Fame and fortune as a children’s author? Lisa Westberg Peters laughs. “I drive a car with library books, candy wrappers, ice skates, mittens, parking tickets and doughnuts tossed in the back seat.” Clearly, someone on familiar terms with children.
Peters started writing at age 30 after “reading hundreds of children’s books to my daughters.” But unlike every other parent who has thought, “I could do this,” then quickly abandoned the idea, Peters actually did it, and did it well. She has more than a dozen published children’s books to her credit.
Peters says she first started writing down her stories in 3rd grade, adding “I wrote [the story] on graph paper, which we always had around the house because my dad was an engineer.” Her curiosity about the physical world, cultivated in part by her father, and her ability to observe and interpret the natural world in unique ways plays a big part in her writing. The result: colorful illustrated picture books on evolution, the water cycle, geology, and other topics that approach complex subject matter with a sense of wonder and even whimsy.
Peters book, Our Family Tree: an Evolution Story, is a case in point. “I wanted to write about evolution,” says Peters. “I knew that this subject pulled on my emotions and made me wonder what it means to be human. … I wanted to make room for that emotion and that sense of wonder.”