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Lake Minnetonka
Living Magazine,

Spring 2008

Local authors highlight diversity, personal health in Children's books

By Kelly Westhoff

The Twin Cities have long been lauded as a bright spot for the nation’s literary types. The country’s largest literary center, The Loft, conducts readings and writing classes from its headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. Several respected small presses call the metro area home, not to mention bookish heavy weights like Garrison Keillor, Kate DiCamillo, Faith Sullivan and more.

But it turns out that the Lake Minnetonka area is also a hot bed of literature—children’s literature, that is. In the past year, two dynamic writing teams with local ties have dreamed up and delivered entertaining, comprehensive and educational book series for children.

JoAnne Pastel and Kakie Fitzsimmons, two moms frustrated with the lack of racially diverse images in their sons’ picture books, conceived an entire line of children’s books and products featuring a rainbow of characters.

The product line, called Bur Bur and Friends, showcases people with a variety of skin tones all interacting together.

Timothy Culbert and Rebecca Kajander, a doctor-nurse team with years of pediatric experience, published a trio of books in a series called Be the Boss of Your Body.

The books teach kids that they are capable of emitting control over their bodies, and therefore capable of controlling their own health.

Lake Minnetonka Living sat down with both writing teams to learn more about their passions, their projects and their pride in calling the Lake Minnetonka area home.

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The remainder of this article can be found in the spring 2008 issue of Lake Minnetonka Living Magazine.

Learn more about Bur Bur and Friends by visiting www.burburandfriends.com.

Learn more about Be the Boss of Your Body by visiting www.freespirit.com.

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