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“Who Pooped in the Cascades” took a silver medal in the Moonbeam Book Awards!


Moonbeam silver medalUntil ten minutes ago, I had no idea that my most recent Who Pooped in the Park book was being considered for a Moonbeam award. Then I opened my email to find that Who Pooped in the Cascades has won the silver medal in the nonfiction/animals category! According to Independent Publisher, the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. Isn’t that the goal of everyone involved in creating books for children?

An award like this one means a lot to an author of children’s books. The slogan on the medal says, “celebrating youthful curiosity, discovery, and learning through books and reading.” That is exactly why we write. The Who Pooped series is all about curiosity and discovery — my intent in creating it was to engage reluctant readers and kids with a minimal connection to nature and science. How better to interest them in nature than through a giggle?

When I started writing these books, it was my first foray into mainstream writing. All of my previous books were highly specialized; they weren’t the kind of books you’d find in a general bookstore. I didn’t have very high expectations for that first kids’ book (the Yellowstone edition of Who Pooped in the Park?), and my publisher (Farcountry Press) hadn’t dealt with many children’s books before. Review copies weren’t submitted to publications like Publisher’s Weekly, and it wasn’t promoted to schools or libraries. Who would have thought that this summer we’d sell our 100,000th copy of that first book?

Now, 18 books later, the series is gaining mainstream acceptance. I wrote a few months ago about the Cascades book being a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards, and winning a Moonbeam award makes everything suddenly more tangible.

Thank you to all of you that have read and enjoyed my books. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy them in the future!

“Who Pooped in the Cascades” is a High Plains Book Award finalist!


This is exciting! The High Plains Book Awards has added a new category this year for children’s books, and Who Pooped in the Cascades? has been chosen as a finalist! The winners will be announced at the High Plains Book Festival in Billings, MT on October 25, 2014.

High Plains Book Awards logoThe High Plains Book Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains. The High Plains region includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

This year, there are 11 categories:

  • Art & Photography
  • Children’s Book (written for readers under age 12)
  • Culinary
  • Fiction
  • First Book
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Medicine & Science
  • Short Stories
  • Woman Writer
  • Young Adult (written for readers ages 12 to 18)

Who Pooped in the Cascades?

Who Pooped in the Cascades? is the 18th book in my “Who Pooped” series, which is published by Farcountry Press in Helena, MT. The series began in Yellowstone National Park. This latest book follows Michael and Emily and their friend, May, on a trip to the Cascade Mountain range in California, Oregon, and Washington. Michael tries to deal with his fear of mountain lions as Mom and Dad teach him and his sister about the wildlife in the area — without ever getting close enough to be scared. In their “close encounters of the poopy kind,” the family learns about a variety of animals, and readers will become familiar with their tracks and the droppings they leave behind (scats).

The illustrations in Who Pooped in the Cascades? are by Robert Rath from Bozeman, MT. He illustrated eleven other books in the series as well.

The other two finalists for best children’s book, Baba’s Babushka by Marion Mutala and Leaving Mr. Humphries by Alison Lohans, are from Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing in Regina, Saskatchewan.

I guess I’m one of the few…


Who Pooped in the Cascades?In the bookstore today, a customer was looking at my big spinner rack of Who Pooped in the Park? books. He looked at the sign on the top, which shows a picture of me signing books in Yellowstone Park. Then he looked at me. Then back at the sign. Then at me. Then he raised an eyebrow.

“Yes,” I said, “that’s me. And, by the way, my 18th Who Pooped? book is coming out next month! It’s for the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, Washington, and California.”

He swiftly summoned his daughter. I’m very bad at judging ages, but I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say she was eight or nine years old.

“This man here is the author of the Who Pooped in the Park? book that you like,” he told her.

She eyed me suspiciously.

“The author?”

“That’s right,” her dad assured her. “He wrote these books.”

She looked at me more closely.

“He’s alive.”

“No, honey, not all authors are dead. Some are still alive.”

Oh, well. I’m still planning a book signing at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference in Portland, Oregon this fall. If I live that long.

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