Julie Hedlund and Daughter, Molly

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)
Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just in case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a sixth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along early in 2015. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays I host guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it is my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Julie Hedlund and her daughter, Molly

Words from Julie about the collaboration: About the poem: A friend of mine named, you guessed it – David, once told me in great detail about a dream he had featuring a brilliantly colored bird. The dream, and his description, was so vivid, I started seeing this bird in my OWN dreams. I felt as if the bird was following me, yet never fully revealing itself. After a while it reminded me of human relationships. We can’t truly hold on to another person or bend them to our will. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just “be” with someone. Thus the inspiration for this poem.

Julie’s Poem


More from Julie: When I sent Molly the poem, I asked her to create a picture based on what she saw. I confess when I got this back, it hit me straight in the heart. So much emotion here. When I asked her to tell me more about it, she said, “I think the bird was a temptation of the characters, so I tried to have them separated by fiction and reality so the bird cannot protect her yet.”

Molly’s Art

David's Bird copy
Art by Molly

We can’t truly hold on to another person or bend them to our will.” — Well said, Julie. I can feel this in your words and Molly’s art. Thanks to both of you for being a part of this series.


Molly and Me (1) copyMeet Molly: Molly has been an artist from birth. She’s always drawn freehand and never wanted or had much use for a coloring book. In addition to drawing and painting, Molly loves theater, singing in the choir, and putting together awesome, fashionable outfits for both herself and her mother. 🙂

Meet Julie: Julie Hedlund is an award-winning children’s book author, founder of the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge, blogger, and a regular speaker at SCBWI and other industry events.

Her picture book, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, Little Bahalia Publishing, 2013, first published as an interactive storybook app, was the recipient of the 2014 Independent Book Publisher’s Association Benjamin Franklin Digital Gold Award. Her storybook app, A SHIVER OF SHARKS, Little Bahalia Publishing, 2013, was a 2014 Digital Book Award winner. Her most recent book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN, released in September 2014 also from Little Bahalia.

Julie is a monthly contributor on author/illustrator Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books children’s literature podcast, a PAL member of SCBWI, and a contributing editor on the subject of 21st Century Publishing for Children’s Book Insider.

Enjoy the trailer from Julie’s book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN.

Thanks to Sylvia at Poetry For Children for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.poetry friday button


48 thoughts on “Julie Hedlund and Daughter, Molly

  1. Hi, Penny, I love this collaboration– and how Julie and Molly connect through words and image. Very cool! Thanks for adding to our Poetry Friday fun, too!

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  2. Beautiful poem by Julie and exceptional art by daughter Molly. Both of you have given depth of emotion in two different art forms-wonderful.

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  3. Goes right to my heart. My little girl loves to “illustrate” my stories and she often surprises me at how good she is.

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  4. A beautiful poem with captivating artwork! Nicely done, both of you.

    Julie, not to be too forward here, but I think Molly and my daughter Miranda are soul sisters somehow. They have the same birthday (both celebrated with ear piercing), both have a name beginning with M, and their interests are freakishly similar as well: art, music, theater, fashion. And then there’s the bird connection: https://pennyklostermann.com/2015/05/15/a-great-nephew-and-a-great-aunt-guests-michelle-heidenrich-barnes-and-12-year-old-daughter-miranda/ Did I mention I have a photo of Miranda in a tank dress and Uggs? Too weird.

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  5. Julie and Molly, Wow! The poem and art together are moving. What a talented mother and daughter! I’ve been writing poems based my kids art…I never thought to do it the other way around…great collaboration!!!

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  6. Another wonderful collaboration, each one ‘seeing’ something different. I imagined the distance I was always aware of when working with students, wanting to be close, but respecting privacy too. Molly’s interpretation of distance is interesting too, wanting the independence, but still keeping the bird close.

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