Author Spotlight: Kelly and Tim Birdsong with Adventurous People and Wolfgang in the Wild

Happy Monday and welcome to Glitter Reviews!

Today we feature the outdoorsy writing duo Kelly and Tim Birdsong on Author Spotlight. Kelly and Tim write stories that inspire children to be active and love the outdoors. I connected with them through Michele Ziemke’s Mighty KidLit

We will discuss their children’s books, Wolfgang in the Wild and Adventurous People. BookBaby published Wolfgang in the Wild on January 27, 2023 and will publish Adventurous People in 2023. 

Wolfgang in the Wild’s blurb:

Wolfgang’s curiosity to discover where animals live in the forest leads him deep into the wild. Explore a delightful wilderness full of playful animals. Children will love pointing out all the creatures in the forest. Fun and vivid full-page illustrations bring this magical world of nature to life. Follow along as he explores the unique habitats of some friendly creatures. This charming tale will make story time quite the adventure.

Adventurous People’s blurb:

From rock ledges to ocean swells, follow along as brave adventurers do what they love in the great outdoors. With vibrant illustrations, learn about their gear and be inspired to head out on your own adventure-big or small.

Both Adventurous People and Wolfgang in the Wild take place in the great outdoors. What inspired you to write them? 

Our inspiration behind Adventurous People and Wolfgang in the Wild is the beauty we see daily. Our family loves being outside in nature. We hope our books encourage children to explore and have fun outdoors. We want to inspire readers to try new things and create their own adventures.

In Adventurous People, we meet outdoorsy people, like Rita the Rock Climber, and Helen the Hiker. Please tell us about your thought process in choosing which outdoor activities and sports to include in the story.

We started with a very long list of outdoor activities and eventually narrowed it down. It was important for us to include activities for each season. We also wanted the adventures to take place on land and water. We hope that learning about an activity like rocking climbing, for example, will spark a child’s imagination while climbing around at the playground or in their yard. It would be great if Helen the Hiker encouraged family walks around the neighborhood. We want the activities to serve as inspiration to try something new.

In Wolfgang in the Wild, Wolfgang spends the day exploring the wild. He goes back home when it’s dinnertime. Why did you have Wolfgang return home at the end of the day? 

Wolfgang is very curious and likes learning about where different animals live. He thinks he can live in the wild like the animals he meets but seems to have trouble finding a home that is just right. At the end of the day, Wolfgang realizes that his own home is what makes him the happiest. It’s hard to beat a home-cooked meal and a cozy bed to fall asleep in.

Craig Orback illustrated Adventurous People, and Krystal Kramer illustrated Wolfgang illustrated Wolfgang in the Wild. Which are your favorite spreads? 

I love all the animals Krystal Kramer beautifully incorporated into each spread of Wolfgang in the Wild. Her creations make you want to be part of Wolfgang’s world. Our favorite spread is of Wolfgang crouching down with his magnifying glass, studying the ant’s home. The illustration is such an honest depiction of a child’s curiosity. In Adventurous People, Craig Orback cleverly captures movement and action in every illustration. Rita the Rock Climber is one of my favorites, along with Helen the hiker walking under the moonlight.

What do you hope children will take away from Adventurous People and Wolfgang in the Wild?

By providing a small glimpse into the beauty of the great outdoors, we hope children will develop an appreciation for nature.

You are a writing duo. Can you tell us about your writing routine? 

Finding time to write while working and caring for our toddler is always a big challenge. To write, we take advantage of nap time or quiet time right after we put our son to bed. We brainstorm quite a bit and keep a running list of ideas. One of us usually tackles a first draft, then edit and rewrite it until it is ready. We’ve enjoyed doing something creative and fun together.

Please share with us your best writing tip.

Our best writing tip is to strike while the iron is hot. If an idea comes to you, write it down, don’t wait. Write whenever you can, even if that means scribbling notes on a napkin.

What is next for you? 

Getting involved with the wonderful writing community online and working on new manuscripts keeps us busy. We are currently participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge. Also, we are working with Krystal Kramer and Craig Orback again to create companion books for Wolfgang in the Wild and Adventurous People for 2024.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

A perfect day is hiking with our son and two dogs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

What is your favorite topic to talk about?

Our favorite thing to talk about is food. We love cooking and making sourdough bread. We have a garden and fruit trees at home and try to grow much of our food.

It’s been enjoyable to teach our son about where food comes from and have him get involved with cooking too.

What is the best meal you have ever eaten? 

The best meal we’ve ever eaten was at Alain Passard’s Restaurant L’Arpège in Paris. It was a total splurge, but worth the experience. Bon Appetit!

What do you think makes the world a better place?

We think having an appreciation for nature makes the world a better place. Understanding that we are all part of something greater than ourselves can help us to love everything and everyone around us.

What kind of baby animal would you love most to be surrounded by? 

We are biased, but being surrounded by German Shorthair Pointer puppies would be fantastic. Is there anything better than puppy breath?

About Kelly and Tim Birdsong:

Kelly Birdsong grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Tim was born and raised in Southern California. They began writing together shortly after the birth of their son. When they are not writing, you can find them chasing around their son and two German Shorthaired Pointers.

You can find Kelly and Time at:

Instagram: @booksbybirdsong

Twitter: @kellybirdsong2

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.


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