Children’s book author, Joy N. Hulme describes herself as “a grandma with the heart of a child.” She was born and reared in Cottonwood, Utah, a rural area at the foot of Mount Olympus south of Salt Lake City. She was rich in all the things a child needs: loving parents, siblings and cousins to play with, woods to wander in, Grandpa’s next-door farm fields to explore, orchard trees to climb for fresh-fruit snacks, rocks and logs to build with, adobe bricks to melt for sculpting clay, a huge lawn for tumbling, and.a wonderful oversize dad-built backyard playground with a swing, slide, glider, sand box and playhouse.

She graduated from USAC (now Utah State University) as an Education major specializing in art, biology and speech and has been a perpetual student and craftsman ever since. Still in love with nature, Joy lives in Monte Sereno, California and her hillside home is surrounded by an acre of trees, lawns, and flower and vegetable gardens. From the study where she writes she can watch frisky squirrels running high-wire races along the electric lines, Monarch butterflies migrating to and from their winter homes, rainbows making all-is-well promises and trees glowing with seasonal color changes. Two living children and twenty-three grandchildren each receive a copy of her books the year they are published.

Joy earned the status of author with the publication of her first book, A Stable in Bethlehem in 1989. Having described herself as “a part-time everything and a full-time nothing,” she now finds her many interests and her child-like fascination with the ingenious intricacy and beauty of nature are valuable assets for a writer of children’s books. In 2007 she will have 19 books published, with at least half a dozen under consideration or in various stages of completion. She writes rhyming picture books, how to write, historical novels, pop-ups, math/science concept books, and learn-to-read books. All of Joy’s books have found their way into classrooms across the country as supplementary reading in math, science, language or social studies.

She says: “No life is long enough to run out of fresh surprises if we watch for them. I like to be accurate about facts, fanciful about fiction and to combine truth and imagination. It is always my goal to encourage the creative awareness that is inborn in youngsters and to keep it alive in them forever. I want to make learning as much fun for others as it has always been for me by creating in a light-hearted manner. It is my aim that a child of any age can become a little better in some way as a result of reading what I have written.”.

The publication of Stable in Bethlehem gives a second life to her first published book in 1989. The words are the same but the vibrant illustrations by Dan Andreasen and the publisher (Sterling) are different this time. Check this out for a gift to “Open-and-read-on Christmas Eve.”