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Have you ever made a new friend but then realized she lives far away and you won’t get to see her very often?
That’s exactly what happens to Great Dane Savannah Blue when she befriends a little girl named Calla Ruth. The first children’s book in the Dear Calla Roo…Love, Savannah Blue series, a letter about a pen pal tells the story of how these two new friends find a way to keep in touch long-distance and get to know each other even better.
In 2000, I created this first book in what has become the children’s series Dear Calla Roo…Love, Savannah Blue. One summer when my sister Amy brought her eight-year-old daughter Calla Ruth to visit me in North Carolina, Calla and my Great Dane Savannah Blue became immediate friends. After Amy and Calla Ruth returned home to Maryland, I began writing letters to Calla in what I imagined to be Savannah Blue’s voice. Amy and Calla would read these letters together as though they were bedtime stories and eventually Amy urged me to do something creative with them. While I had never considered myself to be a writer before this project, I accepted the challenge of trying something new and have written and illustrated each book myself.
Sudie Rakusin is a visual artist, sculptor, illustrator and children’s book author. Her artwork flows from what moves her: women, animals and the earth.
She creates environments that are lush, rich with color and pattern. Sudie currently resides in Hillsborough, NC, in the woods, on the edge of a meadow, surrounded by her gardens, with her Great Dane, Fiona Fig, and Pitt/Boxer, Marmalade Moon.
Written and Illustrated by Sudie Rakusin.