January 11th, 2012


Three Times A Charm with Ivy Smith

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week we are joined by author, Ivy Smith. I’m rarely lucky enough to meet my guests in person, but Ivy and I and our husbands spent a day together at a book signing in November (The Oregon Book Fair). I’m so thrilled to have her visit SoT because I know how charming she is and how wonderful her books are. Ivy, tell us what you are all about.

My name is Ivy Smith. I've always loved to read, and you can usually find me reading several books at a time. I have two children and four grandchildren. I've worked at many diverse jobs, from librarian to animal handler.

When I worked as an animal handler I observed and took care of animals in their enclosures. I felt a close bond to these animals and I wondered how they felt about their lives. When I wrote my stories I wrote what I thought the animals might be experiencing.

When my children were young I told them stories that I made up on the spot. Over time, I came to do the same with nieces and nephews in the family. I hand made books of photos with short sentences of our times spent together during summers and other holidays. We often look at them remembering the fun and silly times we spent together. I always wanted my writing to include a sense of respect for our place in nature. As bird watching is one of my passions, it is always a part of my day, including; noticing natural things happening around me. It is important to me that people understand that we are part of nature and what we do has an impact on the world around us.

Ivy, you have three great books out right now, Sully’s New Home, Roxie and the Deer and my personal favorite, Stickers VIP (Stickers is SO adorable!!!). Tell us more about your books.

My stories are from the animal’s perspective. Sully is a Sulfur-Crested cockatoo who has moved to a new home, and he is very lonely. He has to go through quite a bit until he feels comfortable in his new environment.

Stickers VIP
, is about a porcupine. He is the star of the animal show and enjoys telling children and adults about himself.

Roxie is a gray fox and she is very mischievous and likes to chase things… big things… like deer! Children and adults can relate to the difficulties that these animals face. It is also important to recognize that these animals live in an animal park. They live there because they can’t survive on their own in the wild. They were taken from their wild home and need to be cared for the rest of their lives. I hope my work continues to help parents and their children think about our place in nature and our responsibility to all living things.

All the books are quite enjoyable. You really have a knack for giving the animals lively, entertaining personalities.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Three books I read in the last year:

Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. These books contain three of my favorite things, history, fiction and fantasy. (and Jamie. I heart Jamie!)

Having known so many Native Americans with great talents, the novel by Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream, by Greg Sarris, appealed to me. A story about a world-renowned Pomo basket weaver and medicine woman.

Wizard of the Upper Amazon: A story of Manuel Cordova-Rios, by F. Bruce Lamb, got my attention. It’s the story of life among a tribe of South American Indians at the beginning of the century. The book reveals experiences of cultural differences that are fascinating.

  • Three pieces of advice for kids these days

Learn, Learn, Learn…learning is so vital these days, and I mean pay attention, you just might discover what your passion is. And it may be many things…Remember, learning is never wasted. It’s true, learning is the key to everything. Reading helps you not only learn but to go to places you may never have the chance to visit personally. Expect to learn about yourself as well. I still enjoy learning about new things.

  • Three things I wanted to be when I grew up

WOW, I want to try everything, and learn about it all. I loved learning about different cultures, and I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist. But over time I learned that what I really wanted to do was learn about the stories contained within their culture. This is something an “ethnologist” does. For a time, I transcribed taped interviews of elders from a California tribe who told stories of their lives.

I also love to paint, and thought I might be a professional painter when I grew up. I’ve painted animals on the empty shells of eggs. I also paint on canvas and now I’m painting on the walls of my home. I’ve exhibited my work and am working on my own illustrations for a new story that I am writing.

I like telling stories, I told stories to my children when they were little and now I tell stories to my grandchildren. I started writing just for fun, and now it is turning into another profession for me. Plus, I get to read the stories that I’ve written to children at schools, libraries and book stores. I’m really having a good time doing that. So maybe I’ll be an author for awhile.


Where can our readers learn more about you and your work?

If you’d like to contact me my email address is


My books can be purchased through the publisher:


Facebook for my three books at




Thank you, Ivy, for joining us on Three Times A Charm! It has been a pleasure visiting with you again. Best of luck to your lovely books and for your future writing endeavors!

(If you are interested in being featured on Three Times A Charm, please send me an email at kaistrand(at)yahoo(dot)com. The only pre-requisites are that you are somehow involved in children’s publishing and have something you’d like to promote)