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Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015

Retired Hinton teacher's book about ducks takes flight

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

(Photo)
Jane Kauzlarich wrote nine children's books in two days about a little girl who wants to be some kind of animal in two days.

That "writing zone" as she calls it happened Nov. 11 and 12, 2007.

Less than two years later, this past June, the first book in her "I'd Like To Be" Animal Series called "Quack" was published.

(Photo)
(Photo contributed) Jane Kauzlarich, a former Hinton Community School teacher, wrote nine children's books in her "I'd Like To Be" Animal Series. The first of those stories "Quack" was published in June. The book is fully illustrated and intended for preschool through third grade children.
"I received my first copy about a week ago," said Kauzlarich in a telephone interview Monday from her home in Arnolds Park.

Kauzlarich, who grew up in Hartley, is a former teacher at Hinton Community School where she taught high school business and English for 34 years.

She has tentative plans to hold a book signing for "Quack" at Hinton Community School.

Kauzlarich and husband, Ron, came to Le Mars in 1970 so he could become a driver's education teacher and a football and wrestling coach at Le Mars Community Schools (LCS).

He spent 23 years coaching at LCS and later six years working for the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department.

The couple lived in Le Mars seven years then moved to an acreage southeast of the city where they spent 28 years before retiring to Arnolds Park in 2005.

Kauzlarich loved her time teaching at Hinton and living in the Le Mars area.

"I always tell people Plymouth County is the prettiest county in the state of Iowa and I really believe that," Kauzlarich said. "I think people don't realize what a treasure we have in Plymouth County."

She has always written short stories and poetry, both of which have been published in books and magazines, but she never thought about writing a book, Kauzlarich said.

"I never planned to," she said.

The inspiration behind "Quack" happened while she was hiking through the woods that November day almost two years ago with her new puppy.

She heard a flock of ducks calling to each other and kept thinking she would like to be one of them -- something she has done since childhood.

"It just came out," Kauzlarich said of the book. "I started composing it in my head."

Some of the other animals the little girl featured in her "I'd Like To Be" Animal Series include a mouse, a salamander, a crow and a kitten.

For most of her childhood Kauzlarich played outdoors, and she hopes her books will challenge today's kids, who spend a lot of time indoors, to do the same.

"My whole series of books is intended to entice little kids to go outside and watch the crows and the ducks and the salamanders," Kauzlarich said.

Her book is written for preschool through third graders and younger.

"Little kids, 2 and 3-year-old children would enjoy having their parents read it to them," Kauzlarich said.

Her book "Quack" is fully illustrated by Jane Shuttleworth, someone Kauzlarich found by accident.

"I was sitting next to her at a meeting and she was sketching ducks," Kauzlarich said. "I thought there's a sign, I'll follow this."

Kauzlarich said she often calls her books the "Two Janes I'd Like To Be" Animal Series after herself and Shuttleworth.

"My illustrator did a great job," Kauzlarich said. "She's extremely creative so I'm really happy with that."

Although "Quack" will be available for sale in book stores in Okoboji, Spirit Lake and Arnolds Park and on various booksellers' websites, Kauzlarich wants to sell most of her books directly because she's not charging shipping fees.

Interested buyers can send $12.50 to Jane Kauzlarich, Box 205, Arnolds Park, IA, 51331. They need to include their return address and indicate if they would like their copies signed.

Kauzlarich said writing and publishing "Quack" has been both a happy and nervous time as she has dealt with copyright attorneys, researched publishers and done her own marketing.

"It's an adventure," Kauzlarich said. "My claim to fame, if I ever have any, is I was inspired by the quacking of those mallard ducks."


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Oh WOW Congrats Mrs. Kauzlarich,

I absolutely adored you when you taught me at Hinton! You were always and have always been inspiring to me!

I am so happy for this new journey, you are one of a kind.

Can't wait to purchase to read to my children!!

-- Posted by ConfusedParent on Wed, Aug 5, 2009, at 4:25 PM

I love the book and wish Jane much success with it. As a cousin, I may be biased in her favor, but I've also had the privilege of reading much of her poetry and other writings over the years. I'm so happy her love of the outdoors may spread to young children through her books.

-- Posted by cos on Thu, Aug 6, 2009, at 8:27 AM

Mrs. Kauzlarich,

How exciting and congrats on this big accomplishment. I am a former accounting student of yours from Hinton and have thought about your often. You influenced my career direction greatly and all has worked out really well.

I am so happy for you and again congrats!

-- Posted by blaze242 on Thu, Aug 6, 2009, at 10:24 AM

Mrs. Kauzlarich,

I am also a former accounting student of yours that graduated in 1985. I'm not currently in the accounting field at this time, but hoping to get back into it in the future. Congratulations on your big accomplishment, and in closing I want to say that I always enjoyed you as my accounting teacher.

-- Posted by rls on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 10:14 AM


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