my motorcycle license and someday want a motorcycle of my very own. We want to take a trip out west someday together on our Harleys!

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