Monday, October 20, 2008

Michigander Monday: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

I'm thrilled this week to feature Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen!

Debbie: Tell us a little about yourselves.

Robbyn & Gijsbert: We live on a 40 acre farm that we lovingly changed from a working farm to a wildlife refuge. Because we rehabilitated wildlife for 25 years, we created habitat to release our recovered patients in. Our lives are what we both dreamed about as kids. We both made our hobbies our careers. Me, living in balance with nature, caring for animals and sharing with kids and adults, by way of storytelling, our passion in life. Gijsbert has wanted to illustrate children's books since the age of ten. We are both country folk and love it!

Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your latest books!

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Gijsbert and I are working on our next book together titled Itsy Bitsy and Teeny Weeny. It is the next in the Hazel Ridge series, which are true stories about our farm and the wild animals we raised and released. Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny is about an orphaned lamb fawn that we raised together.

Debbie: Other books, and and projects on the horizon?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Gijsbert's next book will be S is for Smithsonian, an alphabet book about the Smithsonian.

Debbie: Upcoming appearances?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: We are planning our annual Holiday Open House here on the farm December 11- 14. Information is on our web page at

Debbie: Your favorite place in Michigan?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Home on the farm, of course.

Debbie: Favorite Michigan event or happening?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: The Crane migration is always an amazing sight. At Baker Sanctuary in Bellevue, MI, cranes gather nightly during October before they migrate south for the winter. For about 2-3 weeks thousands of cranes can be seen in the evening, as they come in for the evening from outlying grain fields.

Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Kevin and Stephanie Kammeraad are very phun pholks to watch and listen to.

Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Our Fall is spectacular.

Debbie: Some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you "Michiganders" or "Michiganians"?

Robbyn & Gijsbert: Michiganders.

Debbie: Thank you, both of you, for being this week's Michigander Monday!!

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