Stephanie Lowden and friend

I recently visited the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota, on a foggy winter day.  I had just seen upwards of fifty bald eagles the day before in Alma, Wisconsin, and was sure I couldn’t be more impressed.

But I was!!

The Center is dedicated to educating the public about eagles, both bald and golden.  They also have five eagles living there who were rehabilitated but can no longer live in the wild.  I was so impressed with the knowledable staff and the ability to get up close and personal with live eagles.  They also have scopes looking out over the Mississippi where I viewed many more eagles diving for fish and just sitting in trees, scanning the river for dinner.

For a a fun, educational outing, I’d encourage anyone in the area to visit the Center. To find out more go to: www.nationaleaglecenter.org

Okay, it’s not really at midnight. It’s in the afternoon, 1-4.

Meet an author, have a book signed, participate in a treasure hunt this Saturday at the Mukwonago Community Library (300 Washington Ave.).

Stephanie Lowden, along with many other authors of books for kids or adults, will be there, meeting and greeting, this Saturday, December 5, from 1:00-4:00 PM.

There will be activities for the children . . . followed by the annual Holiday Parade. Bring the kids, bring the grandkids!! Stay for the Parade!!

The Wisconsin Historical Museum will be celebrating Native American History Month with the following programs.:

Playtimes of the Past: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Thursday, November 12, 2009

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Art and craft activities (on first floor).

11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Stephanie Lowden presents an interactive workshop
discussing how she wrote her novel Time of the Eagle.

Friday, November 13, 2009
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Art and craft activities (on first floor).

11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Dale-Harriet Rogovich presents a program on the Metis children.

Stephanie Lowden at Wisconsin Book Festival 2009

Stephanie Lowden at Wisconsin Book Festival 2009

Stephanie Lowden, Patty Pfitsch and Sheri Sinykin talked about their courageous heroines in their books for young readers, as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival on October 9.

All three authors discussed their own courage in writing about their individual subjects as well as the courage of their main characters.

The event was held at the Madison Children’s Museum and was well attended, mostly by 4th-grade girl scouts working on their book badges. Way to go, girl scouts!

The girls had lots of excellent questions during the lively Q & A segment.

Stephanie at the WEMTA Conference

Stephanie at the WEMTA Conference

Thanks so much to the wonderful folks who organized the WEMTA conference at Monona Terrace.  All of the attendees were most gracious and truly interested in children’s books. It was also a real pleasure to meet the young people who visited our tables; they were all so excited to meet real authors!

Stephanie Lowden, author of Time of the Eagle, will be appearing at the Author Fair for the Wisconsin Educational Media Technology Association’s Spring Conference.

The 2009 event is March 22 in Madison, Wisconsin, at Monona Terrace, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired conference center on the lake.

Here’s a brief description of the event:

Over 30 authors and illustrators will be on hand to meet participants and sign copies of their books, which will be for sale at the event. Each author and illustrator will have an opportunity to give a short, 10 minute, presentation. The Author Fair is free and open to the public on the Grand Terrace of the Monona Terrace Convention Center.

Sounds like a lot of fun for all!

WEMTA is a professional association for school librarians and educational media specialists.

The author fair is a great opportunity for teachers and librarians to meet authors and find out about the best books to use in their classrooms.

Hope to see you there!

For more about WEMTA and the 2009 conference, see: www.wemtaonline.org

Are your students studying Wisconsin History this year?

The Fur Trade?

Then this historical chapter-book, Time of the Eagle, will fit right into your curriculum. A number of Wisconsin school teachers already include this engaging book in their studies.

Stephanie Lowden is available to visit your classroom to do a one-hour Fur Trade presentation. Here’s a note about her program:

I bring along all of my hands-on material that I have collected over the years while volunteering at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. These items include furs, trading beads, wild rice, birchbark makaks, and more.

I can also combine a half-hour Fur Trade presentation with a half-hour interactive talk on how kids can generate writing ideas.

Birchbark Makak

Birchbark Makak

A Makak (seen above) is a basket made out of birchbark. (It’s sometimes spelled makuk). It could be any size, from large enough to winnow rice in . . . to small enough to hold a tiny seashell. Some are open and flat, like the one above, while others were designed for storage.

The small one pictured is about five inches long and four inches wide. Is it still a useful tool? Yes! I use it to keep my business cards in when I visit schools and bookstores.

In the late 1700s, the fur-trade period in which Time of the Eagle is set, Wisconsin Indians used these containers in many ways.

Winnowing rice was one such task. A woman would separate the chaff from the edible part of the wild rice (wild rice is actually a grass, not a true rice plant) by shaking the makak with the rice in it on a windy day.  The chaff (the outer coating of the seed that was not eaten) was lighter weight than the edible part and would blow away, out of the makak, while the heavier grains fell back into the container.

Your kids will love the hands-on materials and Stephanie’s storytelling abilities. For more about these presentations, please visit Stephanie’s website: