Author Nicole Borgenicht guest blogs about the inspiration behind her book
The Kids of Dandelion Township
There are several different areas of inspiration for my book The Kids of Dandelion Township. Initially I wrote a short story about three friends, which was published in the Los Angeles Times Kids Reading Room section under the title “Jokester.” The friends reminded me of my childhood friends and myself along with original traits in each character. The editor Jennifer James liked the characters a lot and said if I wanted to submit more stories with the same characters, she might choose one again. Indeed she did and published an early version of the chapter entitled “The Dandelion Clock,” using my illustrator’s great picture of a girl holding a dandelion clock (which Lisa M. Griffin had created for the book!)
I was also inspired by my thoughts on kids who had gone through losing their homes during Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters/hurricanes, so I invented a character with sensitivities resulting from her experience of that hurricane.
Another influence for me is my awareness of many children who undergo a lot of challenges in life, yet have the ability to bounce back and really enjoy their youth moment to moment. In this book, I’ve designed a few conversations about being kids and having fun! Also, it is a long-term creative endeavor for me to often write about how the different culture holidays have similarities. For instance, all kids love gifts and holiday specific symbols etcetera, thus I wrote a few scenes where their joy culminates simply in sharing this comparative knowledge.
In addition, I want to make it easier for children to get through their daily challenges and setbacks by a route of a positive direction. In Dandelion Township, kids learn the importance of studying to get their grades up. They garner their interests too, taking creative approaches to spending their time together and doing their homework.
As far as location, during my childhood, we had secret places to go that felt only existed for kids! Even when adults were nearby in these special places, we knew part of our duty in life was to enjoy each moment and play. The kids in Dandelion Township have fun together with a wish list that includes wanting all children to enjoy this freedom without too much worry. However in my next Kids of Dandelion Township book plans, danger hits with an ominous approaching dustbowl!
The link to Nicole Borgenicht's tour page is: http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/worldofinknetwork/nicole-borgenicht-april-12.html
Here is also the link to her book trailer: http://youtu.be/rK3ChBjL5H0
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