Kelly of Hazel Ridge
by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen
As a young girl growing up on Hazel Ridge Farm, Kelly is aware of how special the place she calls home is. After all, it's not everyday that your backyard lets you view white-tailed deer and sand-hill cranes, swim in ponds populated by snapping turtles or hear the hoot of an owl named Jackson as he keeps watch as you sleep each night. Committed to maintaining a natural wilderness, Kelly's parents have created a wildlife sanctuary where both the land and its animal residents can be nurtured.Kelly of Hazel Ridge is the third title in the Hazel Ridge Farm series (Saving Samantha and Adopted by an Owl) by husband-and-wife team Gijsbert and Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen, and is inspired by their life on their 40-acre farm located in Bath, Michigan. For over 20 years, Robbyn and Gijsbert (also known as Nick) have nurtured the land back to health and raised and released injured and orphaned animals. Nick has illustrated over 20 books for Sleeping Bear Press, including The Legend of Sleeping Bear, The Legend of the Petoskey Stone (#1 Midwest bestseller), and Texas Bluebonnet runner-up Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot.
- Dewey: E
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585362684): 48 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2006, 03/01/2006
- PDF (9781627531504): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Hosted ebook (9781627533799): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Series: The Hazel Ridge Farm Stories
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.3
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 106476
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- Skipping Stones Honor Award, Winner, 2007
- IPPY Bronze Award, Runner-up, 2007
- Great Lakes Book Award Finalist, Runner-up, 2006
- National Outdoor Book Award--Children's Category, Winner, 2006
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Author: Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen
Robbyn has dedicated much of her life to caring for animals. As a youngster she brought orphan animals home to mend and, as an adult, folks delivered them to her doorstep. Growing up as the middle child in a household with six sisters, she became the “entertainer.” Her elaborate and theatrical storytelling was her way of standing out in a crowd and finding her own voice.
Her parents encouraged her to make her hobby her career, so with that in mind she attended Michigan State University and became an animal technician where she continued to care for animals. She met her illustrator husband Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen at the clinic where she worked. Together they share a mutual love of nature.
Nature journaling is a part of their daily lives and an enjoyable way to document all the special animals that have been a part of their lives. The Hazel Ridge series introduces readers to their farm and their true animal tales.
Today, Robbyn visits schools, zoos and nature centers sharing with children and adults the value of journaling, the joy of storytelling and the importance of protecting our natural world.
Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen was born in the Netherlands in 1951. With his seven brothers and sisters, he grew up exploring nature and his sketch pads were filled with observations from those family outings. Always drawing as a young boy, his father encouraged Gijsbert to make art his career. After high school, he attended and graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Arnhem, Holland.
Gijsbert, or “Mr. Nick” as many children affectionately call him during his school visits, immigrated to the United States in 1976 and worked as Art Director for the Michigan Natural Resources Magazine for 17 years. In 1995, he illustrated his first children’s book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear, finally fullfilling his dream of illustrating children’s books.
Residing in Bath, Michigan, Nick and his family share their 40-acre farm with sheep, horses, dogs, cats, turkeys, rabbits, chickens, pigeons and a revolving door of orphaned and injured wild life. The family’s nature journals logged 20 years of wild life rehabilitation on the farm and it is through these journals that the popular Hazel Ridge series was created. The farm, the land and the animals make great subjects for the artist to paint.
Mr. Nick travels to schools and conferences to share his passion for drawing—encouraging kids to make their hobby their career.