A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Laura Chamberlain Gehl With a Son and a Daughter

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Thanks to Amy at The Poem Farm for hosting Poetry Friday. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon
Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

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 seventh-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. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with 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’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Laura Gehl, Her 8-year Old Son, and 6-year Old Daughter

From Laura: My youngest two kids were very excited to collaborate with me on this project!

I wrote this poem because my daughter had a lot of trouble learning to swim, with plenty of crying and refusing to get in the water.

In their artwork (my son drew, my daughter colored), the mermaid you see is the mother mermaid.  I thought it was wonderful that my daughter insisted the “Mommy mermaid” should be smiling with “welcoming arms” even though in my poem the mother is a bit annoyed with a grim face.  The mother mermaid is on a blue background to show that she is in the water, encouraging the reluctant little mermaid to join her.

Laura’s Poem

Art Drawn by 8-year Old Son and Colored by 6-year Old Daughter

Art by Laura’s Son and Daughter

The Gehl Family on Kangaroo Island in Australia

Many thanks to Laura, her son, and her daughter for sharing their talents with us today.

Meet Laura: Laura Gehl’s picture books include One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, and the Peep and Egg series, illustrated by Joyce Wan.  Her next two books, both releasing in October 2017, are Peep and Egg: I’m Not Taking a Bath and Koala Challah, illustrated by Maria Mola. Laura is also excited about other upcoming books, including My Pillow Keeps Moving, illustrated by Christopher Weyant, and I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, illustrated by Sarah Horne.  Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com.

Meet the Artists: These two adorable artists also love to read and write. At the moment, they both plan to be writers when they grow up (although astronaut is another option–or possibly teacher, because teachers get lots of gifts from their students, including cookies). Check back in 15 years for a career update.

28 thoughts on “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Laura Chamberlain Gehl With a Son and a Daughter

  1. This poem is such a joyful ride to the beach and the surprise ending is adorable, as are those cutie patootie artists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the poem, the darling mermaid and the story behind them both. I also love the talk about those fairy penguins. Thanks Penny!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. She must see you as smiling with “welcoming arms!” What a joyous collaboration. I want a tail like that when I’m a mermaid…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, if she can just remember the “welcoming arms” and “smiling” moments and not the grumpy, grim-faced moments, then I will be happy!


    1. Australia was pure magic. The wildlife, the natural beauty…and there is amazing coffee and fabulous produce everywhere, too!


  4. So fun! And so true. Mermaids need to dive in and make it happen! Hopefully, ALL mermaids will be wearing THAT exact bikini top. Just saying. Plus, once I almost stepped in a puddle. Almost!

    Love and licks,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the mermaid and the poem too! Did you see any mermaids on Kangaroo Island? I didn’t, but I did see many, many adorable fairy penguins on the beach. One of the highlights of our Australia trip!

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    1. The fairy penguins are sadly few and far between now…the seals have eaten most of them! But we did see lots of koalas, seals, and kangaroos on KI, plus one echidna!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So sad about the penguins. 😦 But we saw echinda there also! And plenty of koalas, etc. Even, after a grassy hike, leeches (eewww…).


      2. Oh! I want to see fairy penguins! (Those darn seals!) They sound magical! I’ve never been to Australia but if I go I’ll be looking for them and for all of those animals you mentioned by Laura.
        Thanks for coming by, Cathy 😀


    1. Thanks, Robin! The daughter has now decided to be an artist when she grows up. Another week, another new career choice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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