PETE THE PEACOCK GOES TO TOWN (children’s picture book by Terri Branson) is now available at Lulu in color paperback for just $8.99 and coloring book for just $5.24. Pete the Peacock flies away from the farm one afternoon and straight into trouble in a nearby town. When he perches atop a local church to listen to the singing, his peacock calls wreak havoc on the afternoon choir practice. — Click here to read more and to find sales links…
BROTHER DRAGON, the EPPIE 2005 Trophy Award Winner for Best Children’s Book written by Terri Branson and illustrated by Chet Taylor, is now available in an expanded 46-page edition with 22 full-page color illustrations. [Children’s Picture Book (rated G for ages 2-7) | Available in color paperback, color hardback, coloring book, and color ebook] Although born a water dragon, all Brother Dragon dreams about is flying among the clouds. But will his wish come true in time to save his adopted human family? | Click here to read more and to find sales links….
Read the new children’s picture book, WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK, written by Terri Branson and illustrated by Chet Taylor. [Released in 2015 on the Kittycat Books label of Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. | Rated G for ages 2-7 and illustrated in color | Available in ebook, color library hardback, color paperback, and paperback coloring book] On the road to the farm, a six-year-old’s imagination is stirred by his grandfather’s tall tales of an ancient Native American warrior called Falling Rock. Once at the farm, the boy thinks he sees Falling Rock everywhere, from the pasture to the pond and more. Is it his imagination or is he really seeing the ghost of Falling Rock? — Click here to read more and to find sales links…
Several years ago, I was visiting with my brother one afternoon at his house when we stumbled into a rather comical situation involving an entertainment center that would make a starship cockpit envious and his three-year-old son. It went something like this…. From around the corner in the kitchen, my brother was yelling out instructions on how to play a VHS tape he wanted me to see. Now, I am in no way a stranger to the technical world. However, I faced a wall with a television, multiple VCR units, a DVD player, and a stereo system with all the bells and whistles. “Turn on the TV and then the VCR,” my brother instructed from the kitchen. — “Which remote is the VCR?” I asked, yelling to be heard over the microwave. — “It’s the black one!” came an exasperated reply. — I looked down at the shelf to find half a dozen black remotes. Well, that narrows it down. “Describe it!” I called back. — “It’s black and rectangular with little buttons on it!” came a snarky reply. — Oh, well why didn’t you say so in the first place? As I started to head to the kitchen to inform my brother what a horse’s patootie he was being, I looked down to find his three-year-old son shuffling through the remotes. In a matter of seconds, the toddler had turned on the television, activated the VCR, shoved the proper VHS tape into the slot, pressed the PLAY button, and plopped himself in front of the television to watch the show. As the sound of whatever it was we were supposed to be watching now filled the living room, my brother rounded the corner. “See? That wasn’t so hard,” he said. — “Wasn’t me,” I informed, pointing down to the toddler who sat between my feet. “He did it.” — “He can’t even read yet!” my brother exclaimed. — “But he apparently has watched you do it and memorized the buttons,” I said. “If I were you, I’d make sure he doesn’t know how to turn on the computer.” — Years later, using this true story as a base-line, I wrote a children’s picture book entitled TYLER ON THE MOON. The book is about a toddler who memorizes the button sequence to open the doors on a moon habitat and sneaks outside for a dangerous walk alone on the moon. The situation that inspired the story was funny in retrospect, but the lesson is that kids watch what we do and mimic our behavior without understanding the dangers.
Peacocks in Oklahoma? Well, yes. We have peacocks in Oklahoma. They are not native, of course, but seem to like Oklahoma just fine. When I was a kid growing up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, we had a pair of nesting peacocks and I loved the silly things.
Many years later my husband and I lived in a housing development in southwestern Oklahoma City that had grown up around a farm that kept a big barn full of peacocks. I probably was the only person in the neighborhood who enjoyed waiting on the peacocks to cross the highway at 6:30 in the morning. Out of my love for these sweet, silly birds, I wrote two children’s picture books about peacocks: Pete, the Peacock, Goes to Town (2005) and Pete, the Peacock, Goes to the Zoo (2011).
A few years back, my husband and I were watching a local TV newscast about grass fires and realized the reporter had camped in front of that peacock barn near where we used to live. My heart skipped a few beats, until I saw an army of blessed do-gooders rushing in to save the peacocks. After some fairly effective chicken herding, all but one of the peacocks had been scooted into a waiting truck. Well, one burly guy decided he would run down that pesky peafowl and grab him. Yep, you guessed it. With the evening news on live broadcast, this guy grabbed that panicky male peacock by the FEET. In response, the peacock spread his six-feet wide wings, lifted his body into the air, and stared flapping with unrivaled fury. Like brass cymbals cranked into overdrive, the tips of those strong wings clapped repeatedly against the sides of his would-be rescuer’s head. Whap — whap — whap!!! A few seconds later the guy fell back onto the ground, but was still holding onto the peacock’s feet. Whap — whap — whap!!! Finally, the guy let go and the peacock, none the worse for wear, flew into the truck to join its fellow peafowl.
Word of warning folks: You move a peacock by grabbing it from behind and wrapping your hands under its belly. You never run at it face-on and grab it’s feet. Unless, of course, you LIKE being beaten to death by six-foot wide wings. In that case, knock yourself out! 🙂