I am so pleased and honored to host Barbara Kerley today. I am crazy about her biographic picture books (What To Do About Alice?, Those Rebels, John and Tom and more), which I think are absolutely engaging as well as educational. It's a treat today to shine the spotlight on a book that required quite a different kind of research! Take it away, Barb.
I consider myself to lead a wild and crazy…reading life. I read all sorts of books and the characters in those books go all sorts of places and get into all sorts of trouble.
But in my real life, I’m a bit more timid. Luckily, I have a husband who is adventurous. Sometimes, he even manages to pull me along for the ride.
When we lived on Guam for two years, it was my husband who first suggested we learn how to SCUBA dive. Here we are, underwater. (You will note that my husband is making ‘bunny ears’ behind my head.)
On a trip to Florida, it was my husband who thought it would be fun to go canoeing in a marsh full of alligators. Alligators. In the water. On the banks. Dozens and dozens of alligators. (I don’t have a photo of that, though it is indelibly etched in my memory; I was too busy gripping the paddle firmly and trying to paddle away from—the alligators.)
Even now, as we’ve entered middle-age, it is my husband who leads the way (and never seems to get lost) as we hike the trails of northwest Oregon.
He has definitely led me on adventures that I certainly never would have attempted on my own. And I’m grateful for it.
SCUBA diving opened up a whole new world for me (who knew there were so very, very many kinds of animals underwater?) It was thrilling to see alligators up close (and we didn’t get eaten—an added plus). And hiking up through the trees to the summit of a hill and seeing the vista below continues to be deeply satisfying.
I appreciate my husband’s sense of adventure, happy he has invited me along and grateful he has helped me become a little bit of an explorer myself.
And my latest book is all about adventures and exploration.
The World Is Waiting For You is an invitation for kids and their families to get out and explore, to follow their curiosity—and see where it takes them.
Somewhere amazing, I’m betting.
Barb, we are all very thankful you could out-paddle those alligators. Thank you for this reminder that it's in stepping outside our comfort zones that we often find the stories we're meant to tell.