Joan Jarvis Ellison
Ellison has been writing nonfiction about her sheep since her first book, Shepherdess: Notes from the Field won a Minnesota Book Award in 1996. Most of her writing, including a blog at www.sheepnotes.blogspot.com, and most of her recent books are stories about her sheep. They include another adult book From Sheep to Shawl: Stories and Patterns for Fiber Lovers (published by Wandering Minstrel Press) and three nonfiction childrens picture books. How to Paint a Sheep includes complete directions for painting a sheep – all you need is a spray bottle of Kool Aid™ and a sheep. The Lamb in the Middle is Mine and My Sheep Can Dance make up her Little Lamb Library – a series of small picture books illustrated by Amber Ellison Walker for the first book and Linda Christensen on the Dance book. “One of the best parts about writing a picture book,” said Ellison, “is the wonderful creativity that the illustrators bring to the story.” Her most recent picture book When You Pitch a Tent in the Snow, illustrated by Laurel Ellison Dantas, does not include any sheep.
Ellison has also written about diversity in the Pelican Rapids community in numerous newspaper and magazine articles and two books: The Faces of Change (published by Otter Tail County Historical Society) with photographs by Mel Zierke, and Many Cultures, One Community: a book of stories and recipes (co-written by Sally Williams).
In the last few years, Ellison has begun exploring fiction. Tangled Web is a coming of age story for adults with a bit of a mystery thrown in. The Year (I donated my mom to the library) is a fictional story of how a small town builds a library and changes a young girl's life. It was written for third and fourth grade readers.