Darleen Bailey Beard

Darleen Bailey Beard

Darleen Bailey Beard
Growing up in the 1960s in Levittown, Pennsylvania, I was a foot taller than all my friends. My nickname was "Chicken Legs." I was terribly shy. And more than anything, I wanted to be good at something, but I had no idea what my "something" would be. Like most kids, I tried the usual -- pressing leaves in dictionaries, pogo-stick jumping, raising"sea monkeys," and selling Girl Scout cookies. I also tried the unusual -- riding my bicycle with a bag over my head, convincing the neighbor kids to eat dryer lint by telling them it was cotton candy, kissing frogs, and collecting used Band-Aids.
Then, in fifth grade, at Herbert Hoover Elementary School, Mrs. Jacqui Schickling entered my life and introduced me to a whole new world -- writing. My classmates and I started a school newspaper called The Hoover Hotline. We wrote book reports, pen-pal letters, and stories with our spelling words. When Mrs. Schickling asked me to stand in front of the class and read my stories, I shook, terrified, but oh so very proud. And when she asked us to write and illustrate our very own books, I thought I had died and gone to fifth-grade heaven!
In spite of how much I enjoyed writing, I didn't read much as a child. Though the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are my favorites, I didn't read them until I was in my early twenties. I still remember when Laura's dog, Jack, died. I was working as a receptionist and read that chapter on


Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover

Darleen Bailey Beard; Black and white pictures by Heather Maione

Annie Glover’s grandma is always protesting something, but she goes too far when she chains herself to a century-old tree and names it Elmer. Elmer is scheduled to be cut down to make...


The Flimflam Man

Darleen Bailey Beard; Pictures by Eileen Christelow

On a scorching July day in 1950, a fabulous fat man drives into Wetumka, Oklahoma. F. Bam Morrison is selling tickets to Bohn's United Circus Shows, and the townspeople are buying--all, that...



Darleen Bailey Beard; Pictures by Nancy Carpenter

Two children experience a tornado.Although she sees them safely to the cellar, Mama has to leave Lucille and Natt and go help Mr. Lyle, an elderly neighbor. She tells the children...