How did we get started?
Hello, we are Mark and Sharen Mellicker and yes, we are Nature Lovers. Currently living on a farm in Jo Daviess County Illinois, we head for the wilderness in the Ozarks or State and National parks every chance we get. We love camping, hiking, fishing and a variety of outdoor activities.
The book series idea was co-developed by Sharen and Mark.
Sharen, a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in Art Education, taught elementary school art for 35 years and retired in 2015. While teaching, she never found time to fulfill her dream of illustrating children's books. What better retirement activity?! Sharen has always been an advocate of visual learning techniques which complement traditional young reader skills.
Then came Mark's influence... a graduate of the University of Iowa's business school, he has been a financial professional for 35 years. That has not stopped him from spending the majority of his free time outdoors. As a lifelong naturalist inspired by his Dad's love for nature and participation in Boy Scouts, he has wilderness experiences in many North American states including a two year stint in Alaska. For many years, Mark has been fascinated by the thought that a large, undiscovered Hominid, Sasquatch or Bigfoot could live in our North American forests. He became interested in this mysterious creature as a child and spent many of his summers at their Ozark family cabin hoping to catch a glimpse of one. Though he has not seen one yet, he remains hopeful that someday he'll have the opportunity to meet one!
So, our book series: Walking With Bigfoot is a fun culmination of Sharen's idea to illustrate children's field guides and Mark's idea to throw in the Bigfoot family as your guides. Who else knows more about our wonderful North American forests than Bigfoot?
Join us on our journey through the great outdoors. Let's get our kids back to nature!