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 Eileen Ryan Ewen was born into a family of artists who fostered her love of story- telling through pictures. She earned a BFA in Painting from Miami University (Ohio) and an MFA in Creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is also the illustrator of Miss Colfax’s Light (SBP, releasing March 2016). She lives in St. Louis with her family.