Guest Post: Authors Karen and Kathy Honaker

From the inspiration behind their new picture book, Traveling Tootsie, to the importance of travel, authors Karen and Kathy Honker share their insights about the process of creating a book about travel for children.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Our love of travel started in childhood.  We both are grateful for the experiences we had with our family and how the travel we did as children opened our eyes to other people, different ways of life, history, landscapes, etc.  Travel is one way to create connections with others, and it is something special families can do together to create memories.  The curiosity was instilled in us at an early age, and it continues today.

We understand how fortunate we were to have these experiences growing up.  We were inspired to write Traveling Tootsie because of the travel our dad did on his own and the travel we did as a family as well.  We had our very own Traveling Tootsie growing up, and we hid our little yellow teddy bear in our dad’s shoe when he went on business trips.  It was tough to see him leave, but knowing Tootsie was hiding in his shoe made it a little bit easier.  We had our own traditions we followed while he was out of town, but we couldn’t wait for him to return and ask him where he was when he found Tootsie and hear all about his trip.  Our dad loved photography as well, so seeing the pictures he took while he was on his trip were also part of the fun.  We would set up the slide projector, and it was almost like “movie night” in our house and we looked at his pictures and he told stories of where he had been.  We couldn’t always go with him, but we still learned a lot about the places he traveled to all over the world.

Travel is one way to create connections with others…

We dedicated this book to our dad because he is the one who instilled the love of travel in us.  At times we were jealous of our friends who got to go to the same beach/lake house every summer, but now we are grateful that our family went somewhere new every year. Our hope is that even if you can’t visit Washington, DC, you’ll be able to learn something about the city.

Our own childhood memory of Traveling Tootsie, our love of travel, our dad’s love of history, and the fun we had watching slides as a family all played a part in writing this book.  From the story to choosing the illustrator.  This was definitely a labor of love!

For more information about the authors and a chance to WIN a signed copy of their new book, visit Book Review + Giveaway: Traveling Tootsie.

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