Katharine Johnson

Steger Mukluk Encore Book launch

 We are so pleased to be going back to Steger Mukluk store in Ely, MN February 9th, 2019 at 11 am! Author Katherine Johnson and I will whoop it up with our fans in Ely, MN this weekend. In the bold north, not only are we not afraid of winter we celebrate it. There will be lots of activities in the region celebrating the Winter Festival. On February 16th, there will be a Mukluk Ball at the Grand Ely Lodge. And on February 9th, there will be a Mukluk Ball at the Hygge Festival in Grand Marais, MN. Come read, dance and get a signed book at our book party, Steger Mukluks, 33 East Sheridan St., Ely, MN 55731



November Drury Lane Books Newsletter

From the newsletter, WINTER AT DRURY LANE BOOKS, Garnd Marais, MN
Vol 24, November 2018

"GRACE'S RECOMMENDATION
The Mukluk Ball — Katherine Johnson, illus. Alicia Schwab
3-year-old Grace loves dancing with her stuffed bear; he even has his own tutu. So this wintery Northwoods picture book of a Bear preparing for a Mukluk Ball was an instant hit. Bear learns to polka, tango, and chachacha...and then just has to figure out how to wake up from hibernation to attend the Ball!"

I love Indie's and this recommendation made my day! Grace is a girl after my own heart. I began dancing in the living room around 3-years-old. My parents bought a cassette tape of the Chieftains (Irish folk music) and when I heard that I couldn't stop myself. I had to cut a rug. Mind you, our living room was wall-to-wall shag carpeting. And if I shuffled my feet fast enough and touched the lamp...ZAP!–I could do static electricity experiments, as well! Keep on dancing, Grace!

The Mukluk Ball Dance Party

The Book Launch Party on November 17th, 2018 at The Red Balloon Bookshop for THE MUKLUK BALL, by Katharine Johnson and illustrated by Alicia Schwab 2018 Minnesota Historical Society Press. It was not only a success but a blast as well. The kids had a lot of fun. Katharine read the book to them and Alicia danced The Twist with Angela, sales associates. What a ball!  We look forward to doing more events together.

Star Tribune & The Pioneer Press—The Mukluk Ball


Minnesota Flavor
Sunday, November 25th, 2018 Star Tribune article "Picture Books with Minnesota Flavor" by Laurie Hertzel featuring THE MUKLUK BALL, by Katharine Johnson and illustrated by Alicia Schwab. "A young bear sells blueberries to make money for mukluks — and then worries that he'll be hibernating during the midwinter mukluk ball. An entertaining tale of cooperation and fun, with illustrations that place the bear and the dance in a place that looks a whole lot like Ely (MN)."

Other notable Minnesotan Children's Books author and illustrators such as: Mary Cassanova, Stephanie Watson, Marion Dane Bauer, Cori Doerrfeld, Katharine Johnson, Alicia Schwab, Elizabeth Verdick, Laura Purdie Salas, Mélina Mangal, and Alexs Pate. Here in Minnesota we have a rich literary community with lots of talent and meaningful voices.

December Midwest Connection Picks
The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association listed THE MUKLUK BALL for its Midwest connections. Both the author and illustrator live in Minnesota, and the book is set in a snowy Northwoods setting. Karhu the bear wants to go to the Mukluk Ball. He will need mukluks, dance moves, and someone to wake him up from hibernation. Will the Ball live up to Karhu's dreams? The music and fellowship filling Finn Town Hall might just make for the best night of his life. Read more

Top 60 Books Guide
The Mukluk Ball is also listed on Star Tribune's online Holiday Books article: "Your Guide to nearly 60 books to give (and love) over the holidays"  THE MUKLUK BALL made the top 10 Picture Books in this article! Read more

Teachable Moments
THE MUKLUK BALL,
by Katharine Johnson,
illus. Alicia Schwab
October 7th, 2018 The Pioneer Press also featured THE MUKLUK BALL in this article: "New Books Provide Teachable Moments for Young Readers — and Fun! Put this “up north” picture book at the top of your Christmas gift list. It is one of the most joyful tales (tails?) of the season. Karhu, the bear, tells his owl friend Zazaa that this is the year he’s going to the Mukluk Ball, Finn Town’s liveliest winter event. But he has to earn money to buy mukluks, so he picks blueberries and sells them at the Blueberry Festival. It’s $2 “for a PAW-ful” that comes with a real bear hug." Read more

Dance Like Nobody Is Watching


On October 27th, 2018 Katharine Johnson, her husband Dale and I drove up to Ely from their home near Duluth, MN. We went to our picture book launch for THE MUKLUK BALL at Steger Mukuluks in Ely.

