Janet Halfmann never knows where her next idea is going to
come from. Writing a children’s book about lizards gave
birth to "Little Skink’s Tail," a fictional book
for young children published by Sylvan Dell Publishing. The
book is illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein.
Recently, the South Milwaukee author led an interactive
reading and craft project at The Children’s Play Gallery in
With a box of different animal tails, she read the story to
preschoolers while they acted out the different animals in the
book - rabbit, squirrel, skunk, owl, deer and turtle.
"My story ideas come from everywhere," Halfmann
After the reading, Halfmann helped the children make tails
of their own in the craft area.
Trying on different types of tails is at the heart of the
story. Once Little Skink loses his tail to evade a black crow,
he walks through the forest imagining all types of other tails
and how they might work for him. In the end, his own tail
The story certainly held the attention of the small group -
with Halfmann’s creatively led interaction along with
Although Halfmann trained to be a teacher, she worked as a
reporter in the early stages of her career and then worked in
Wisconsin for Reiman Publications and Golden Books, where she
was the managing editor for their activity books.
Now, she’s the author of more than 30 books for children
of all ages. Her most recent book is for older children.
"Seven Miles to Freedom" is the story of Robert
Smalls, a slave steamboat wheelman who became a Civil War