Children’s Book Author, Michelle Provost
- March 24, 2020
- Savanna Simmons
I found Michelle Provost, author of ABC’s on the Ranch and ABC’s of Horses, on Facebook as she was requesting photos for her second book. Our Appaloosa Chavez found his way into her fun children’s book ABC’s of Horses. If you care to purchase either book, they can be found on Amazon here for the ranch book and here for the horse book.
Please tell me about yourself, first and foremost, and your family and ranching situation.
I have four children and my husband is a rancher. I’m a school teacher and didn’t grow up on the ranch; neither did husband. We’ve just been ranching for four years. My husband worked on a feedlot previously for about three years. We live in Nebraska.
How did you decide upon authoring children’s books?
The first area we lived in Nebraska was so remote, I homeschooled my kids. As part of our schooling, we came up with the alphabet and drove around and took pictures for the book. Most of the pictures came from me and the ranch in Nebraska. We did have to get a few others from those in the area we lived in. The dog pictures were from another state.
Another thing, when I would read my kids stories at night, I would think, “Well, it doesn’t seem that hard to write a kid’s book.” So being inspired from my kids’ books and my homeschooling is how I came to put the book together.
What can kids learn from the titles, especially if they’re already ranching kids, but also if they aren’t?
The area where I live, most of the families are ranching families, and the ranching kids love the book. The little kids love to point things out and recognize things that are familiar to them. A is for alfalfa, B is for barn. With the horses book, I learned things about horses from the book, such as the Knabstrupper breed. It’s for those who are horse enthusiasts, but even if they aren’t, they can likely learn something.
You turned to the public for a photos in ABCs of Horses, which I think is neat! Tell me about that and choosing photos from those submitted.
ABCs of Horses was quite the selection process. I would think about how the layout looked and how the colors look. I would submit it and print it and thought it didn’t look quite right. So then I would ask some of my kids and some neighbors. It all came down to how it looked on the page. I did get quite the collection of pictures to choose from.
I finally decided I needed to be done or I would keep changing it forever.
For the horse book, I did a photo contest, and I actually just did internet searches and met people. There’s a picture from Australia and one from England. I didn’t just go on a photo site, I would contact the person and get permission to use their photo.
I also found some on Facebook pages with horses for sale, and so I would just contact them.
What else do we need to know about, your family, and the books?
I grew up in Wyoming and grew up doing a lot of trail riding. That was my experience with horses, trail riding and hunting. I tried out for rodeo queen one year, but I have not had any experience with ranching until recently.
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...