We are excited to introduce you to local author Heather Boschke.
Tell us about you and what inspired you to write your book series.
At age seven, my first pet was a cockatiel bird named Birdie. My Grandpa also gave me the nickname “Heather Feather,” so my bird love started early. I loved drawing in grade school and in middle school, and then got away from it as I entered high school, college, and then started working. I started drawing birds as a creative outlet during Covid, and then started exploring the nature preserves and going birding to learn more about the little buddies that were the inspiration to my art. After I drew a bird, I would name the bird. And without realizing it, I was creating these little characters. As I learned more about birds, a children’s book started to grow in my heart to help educate kids on the different birds they can find here in Minnesota (and other states) while introducing the unique personalities of each bird.
I also own a marketing business and am an adjunct professor at Metro State teaching an undergrad marketing class.
Tell us all about your book. What can kids and parents expect?
There are two birdie books: Little Birdie Buddies of Minnesota and Little Birdie Buddies of Wisconsin. I wrote the Minnesota book first, but I am from Wisconsin and had to honor my home state. Each book showcases my illustrations and explores 20 different varieties of birds found in each state while introducing their unique personalities. It encourages readers to connect with nature bird facts and see their inner beauty. There is a message at the end about how every bird has different sizes and colors and songs – and what makes them different is what makes them so unique… just like each of us.
While the birds of Minnesota and Wisconsin overlap, each book has new characters and new information, so kids can collect each book to learn about different birds and meet new buddies.
What do you love about the Twin Cities?
I love the incredible access to nature. Since birds are my inspiration, the ability to drive to Fort Snelling State Park, Wood Lake, or Old Cedar Bridge (some of my favorite birding spots) is a gift. There is so much we can learn from nature, and being able to witness the different seasons and migratory birds is really special.
What is the best way for the Minnesota Parent community to support you and your books?
Follow along on my social media platforms where I share my latest drawings, books, events and visits. And if you know of a school or organization that would like to collaborate on a book reading or author visit please let me know. Lastly, if you are looking for fun gifts I also sell cards, prints, and mugs with my little birdies.
How do your books inspire parents and their children?
I’ve heard from so many parents that it gets kids excited about seeing Clarence the cardinal, Ellie the eastern bluebird, and Cobie the crow out in the wild. And getting kids out in nature and away from screens is always a good thing. The book also asks the reader to pick which bird is most like them… so it ignites discussion between parents and kids about the type of bird they identify with and why. The book is also a wonderful bridge between older humans and younger humans to help share the love, wonder, and learning of birds.
Tell us about you! Your family, why you love being a parent. What brings you joy?
I don’t have human children. I am a dog and plant mom 🙂 I have a husband, and we’ve been married for nine years, and I absolutely love being an auntie to my dear friend’s children. What brings me joy is seeing the joy that my birds bring others. I get emails and pictures from parents and grandparents who have connected with the little humans in their lives over this book, and it just fills my heart.
Tell us about your favorite places to go. Restaurants, road trips, parks, etc.
One of my favorite places to visit any time of the year is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The incredible specialty gardens and thousands of plants make every season so special. The spring tulip display is one of the most spectacular times to visit – seeing over 40,000 beautiful tulips in a rainbow of colors is truly breathtaking. They also host events, art fairs, and family fun days – and admission for kids 15 and younger is free. Plus, there’s always good bird sightings at the Arb!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Birding is for everyone and is a very easy way to spend time learning with your kids at no cost. Just jump in your car, head to a park, and look for movement among the trees. Or start paying attention to the birds you see out the window or in your yard. Encouraging kids to connect with nature is a beautiful way to build confidence, a sense of exploration and wonder.
Let us know where we can find you!
email: [email protected]