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Get to know Tana Holmes

I thought I was an Indian Princess. Raised in the mountains and windswept plains of Wyoming, near the Wind River Reservation, my early years were spent in the shadow of the Tetons and roaming Yellowstone and Shoshone National Forest. I had a pinto pony and an aversion to shoes, along with my long dark braids. My family spent most weekends on archaeological digs discovering the culture and customs of the early Sheep Eater, Shoshone, and Arapaho tribes. A camping tent and river-chilled watermelon every weekend was a great way to grow up! Eventually, I became an award-winning thirty-year professional public school educator and a mom, but I'm still a history and nature lover.

Authorship of The History Tree Series started as a concept introduced by my daughter, Tori, while walking the battlefield at San Jacinto, Texas. We brainstormed that a talking tree as an eyewitness to history-making events was a great way to engage children in learning and loving their heritage. As more volumes in the series debut, I anticipate an opportunity to reach children globally with their own local "celebritree" storyteller.


The (NOT) Scary Stuff at the Doctor’s Office was in response to what I’d heard from former students working in pediatrics. I have a specific student who’s a pediatric professor at Stanford; she had told me it was breaking her heart to see her young patients scared of her dressed in personal protective equipment. She’s a beautiful, gentle lady, but she looks a little monsterish in goggles, a mask, surgical cap, gown, gloves, etc. This student suggested I write a “pandemic book” that would address scary things children experience in the doctor’s office, in addition to PPE. She wanted me to ensure kids shouldn’t be afraid of being shamed, and that they’re allowed to “feel their feels”. I solicited input from pediatricians in private practice, specialty practice, paramedics, and especially the nurses and child life specialists who strive to keep children calm rather than traumatized. All the analogies and magical thinking came into play, and my terrific illustrator ran with the dragons and magic wands to take the ‘scary’ out of each injection.

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