CHRIS HELENE BRIDGE
AUTHOR • ARTIST • BRIDGE 2 LITERACY
Spring is Coming! is being distributed to victims of Hurricane Harvey
and beyond to rebuild personal libraries and bring hope for brighter days ahead. Red Envelopes inspires young readers to also become writers
as they discover the joys in giving and receiving mail. It has also been chosen recently to be the featured book at Pop Up Summer Encouragement Camps throughout Houston. Consider the Lilies is an inspirational gift book for adults which transports the reader through
a garden of watercolor paintings and uplifting thoughts. The Mercer Arboretum is benefiting from the sales of these books as they restore
Born in Colorado, Chris has traveled and lived in numerous places in the US and around the world. Now, a Houston resident, she enjoys being outdoors, travel, reading and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband have two grown sons.
Chris Helene Bridge is an award-winning author, artist and literacy advocate whose creative work continues to make a difference to people worldwide.
Andrew’s Story, has educated and inspired pediatric patients and their families at MD Anderson Cancer Center and pediatric oncology clinics internationally where it is given to families at the point of their child’s diagnosis. Learning of the impact of the literacy crisis, Chris was determined to get books into the hands of children at risk for illiteracy. Chris partnered with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation who selected Read to Me! - a Moonbeam Award Winner - to feature at their summer literacy camps and distribute to children at risk. Chris’s three subsequent children’s books have all been featured in consecutive years by the Barbara Bush foundation as they continue their fight against illiteracy. Her book, The Same Heart is being praised by peacemakers globally as it introduces diversity and helps build a bridge to unity.
Who you were as a child may be a clue as to who you may become as an adult.
This is what I was reading at age seven. It cost
50¢ and I got it at school through Scholastic Books.
This book is still with me
all these years later! If you
look at your child's favorite books, maybe there will be
a clue to their futures!
If you looked in my drawers when I
was a child you would have found rocks, seashells, art supplies, stationery and books. I was born in Colorado and lived in many places … mostly in the Midwest. But for a few years I also lived in Australia with my parents and three brothers.
Rocks: Like most children who grew up in the early 60’s I spent a lot of time outside. I enjoyed swinging under our apple tree and playing with my brothers, the kids in our neighborhood and whatever cats, dogs, squirrels, birds or rabbits that we could get our hands on. I remember an old rock collector who lived down the street from us who we all thought was very mysterious. Later, he became the inspiration for a book called Mr. Geode. Life was simple and wholesome. Our family watched The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights and because my father loved nature we often watched Wild Kingdom or National Geographic specials together.
Seashells: When we moved to Australia we lived about an hour from the beach and spent many weekends there playing in the waves, discovering tide pools and building castles in the sand. I began collecting seashells
there and have never stopped. If you come to my house you will find many baskets full of them from beaches all around the world. No matter how long we stayed at the beach, a weekend or a week, we always would say I wish we could stay one more day … that feeling is what inspired me to write a story called One More Day at the Beach.
Art Supplies: My mother is very artistic and encouraged me with my
interest in art. She always kept a variety of pencils, papers, paints and
more to experiment with and together we spent many hours creating.
Stationery: My mother was also a letter writer and she taught me to write
as well. We never lived close to my grandparents so I followed her example and wrote letters to them often. They would write me back and this only encouraged me to write them again. I still smile when I go the mailbox and find mail from family or friends. It was these experiences that prompted me
to write The Red Envelope.
Books: Picture books, comic books and chapter books … I liked them
all. I liked reading and I liked being read to. My third grade teacher Miss Herrity read to us from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series every day after lunch. None of us wanted her to stop reading when it was time to get back to our studies and we always let out a moan and pleaded for her to read a little longer. And the Scholastic book orders at school were always cause for excitement. I spent way too much time savoring the descriptions and
laboring over the decisions of which books to order. And then there was library day. I remember saving up my questions all week for library day.
It was then that I could look up whatever I had been wondering about.
I knew I could always find my answers in books.
Years later I went to college and met my husband. After graduating
I taught school for five years in Iowa. Then we started our family and moved
to Minnesota. Our sons Tyler and Andrew loved being read to and we read
a lot of books. They often followed me around the house with books in hand saying, “Read to me!” This inspired a story I wrote for them which later became a book and their words became the title; Read to Me!
I loved being a mother and our boys gave me plenty of material to write about. They were responsible for me picking up my pen and capturing some special moments in stories for their scrapbooks. A trip to the orchard on a crisp fall day led to a story called Appletime. When Andrew was sick we took pictures together and I wrote about his experience. This later became Andrew’s Story.
Just like you, I am a part of all the places I have been and all that I have experienced and these are what have inspired everything I have written. Today if you looked in my drawers you would find much more of the same things that were in my drawers when I was young … including many scrapbook stories that may someday become real books.
What would we find if we looked in your drawers? What do you
think you could be if you used some of the things in your drawer
when you grow up?
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