Roxane Salonen (1986- )
Wyoming-born Roxane Beauclair grew up in Poplar, Montana, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, which provided the main setting for her childhood. In 1991, she graduated from college in Moorhead, Minnesota, married, and then moved with her husband Troy Salonen to Washington, where she worked for nearly five years as a newspaper reporter and editor. She was
inspired by her very accomplished co-workers, including a mystery novelist,
published poet, and several other extremely talented wordsmiths. The birth of
their first child made the Salonens yearn to be closer to their “homeland," so
they relocated back to the Midwest, eventually making their new home in Fargo, North Dakota, where their subsequent four children were born.
In Fargo, Roxane took up freelance writing and had the opportunity to meet Jane Kurtz, who was teaching at the University of North Dakota, at a writing conference in 1999. Kurtz became one of her mentors. In the summer of
2002, she attended another conference in Chautauqua, New York, crossing paths with influential children's author and editor, James Cross Giblin, and Clay Winters, president of Boyds Mills Press. Her first book, First Salmon,
was published by Boyds Mills Press in October 2002.
P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet Edition, Sleeping Bear Press, 2005.
Salonen's book takes readers to North Dakota, the home to such wide-eyed wonders as bison, mosasaurs and the Red River. Every letter in the alphabet is another chapter of a land rich in history, people and nature. Look to the skies for a bald eagle or to the horizon for a Wild Prairie Rose, the state flower. But no matter where children look in P is for Peace Garden, they're sure to find beauty and state pride on every page. This homespun tour of the Roughrider State uses folksy rhymes and in-depth text to share North Dakota's heritage with everyone. One just needs to open its pages to be taken on tour that will take them to Fargo, Bismarck, and beyond.
Paying special attention to the flora and fauna as well as the folklore that
makes North Dakota a shining jewel in our nation's crown makes this book as
important to its people as readers everywhere. Roxane Salonen uses her North
Dakota roots to focus on the aspects of the state others rarely hear about.
Share in North Dakota's glory and landscape through her glowing prose and
illustrator Joanna Yardley's exquisite renderings of a vision rarely seen. P
is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet is sure to inspire and impress
generations of reader for years to come.