Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: “See Me Healthy,” by Kimberly Barder

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


See Me Healthy

by Kimberly Barder

I am alive now,
Our heartbeats are one.
My breath gives you life,
My very water within you,
It does run.
You walk on my body,
And I give way.
And up until now,
I’ve not much to say.
But, I implore you,
As I speak to you now,
I am so tired,
And much more can’t allow.
I love you as myself,
For we are one,
But my body needs rest,
To undo what you’ve done.
I do not blame you, dear beloved,
I only love pure and true . . .
As I wait for you to remember,
To rise up and create anew.
See me healthy now,
See me pure.
Allow me to be here,
For your children and grandchildren,
I love you,
Your Mother.


Kimberly Barder is a mother, an intuitive, a poet, and an author of children’s picture books. The children’s books that Kimberly writes have their essence in oneness, kindness, and compassion. She also enjoys writing poetry and researching and reading about all things spiritual. Kimberly also enjoys walks on the beach, and a good cup of tea coupled with a great book to read. Currently, Kim is working on her autobiography. You can visit her website at www.kimberlybarder.com and you can also follow her on Instagram (@kimberlybarder).

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: Sam and Nibbles Chase a Butterfly, by Berrie Torgan-Randall

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

sam's butterfly2withbluejean

Sam and Nibbles Chase a Butterfly

by Berrie Torgan-Randall

Berrie Torgan-Randall is the Illustrator Coordinator for the Eastern PA SCBWI. She is looking forward to making connections with professionals while organizing events for illustrators who are on a similar journey of creating beautiful and meaningful picture books. You can visit her website at www.berrietr.com.

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: “The Hiding Place,” by Jennifer Raudenbush

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

girl climbing tree

The Hiding Place

by Jennifer Raudenbush


Cloistered within my secret room of leaves

the children come:

            to soak up sacred space

            to touch the holy

            to be.


They perch on gnarled branches

            eyes opened

            eyes closed

sharing secrets.


Desires and hopes


nesting in my leaves;


the only sound the swishing of the breeze,

murmurs of a thousand whispered prayers.


When not writing picture books, middle grade, and poetry, Jennifer Raudenbush is likely reading, spending time in nature, or adventuring with family. She is a member of SCBWI, 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and Inked Voices. Her biggest vices are chocolate and cookies! She’d love to connect with more members of Eastern PA SCBWI. You can visit her website at jenraudenbush.com and follow her on Twitter (@jenraudenbush).

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: Tanguy Garden, by Kristin Weldon Peri

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.



Tanguy Garden

by Kristin Weldon Peri

Kristin Weldon Peri is an award-winning artist, attorney, and writer who is happiest when she is creating. Her outlook is one of constant optimism, and she frequently taps into her strong sense of childlike wonder and whimsy while creating. Her work has been featured on and in Pottery Barn Kids, Amy Atlas, Style Me Pretty, Main Line Today Magazine, and various other publications. She has appeared on Cake Wars and Sweet Genius on Food Network, Foodies “Just Desserts” on NBC10, and Fox 29’s Good Day Live Philadelphia, as well as other televised programs. You can visit her website at www.kristinweldonperi.com and follow her on Facebook (Kristin Weldon Peri) and Instagram (@kristinweldonperi).

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Cafe Chat with Acquisitions and Managing Editor Kathleen Merz, by Laura Parnum


While many establishments are currently closed for business during the coronavirus pandemic, we are fortunate to be able to keep our VIRTUAL cafe open. I recently invited Eerdmans editor Kathleen Merz to join us at the Eastern Penn Points Café for a quick chat. Kathleen will be presenting at our virtual Pocono Retreat on April 18. If you haven’t already checked out the details for our online conference, click here.

Laura: Hi Kathleen! Welcome to the Eastern Penn Points Café. Before we get started, would you like something to drink or munch on?

tea pouringKathleen: I’ll never turn down a good cup of tea!

Laura: We’ll make that two! First off, can you tell us more about Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. What kinds of books do you publish and who do you work with?

Kathleen: We’re a small independent publisher based in southwest Michigan. We do mainly picture books, with occasional middle grade titles. Over half the books we publish are international books that we bring to the US—often in translation. We do also work with authors, illustrators, and agents in the US to originate books—and we’re one of the publishers that still accepts unsolicited submissions. All of the books we publish aim to open up a wider world for young readers—we have a strong historical, multicultural, and global focus in the books we publish. We look for books that both delight us and also offer something unique.

Laura: What are some things on your personal wish list?

Kathleen: Like most publishers, we’re looking for diverse authors and artists who can speak to the wide range of experiences our children have. I’m also always looking for authors with a strong, distinct voice and a good sense of character development. And I’m especially excited about exciting ways that kidlit creators are using narrative techniques to bring nonfiction alive.

