If you have been in our store you know we carry more than just jewelry. We have a variety of gift items, including a section for babies and kids. We have a great selection of children’s books and we are excited to share that we have added the works of local author, Rae McDonald. Here is a little more about her and the books we have in store.
Rae McDonald, a Puyallup children’s author, cultivates ideas in the magnificent Pacific Northwest forests, along treasure-lined seashores, and deep in the rich soil of her garden. Rae’s workaday world included the marvelous career of elementary school librarian in Sumner and Puyallup. Now, she is focused solely on writing and making art.
Rae’s first picture book, A Fishing Surprise, began on Puyallup creek-side bike ride where she discovered a buoyant mystery, apples floating down the stream. A local ancient Douglas fir tree inspired her second picture book, Gran, Gran, Granny. Rae and her family regularly hike to Granny just to give her a hug, but her annual measurement day is cause for song and celebration. Readers are invited to celebrate Granny on the day following a fierce windstorm where a worrisome troupe makes their way along a trail littered with forest confetti and catch sailing leaves on which they make wishes for Granny’s safety.
If you asked Rae to tell you two of her favorite things, she would say two things are not enough. But, she would say how she loves to cut paper silhouettes to tell a story. And a most favorite thing of all, she would say is color, color, and more color. Discovering a marvelous stack of colorful linens sets of watercolors dripping with possibility, or the greens of a meadow stop her right in her tracks. On one fateful day she admired a dreamy blue-green sweater in a store display, took a step closer, and literally fell right into the sweater, embarrassing and painful. However, she will never forget the color of that sweater, the same as the water in the Sea of Cortez that she sailed upon in her daughter’s sailboat.
So how did Rae get around to making books? Well, the trail was a long and winding path. Dabbling in art was Rae’s favorite pastime from her earliest years right up through college where she made the happy decision to become a teacher and children’s librarian. Inquisitive children and the world of beautiful children’s books surrounded her. She kept drawing and cutting and making art messes that started to look like her own stories.
Rae’s stories most often emerge during her walks with her family or cruising along on her bike. Writing ideas down immediately is her key to saving the words and pictures she conjured along the way. Rae claims that the body in motion is the perfect engine for starting a story. She almost always completes a visual story before she teases out the words. Picture books are an engrossing puzzle due to their brevity at around 500 words that completely tell a story with an enticing beginning, exciting middle, and satisfying end. Most importantly picture books must leave room for the illustrator to enchant and tell even more than words can say. Now, Rae has a nest of stories waiting in the wings. She hopes that someday they will take flight out into the world.
Rae enjoys presenting and sharing her craft and has served as a picture book mentor for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) of which she is a longtime member. And for any aspiring author, SCBWI is the place to begin. Also, a supportive and creative critique group is invaluable. Rae encourages others to boldly go forth and tell their own stories for there is so much joy and wonder to share.
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