Category Archives: Kirby Larson

The Eighth Book of Christmas


This is the eighth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like true heart-warming story collections, then you’ll love…

Actual kids' letters from Fort Collins

Letters From Katrina is a coffee table book that draws inspiration from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi children share their Katrina survival stories and are inspired by thousands of pen-pal letters from students around the United States. Peek over the shoulder of our children, read their heartwarming letters, and discover the magic that occurs when we ask life’s most magical question…Will you be my friend?”

Note: Another wonderful book about Hurricane Katrina to pair this book with is Two Bobbies. It was written by my writer friends, Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, and is true story about a cat and dog orphaned in the hurricane who help each other survive.

Mark Hoog

Mark Hoog is the author of the Growing Field children’s leadership series, a sought-after motivational speaker, the Executive Director of the Children’s Leadership Institute and a Captain with United Airlines. Speaking throughout the world, Mark is inspiring youth, business organizations and corporations to live life without limit through his message of Conscious Leadership.

Testing out Nook Book


Last Saturday at the library they were putting on a demonstration of the reading tablets. Since I am not a techie, nor am I interested in stuffing my pockets, purses, and arms with electronic gadgets, I decided at least I should see what’s out there to be familiar with the new reading and communicating tools. What I was most interested in was how picture books showed up on the screen. I might be prejudiced, but I leaned toward the iPad. I liked the softness of the reading screen, and the friendliness of the graphics.

Our library is carrying Nook Book tablets which can be borrowed. There’s a collection of e-books that the library has already downloaded and patrons can read on the Nook, so I signed one out to see if I enjoyed this new form of reading. The first book I read was Nubs, written by two writer friends of mine, Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, and thought it looked pretty good.

What I find most exciting is the interactiveness of the story (although who needs Mom now that reading voices and touch screens are at a kid’s service?). I spoke to a mom who thinks these devices are great. She can just hand her Nook to her kid and let them entertain themselves. That dismissiveness bothered me, but I can see when traveling, how the device would be convenient. No more looking through the carry-all bag for a book. No more dealing with an upset kid who left his papers book home. Just download it! Plus how many women will be spared carrying 20 pound bags full of books and toys? So I will give it a try. I even uploaded an original Christmas story to see how this whole alternative publishing venue will work. If you can find it among the myriad of choices, check out Nook Books and Kindle Books for my title The Legend of Christmas Island and read it while you’re going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.

Buy Your Own Nook Book

Book Review


The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson, (Delcorte Press, 2011):  My writer friend, Kirby Larson, was researching Hattie Big Sky (which went on to win a Newbery Honor) when she came upon an interesting piece of history.

In 1927, Japanese schoolchildren sent 58 friendship dolls to the United States as ambassadors of friendship. Kirby had seen a photo of a blond farm girl with an exquisite Japanese doll and the seed for this story was planted. The story is told partly through the doll eyes of Miss Kanagawa – a hoity doll at that – who meets children through the ages and imparts telepathic wisdom upon each child. With each child she feels a tug at her heart.

The touchdowns in each era are interesting to me since Kirby does an excellent job of bringing in historical details and jargon of the country’s different regions and time periods. I especially enjoyed the description of the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago during the Depression (although I secretly hoped the girl would ride the Sky Ride.) There’s a valuable message as well as clever methods of exposing the doll to the various children throughout the ages which makes for an interesting read.

Kirby has put out a challenge to find the 13 dolls that are missing. Check your attic!