After a warm welcome we held our book event and had so much fun. Katharine read the story to the children and I got the kids to dance!

In the book, during the Mukluk Ball, Karhu the bear and Millie the do-si-do champion made up a new dance called The Bear Hug Twist. I showed the kids some dance moves and then I had them make up three dance moves to combine into our very own Bear Hug Twist. We twizzled and hopped, some in shoes and others in boots. The kids were great and now they are ready to dance with Karhu the bear.

The Mukluk Store is featured in THE MUKLUK BALL, Karhu the bear wants his own pair of Mukluks to wear to the Mukluk Ball. Karhu picks blueberries and sells them with bear hugs at the blueberry festival to earn money for his new boots. We were astounded by our own good fortune. Steger's was very generous and gave Katharine and I each a pair of boots! I have never had such nice, comfortable boots. And they were very supportive of our book. What a wonderful way to begin the long cold season with beautiful, warm mukluks!

Kid Tested. Kid Approved.

Today, Katharine Johnson and I signed our book, THE MUKLUK BALL. We sold out of books before the morning was over at the @MNHSPress booth during the MEA Convention #meamn18 for Minnesota teachers. educationminnesota.org 

It has been such a blast working with Katharine and the Minnesota Historical Society Press on this book launch. Pre-order your copy here!

We got to meet and greet lots of great teachers today. Minnesota has many wonderful teachers and they are part of what makes this state a nice place to live. Thank you teachers for all your hard work and sharing THE MUKLUK BALL with your students!

Pioneer Press Article — The Mukluk Ball

link to article

New books provide teachable moments for young readers – and fun! 

by Mary Ann Grossmann

PICTURE BOOKS

“The Mukluk Ball” by Katharine Johnson, illustrated by Alicia Schwab (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $16.95.) Put this “up north” picture book at the top of your Christmas gift list. It is one of the most joyful tales (tails?) of the season. Karhu, the bear, tells his owl friend Zazaa that this is the year he’s going to the Mukluk Ball, Finn Town’s liveliest winter event. But he has to earn money to buy mukluks, so he picks blueberries and sells them at the Blueberry Festival. It’s $2 “for a PAW-ful” that comes with a real bear hug.
Karhu laces up his mukluks and learns to dance; Millie twirls him in a polka; Mary Ann the librarian shows him the boogie-woogie, and Inga the folksinger teaches him the chachacha. But Karhu has a problem. The ball is in January and he can’t stay awake. So he takes a nap snug in his den until Zazaa wakes him to go to the ball, where the Finn Hall band plays and Karhu “twirled and whirled, twizzled and spun” until he fell asleep on Inga’s shoulder. It takes the Shagawa Square Dancers to take him to their bus and then he is pulled home on a dog sled.
Back home, Karhu snored and dreamed of dancing. His toes tapped in time to the music of the Mukluk Ball.
Author Johnson says she  wears mukluks all winter in Cloquet. Illustrator Schwab, who lives in Minneapolis, calls this a super fun project for which “I danced and listened to a lot of music to fall into the rhythm of the book’s illustrations.” Her colorful, muscular pictures leave no doubt this is a northern Minnesota story, from the log cabin-style buildings to Karhu’s den (with a round window), rabbits tobogganing, and happy dogs pulling the sleeping bear on the sled. Even the endpapers are covered with colorful floral designs and different pairs of mukluks. There’s lots of hugging and happiness in this book that will make readers of all ages smile.
Johnson and Schwab will launch their book at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul.