Itsy Bitsy and Teeny Weeny
by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen
One spring, as part of their animal rescue work on Hazel Ridge Farm, Gijsbert (Nick) and Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen find themselves caring for a lamb and an orphaned fawn at the same time. They name the lamb Teeny Weeny and the fawn Itsy Bitsy. Raised as "siblings," the two youngsters are inseparable that summer, sharing a playpen in the house, romping together, and just getting into general mischief. As the seasons change, Itsy Bitsy and Teeny Weeny grow into their true selves, away from "Mother" Robbyn and each other. Nature must take its course and the two animals go their separate ways: one back to a life in the wild and the other on to domestic farm life. Warmly illustrated by wildlife artist Gijsbert van Frankhuyzen, this bittersweet story is another gentle lesson in how nature works on Hazel Ridge Farm.Illustrator Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and wife Robbyn team up again for their fourth wildlife tale drawn from their years of work as licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Other books in the Hazel Ridge Farm series are Adopted by an Owl; Saving Samantha; and Kelly of Hazel Ridge. Gijsbert has illustrated numerous books with Sleeping Bear Press including the bestselling The Legend of Sleeping Bear; The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell; and most recently, Bambi's First Day.He and Robbyn make their home in Bath, Michigan, on Hazel Ridge Farm, a 40-acre farm and wildlife refuge.
- Dewey: 598.9
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585364176): 48 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2009, 04/20/2009
- PDF (9781627531719): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Hosted ebook (9781627534178): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Series: The Hazel Ridge Farm Stories
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.4
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 130626
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- New York State Reading Assoc. Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List--Primary Category, Short-listed, 2012
- Missouri Association of School Librarians Show Me Award List, Short-listed, 2011
- Mom's Choice Gold Award--Children's Picture Book: Animal Kingdom Category, Winner, 2010
- Storytelling World Resouce Honor Award: Pre-Adolescent Listeners Category, Winner, 2010
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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.