The Kids of Dandelion Township, by Nicole Borgenicht

It was quite an exciting process creating characters for the story. They derived from events in history and my idea of what people felt like in varying circumstances, to actual friends I’ve had plus myself - allowing the full gamut of emotions and traits bounce off my imagination to create distinctive characters. Each child in this story is an amalgamation of several people and a pure invention of some one who holds such characteristics and others. When I first wrote the story I wanted to find an illustrator used to creating children; this would be an essential draw. More specifically I thought, if I could imagine the children I wrote about, and an illustrator could create them in their free imagination - I had something universal. Thus from a website of nearly 100 illustrators, I chose the work of Lisa M Griffin, and our journey began! Fortunately she was as delighted with the story as I was with her artwork. Furthermore, once I got into later text revisions, I even tailored some of my minor details to accompany her art! It’s been a great experience.

As far as the theme goes, this is a story of compassion, understanding, and creative use of the intelligence. Plus, I’ve been devising ideas for kids stories about how the various holidays intercept. In this magical adventure, the children interpret an appearance of gifts to be a sign for each of their holidays - Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa. I like to think of all holidays to be enjoyed by every single kid as they wish. From the eyes of a child, understanding one another and relating to the world similarly is a shared experience - not without the pitfalls of hurt, challenges, and goals.

For the setting, I created an anywhere concept of school and forestry. However, the meadow where magical things occur, derived from my memory of a meadow near where my dad, Jack Borgenicht had a country house and he eventually moved. Now my step-mother Fran Borgenicht lives there summers and we all visit her then. While growing up, my brother Stew Gilbert and I used to take a circuitous route through the woods to discover the meadow, even though in fact there was a quicker way to it. Our prolonged path seemed to allow the birth of new magic in our favorite spot. Once we arrived with friends and brothers and sisters when they were around, (all either weekenders like us, or full time residents), we had a spirited free gathering. This sort of thing happens everywhere but a little differently in each location. For instance, as a child of the 60s growing up in Manhattan, Central Park Be-Ins had this kind of alchemy. To no surprise, another meadow as the popular place in Central Park, I recall many trips there with my friend Karen Toffler, and the massive appearances of kids from every corner of the park to Sheep Meadow. Glistening moments in meadows in New York’s Central Park or the New Jersey country-side seemed to transform into a forever fun place for us kids, just as the children in Dandelion Township are drawn to the magical meadow. I’d like all children to enjoy this adventure.

The book: The Kids of Dandelion Township is a story about three friends who live in a magical world, however they face many of the challenges all children must tackle. From emotional sensitivities, to crushes and trying to get good grades, the kids are part of a circle of friends who discover their differences and similarities together. The emphasis on this story is to enjoy youth while reaching for goals.

Author’s bio: Nicole Borgenicht’s newest title The Kids of Dandelion Township is her first chapter book. She is a children’s writer with a published picture book called The Bridge, and numerous short stories published in the Los Angeles Times Kids Reading Room, Stories for Children and Ladybug Flights Magazines. Her other works comprise adult short stories, articles, one act plays published in national and regional magazines.

Check out Nicole's complete tour at World of Ink Book Tours!

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Mayra Calvani said…
Thanks for being my guest today, Nicole! Your book looks delightful and I wish you the best of luck with it and with the rest of the tour.

Thanks for sharing this backstory to your book. It's always interesting to read how authors get their ideas.

Thanks for sharing Mayra and Nicole about how you created your characters. I love reading author's comments about their books and inspirations.
Thanks for hosting Nicole on our blog and sharing about her characters in The Kids of Dandelion Township.