Hi, and Welcome to my website!
I'm Susan Williams Beckhorn and I write for children because, when I was a kid, books meant everything to me. I just figured someday it would be my turn to tell my own stories.
I love to visit schools and share what I do with kids. I would have been thrilled to have an author or illustrator visit my school. It would have made me feel that my dream was more possible.
Hurrah! It's finally here! Moose Power! Muskeg Saves the Day is now available from Down East Books and wherever children's books are sold.
"Moose Power! Muskeg Saves the Day" is a children's picture book about the life of a rescued baby Maine moose named Muskeg. Muskeg was found by retired Quebecoix logger Jean du Bois because his faithful horse Kate refused to budge until the orphan moose fawn was discovered. Muskeg and Kate became best friends, but Kate was old and ready to retire, while Muskeg was big and strong and young. Jean encouraged Muskeg to leave and return to the wild, but Muskeg would not leave his friends. Finally, one Christmas when Kate was too old to pull any more, Jean du Bois and his grandson Ti'Jean decide to hitch Muskeg to the sleigh like Santa's reindeer and let him pull a balsam fir home through the deep snow for their Christmas tree. Then Muskeg learned from that day forth to wear harness and pull heavy loads like Kate used to do. "Moose Power" has beautiful paintings illustrating Muskeg's daily life, and there is a glossary of French Canadian names and words with translations and pronunciations at the end of the book. "Moose Power! Muskeg Saves the Day" is a first class children's historical storybook, suitable for children age 4 and up.
--Midwest Book Review
Who doesn't love a big goofy moose and a grandpa and grandson who don't know what to do about their horse, Katy, who is too old to work and their fast-growing, big antlered orphan from the woods? The beautiful artwork is by Vermont illustrator, Amy Huntington. I think she really captured the heart and soul of my story. Thanks, Amy!
You guessed it, Katy in the story is named for my little Morgan mare who would gladly pull logs and race all in the same day, like her famous ancestor. I really hope people like this one because I just sent my editor Moose Feathers, in which the little boy, Ti'Jean finds a goose egg which hatches and, you guessed it, the gosling imprints on Muskeg! I'd love to see Amy's illustrations for that!
A big thank you goes to my editor, Karin Womer. A while back, after Moose Eggs was published, I sent her one of those photos that goes around the internet of a moose in full harness with the message, "Our next book?" She said, "Sure!" and the rest, as they say, is history. Easiest query I ever sent! Turns out the photo was a hoax, but there are existing real photos of moose and elk in harness, so it's a tall tale with a germ of truth to it. My French Canadian connection, Francine Veilleux, helped me with finding suitable phrases for my character, Jean du Bois. We had a lot of fun, sitting on the dock at my camp in New Hampshire working on the manuscript. So a lot goes into a few words, you see! My Alfred State College computer animation students got to see and comment on the story in progress as well.
So now, weighing in at just a few ounces, but strong and healthy and looking for lots of love, is my new baby, Moose Power! I hope lots of kids and librarians find it. Let me know what you think.