Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Rebecca Kai Dotlich grew up in the Midwest exploring trails by the creek, reading comic books, making paper dolls and building snow forts. She was a good student in school, but by far not a perfect one. Even though she was mesmerized with reading and words from a young age, anything to do with math was, and still is, challenging.
She attended Indiana University where she studied creative writing, art history and anthropology while she worked in the student library typing index cards for the card catalog. After college she held many jobs; working in a department store, for a real estate firm, a state representative, and in public relations. After her children were born she decided that writing for children would be her life’s work, although that took many years to achieve.
Rebecca is a children’s poet and picture book author of titles such as What Can A Crane Pick Up?, which received a *starred* review from Publishers Weekly, What is Science? (an AAAS Subaru SB&F prize finalist), Bella and Bean (an SCBWI Golden Kite Honor) and Grumbles From The Forest; Fairy Tale Voices with a Twist (co-authored with Jane Yolen.) She gives poetry workshops, visits classrooms across the country, and speaks at conferences, retreats, libraries and schools to teachers, aspiring writers and students of all ages.
Her books have received the Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award as well as a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the year, and her work has been featured on Reading Rainbow and the PBS children’s show Between the Lions. Her most recent picture books include All Aboard!, illustrated by Mike Lowery, One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories, illustrated by Fred Koehler, Race Car Count, illustrated by Michael Slack, and The Knowing Book, illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
She lives in the Midwest with her husband and her four young grandchildren live nearby. Learn more about Rebecca Kai Dotlich on her website.
We caught up with Rebecca for a few minutes and here are the things we learned about her during our Q&A.
Q1: What three things would we always find in your creative space/studio?
Rebecca: Turtles and other clay works of art my children made when they were small, marbles & books that belonged to my brother, and fireballs.
Q2: When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
Rebecca: The answer is a bit fluid; in HS, I wrote my first "dedication" on some paper stapled together as a book, but in college, it became clearer to me, and not until I had my own children did I know for absolute sure.
Q3: What authors have most inspired you?
Rebecca: Russell Hoban, Arnold Lobel, Ray Bradbury, and W. H. Auden are just a few.
Q4: Our festival theme this year is Twists & Turns. Which would you rather play, Twister or dominoes?
Rebecca: Can I choose Trivial Pursuit? For sake of theme, I'll go with dominoes.