The Bramble Thicketis about eight Bramble Thicket bears™ who embark
on a journey to find a new home. While stranded in the forest, the bears’
kindness, persistence and teamwork help them to overcome many obstacles to
create a fairy tale adventure story unlike any other. Throughout the story,
the bears demonstrate concepts and virtues such as vocabulary building,
reading comprehension, problem solving skills, teamwork, manners, and
honesty, all of which are essential building blocks in the growth of a
congratulations to you and James Seward on the publication of the delightful
book The Bramble Thicket and for participating in this Book
Spotlight. Could you please share some information about yourself and your
DT: It is a pleasure to share
The Bramble Thicket with you and your readers. The publication of
The Bramble Thicket is fulfillment of a dream. My family has been a great
encouragement. During the thirty-some years of marriage, my husband Jay and
I have always believed that dreams do come true. We have two adult children,
both were homeschooled and have gone on to earn Master of Law degrees. As a
stay-at-home mom, I was able to practice my belief that Motherhood is the highest calling in the
world. It requires various skills, self-discipline and a sense of humor!
I like to learn new things, analyze
old concepts, and develop new ideas. I am a creative thinker, author, master
seamstress, artist (Paper Mache’ sculpture, and water color landscapes),
designer, teacher, and basket weaver. In addition to these activities, I
enjoy conversation, travel, hiking, reading and meeting new people. Talents
are gifts from God and I am thankful for his blessing.
LH: What served as the
inspiration for The Bramble Thicket? What message would you like to
share with your readers, both young and "young at heart?”
DT: I had noticed a trend in children’s
book that led away from traditional values. “Someone should write stories
parents can trust,” I told Jay. Little did I realize that someone would be
me. The Bramble Thicket began one day as we were traveling. I began
to see the opening scenes in my mind. I described them to Jay and later
wrote them down. The original manuscript is written on scraps of paper,
napkins, and placemats.
A good story is one that is enjoyed
by all ages. The Bramble Thicket is a story of hope for everyone. I
write stories to touch the imagination of children, and stories that do that
will touch the imagination of others, for we were all children once.
LH: James Seward's
illustrations for The Bramble Thicket are magnificent! How does
it feel to see your beloved characters come to life at the hand of a gifted
DT: It was an incredible experience
seeing the characters as Jim painted them. Mr. Seward is a great painter and
a wonderful person. Illustrating is a process that begins with the selection
of passages to be illustrated. One day after Jim and I had made the
selections, he sat back, wiggled his fingers and said “I am your
fingers…tell me what you see.” He then did rough concept sketches of the
images in my mind. The next step was the pencil drawings, and the final step
was the painting. Each illustration became more than my vision as Jim
combined his talent and experience with the text. The opportunity to work
with one on the greatest storyteller illustrators in America, will always be
one of my cherished memories!
LH: Moral themes seem
to abound in The Bramble Thicket, as does the message that we can all
overcome obstacles in life. Was this your intention for writing the story?
DT: Children and adults learn great
principles through stories. From parables to fairy tales stories with
purpose teach and encourage. The Bramble Thicket Bears look at life as an
opportunity to solve problems, not be overcome by them. The cast of eight,
very busy bears creates the opportunity for the reader to identify moral
themes and values. The Bramble Thicket Bears teach by example. Throughout
the story the bears demonstrate: Teamwork • Determination • Kindness •
Consideration • Respect for others • Hope • Curiosity • Gentleness •
Courtesy • Exploration • Manners • Safety • Self-respect • Confidence
LH: One of my favorite
elements of The Bramble Thicket is its emphasis on Good Manners. Why
do you feel this is an important message to share with young children?
DT: Good Manners are an important theme
in The Bramble Thicket. Manners are tools that allow us to interact
with one another. Manners teach self-restraint and consideration for others.
Rough and Tumble (twin Bramble Thicket™ Bears) are learning to use their
manners. They do not always succeed, but they do try! This is an important
lesson for young children. Good manners take practice. Wise parents teach
good manners to their children.
LH: Do the Bramble
Thicket Bears have any plans or dreams for the future?
DT: Yes! The bears, are still having
adventures so I am writing more Bramble Thicket stories! There are many more
stories written (over twenty), waiting to be published. Some of the
additional titles include, Brick Walls that Talk! The Secret Code
and Lessons from a Soap Box. Perhaps, Bramble and Helper will set up
their own printing press! Until they do, I will continue to write the
Bramble Thicket stories!
LH: Thank you again for
your time and for sharing this wonderful story with our readers. Are there
any closing thoughts or comments you'd like to add?
The Bramble Thicket
is a treasure book. It is eighty-eight pages, divided into twelve chapters.
The book is designed to teach reading comprehension and build character.
The Bramble Thicket is different because it is filled with the same
thing that makes stars twinkle and dreams come true. It is more than
imagination - it is the wonder of hope and discovery. The same wonder we see
in the eyes of a child at Christmas time, is brought to hearts all year long
in this story. Children believe in the Bramble Thicket Bears!
Thank you for this opportunity to share
The Bramble Thicket with your readers. It is available at bookstores