Filed under: Authors
Jeanette Stickel is an award-winning author of poetry and has authored several books for children, speech therapists, teachers and parents. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Jeanette has provided speech therapy in schools and speech clinics in California, Alaska and Guam, as well as in-home speech therapy and parent education to children and their families. Her interest in early intervention motivated her to write a book of language activities for the very young, entitled TALKING TIME: Language Enrichment Activities: Birth to Three.
In her work as a Speech Pathologist, Jeanette uses children's literature to build vocabulary, improve speech and language skills, and inspire her students with good stories. Mama's Needle was written in response to one of those students who provided a different sort of inspiration. During one speech therapy session, Jeanette read a book in which the main character had dark skin. After she read it, one of her students pulled the book to his chest, hugged it tight and said, "He looks like me!" His face shimmered with surprise and joy. That look of surprise ignited a desire to bring more stories into the world that this child, and others, could relate to in such an intimate way. It is her hope that Mama's Needle will touch the lives of her students and other children as they build their own future and dream big.
The illustrations in this book were a collaborative project with Jeanette's college friend, Helen Worcester. Ms. Worcester provided pencil drawings and Jeanette used photoshop to combine drawings, photographs and other images to create the illustrations.
Jeanette lives with her husband on the coast in Northern California where the dramatic ocean waves, majestic redwoods and scenic hiking trails provide plenty of inspiration for her poetry and stories. Her two grown sons and daughter-in-law live close by and are a great source of encouragement as Jeanette carves a space in her life for writing. As always, her students keep her informed about what's popular in children's literature today. Jeanette is currently working on a new collection of poetry and polishing a middle grade novel she completed before starting Mama's Needle.
Winning Entry: Mama’s Needle
Contest Won: North Street Book Prize 2019, First Prize