Nile Crossing coverI also want to say that the projects that most catch my attention are the ones I never would have known to ask for. I often use the example of our book Nile Crossing (Eerdmans 2017, written by Katy Beebe, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport), which is about a young boy leaving the only life he’s known—fishing the Nile with his father—to start scribe school. It’s a sort of off-to-school book, but set in ancient Egypt. I would never have thought of that! But it’s got great historical information and a relatable storyline—and a wondrously strong, lyrical voice.

Laura: I will definitely have to check that one out. So, lately I’ve been kind of obsessed with the DC character Harley Quinn. What’s your current obsession? It can be book related, a hobby, or anything!

gardening toolsKathleen: I’m writing this while Michigan currently has a stay-at-home order because of Covid-19. So the things I’m taking joy in right now are the quiet bits of home-life that I don’t always spend enough time noticing. I’ve been getting my garden ready for spring, and I just put in an order for far more seeds than I’ll probably have room to plant. I’m finding a lot of hope in growing things.

Laura: One of the projects you worked on was the award-winning book The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, which was written by one of our own Eastern PA SCBWI members, Jen Bryant (published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014, illustrated by Melissa Sweet). Just for fun, and in honor of this book, what are some of your absolute favorite WORDS?

The Right Word coverKathleen: Ooh, I love this question! I studied linguistics and I’ve dabbled in as many languages as I could. I love etymology! But it’s also a hard question because there are just so many good words! Here’s a few that I love: Scintillating. Impetuous. Widdershins. Ember. Kerfuffle. Nefarious. Delve. Dazzle. Catkin. Liminal. Syzygy. Incandescent. Nestle. Ineffable. Glow. Twitterpated. Azure. I could go on all day . . .

Laura: Those are some excellent words! I’ve always been partial to the word “elbow.”

You’ll be joining us at our virtual Pocono Retreat later this month. Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’ll be presenting there?

Kathleen: I’m going to be giving a talk on revision—which is one of my favorite topics, since it’s a major part of what I do as an editor! I’m hoping that attendees will come away with a new appreciation for seeing their work in fresh, helpful ways—re-envisioning it, if you will.

Laura: Thanks so much for chatting with us. We can’t wait to hear more from you at our online conference!

kathleen-merzKathleen Merz is the Acquisitions & Managing Editor at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. She has worked on a number of award-winning titles, including books that have won the Caldecott Honor, the Batchelder Award for translation, the Sibert Medal, and other honors. She studied English and linguistics, and especially enjoys working on translated books and nonfiction picture books. As an editor, she is always looking for stories that tackle unexpected subjects and have a strong, unique voice. Kathleen lives in Michigan, and when she’s not at work editing she can usually be found outdoors biking or kayaking.



Posted in Cafe Chat, Interviews, Pocono Retreat, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: “Here Comes Spring,” by Jane Resides

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


Here Comes Spring

by Jane Resides

The resting time is almost past

    for trees that  line my yard.

A patch of white—snow left behind—

    I’ll gladly disregard.

Green stems and leaves of daffodils,

    pushed through the stone cold ground.

Their flowers trapped, in slim white sleeves,

    will form a yellow mound.

Bright purple crocus raise their heads,

    they whisper spring is here.

Forsythia bushes rustle,

   and the pussy willows hear.

Soon all God’s creatures seem to know.

    Red Robins come. Gray Juncos go.

The geese lay eggs, while trees stand bare.

    Trees seem to be so slow.

At last when sun and rain merge powers,

    trees wake and hear the call.

Then baby leaves of yellow-green,

    unfurl to greet us all.

                  And spring is here!!


Growing up, Jane Resides’s vacations were spent in the woods she loved. So it’s not surprising that she and her husband built a log cabin the pioneer way—no power, no nails. Since graduating college in her fifties, she has been writing poems, short stories, picture books, and articles, and participating in the same critique group for over 15 years.

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating 50 Years of Earth Day: Dreamscape with Rabbit, by Anni Matsick

This April we are filling the EasternPennPoints blog with art and poetry in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Dreamscape with Rabbit

Dreamscape with Rabbit

by Anni Matsick

Artist’s statement: The painting is first in my Dreamscape series in which I try to portray subconscious thought, where actual meaning is not evident. The scene has indications of an earlier time, as if from a long-stored memory. I invite the viewer to form their own “story.” For me, it recalls memories of my grandparents’ yard, where we picked cherries, grapes, and gooseberries for jelly, and ate tomatoes pulled fresh from the vine. The work was included in Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 2019 40th Annual International Juried Exhibition.

Anni Matsick has over 30 years of experience as a freelance illustrator for numerous publishers of trade and educational materials. Her paintings have won numerous awards and two appear in Splash 19: The Best of Watercolor published by North Light Books. For the past 16 years Anni has served as Chair for the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania’s popular Recycled Show featuring entries made from cast-off materials. This year’s show runs May 1-24 in State College (www.artalliancegallerydowntown.org). See more of Anni’s artwork at www.annimatsick.com.

Posted in #EarthDay, Blog Themes, Earth Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments