"Author Shares Tale of Owl's Quest in 'Who Cooks for You?'"
March 18, 2016
Article taken from Antigo Daily Journal, Vol 111, No. 128, February 17, 2016, Antigo, Wisconsin
It's known as a mnemonic--an easy memory technique--and in Katy Jo Turner's pen, it has become a delightful children's book about a hungry barred owl.
Turner was in Antigo last week promoting "Who Cooks for You?" to area schoolchildren. It is a charming tale of Howie the barred owl's quest for some sustenance and the difficulites along the way.
"Who Cooks for You?" refers to a barred owl's hooting pattern, unique to that species and a mnemonic used by naturalists and others to remember the call.
While Howie eventually ends up enjoying breafast in a diner patterned the Whistle Stop Cafe in Frontencac, Minn., the various animals portrayed do tend to stay true to nature, Turner said. A deer stomps in alarm, turkeys gobble, and a crow harasses the little owl on his journey.
The focus is on that magical time just before sunrise when some animals are awakening and others such as nocturnal owls, are ending their day.
"I wrote the book to share with children what's happening in the world before the sun is up," Turner said. "It's a secret they get to experience through the story."
Turner grew up in souteastern Minnesota where she was introduced to the outdoors at an early age. She said she came up with the idea for her first children's book while sitting in her turkey blind, waiting for the sun to rise.
The author graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a bachelor of science degree in English after a delayed decision to switch focus from natural resource management to writing. Upon graduation she moved to northern Minnesota where she taught outdoor education classes at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve.
Turner later worked for a book publisher in the Twin Cities before deciding to take the plunge and become a full-time author and freelance writer.
"By combining my two passions--writing and the outdoors--I've been lucky enough to hold my perfect job," she said.
The book, designed for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, was illustrated by Melissa Marroquin, a highschool friend, and was published in December.
"It's received a very good reception," Turner said. "People have been very supportive."
"Who Cooks for You?" is available through Amazon.com or directly from the author at katyjoturner.com.