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Rollick and roar with Deb Lund’s dinosaurs
There’s nothing boring about the rip-roaring exploring of fun-loving dinos in “Dinosoaring.” Celebrate the release of Deb Lund’s new children’s book at a Dinoparty at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 12 at the Coupeville Library.
Lund’s lovable lizards have already conquered trains and ships in “Dinotrain” and “Dinosailors.” Now, the third book in Lund’s dinosaur series takes her daring dinos into the sky as they fly an airplane and end up in an air show.
“They’re kind of rollicking, rhyming, rowdy books,” Lund said with a laugh.
With fun rhymes and comical dino words, these “Dinowright brothers” will bring laughter to children and adults alike.
“I never write down to kids and especially with picture books because they’re meant to be read aloud by parents,” Lund said, adding that sharing picture books is “more than the words; it’s an experience for families.”
While the colorful stories and cheerful rhymes will keep smiles on readers’ faces long after the last page is turned, her books teach life lessons.
“I guess more than the actual story is just a love for words and for reading,” Lund said.
“These dinosaurs head off on adventures and things don’t always work out so they find a new adventure,” Lund said, adding that that’s how life goes. “You have a lot of adventures before you find out where you’re meant to be.”
As to where Lund is meant to be, writing is “one of the places,” she said, despite the hard work and years of waiting for her books to be published. She signed the contract for the publication of “Dinosoaring” in 2005 and seven years later, it’s finally hitting the shelves.
“Everything takes longer than you think it’s going to,” she said of the writing and publishing process. “It’s one of those things like childbirth or building a house; you’re glad you don’t know ahead of time what it entails or you might decide not to do it.”
Despite bearing the burden for her first book, she’s done it again and again. She has published eight books, four of which are still in print.
Lund said people are always surprised to hear that she doesn’t choose the illustrator for her book; her editor does. Lund’s dinosaur books are illustrated by Howard Fine.
“I was just elated when I heard they were going to have Howard Fine do it,” Lund said, smiling. She had seen his cheerful, vibrant work for years as a librarian. After illustrating her books, she said she was delighted to hear that he had been turning down manuscripts saying, “It’s good, but it’s no ‘Dinosailors.’”
Lund grew up loving books. There was no library in the small town she grew up in in northern Minnesota so her first memory of a library was the one at school in first grade.
“And I remember the librarian reading ‘Winnie the Pooh’ to us and I remember feeling really honored because it seemed like such a big, long book,” Lund said.
Lund and her husband, Karl Olsen, live in Greenbank and are known all over Whidbey Island from their time teaching in the three school districts. Lund is also responsible for creating the Cedar Program, a home-schooling program in Coupeville.
They moved to the island in 1989 and Lund started teaching at Hillcrest Elementary School. She taught fifth grade and music for awhile, then became the librarian.
“I would see all these kids come in and take piles of books out on dinosaurs,” Lund said.
When she decided to take a sabbatical and needed to do work that related to her job, writing children’s books seemed the obvious choice.
“Since I was working with kids’ books and always wanted to be a writer, it seemed like the perfect solution,” Lund said.
She had always said she couldn’t find the time to write but at that time, she was 40 and pregnant and Lund knew she’d never have the time if she didn’t just go for it.
A Seattle to Olympia sailing trip with the Shifty Sailors, a world-renowned local group her husband sings with, inspired “Dinosailors.” The train ride home hatched into “Dinotrain.” She’s already written the fourth book, a dinosaur firefighting adventure.
Kids and adults alike can let their imagination roar and “dinosoar” at the Dinoparty. Olsen sings worldwide with The Brothers Four and will bring his voice to the Dinoparty for fun songs. Lund will read from her books and there will be a variety of free “dinospectacular” activities for children.
For more information, call the library at 678-4911 or visit www.sno-isle.org. Lund’s books are available at local bookstores and The Honey Bear in Coupeville.
It’s a Dinoparty
When: 1 p.m. Thursday, July 12.
Where: Coupeville Library.
Activities: Reading, singing and games.
Admission is free.