Marilyn Van Wagoner has shared her love of storytelling over several generations with eight siblings, eight children, 30 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. She has worn many hats over the years, being a wife, mother, grandmother, Executive Secretary, volunteer, youth leader, seamstress, painter, gardener, musician, and home decorator. Affectionately and appropriately called Angel Grandma by her grandchildren, she has spent her life adoring and serving her family and all those around her, including her loving husband of 54 years who passed away twelve years ago. Whether it has been leading a hike of young women, setting up elaborate Easter Egg hunts, throwing post-game parties, playing wild games of Spoons and sagebrush softball while camping, or even forgetting punch lines, she has always been the life of the party - all while ensuring that everyone who visits her home has a full belly, a cozy blanket, and a warm hug.
Award winning Illustrator Traci Van Wagoner holds degrees in illustration from Utah State University and in toy design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. A long time member of SCBWI, Traci has illustrated over 15 children's books, and blue bear has shown up in every one of them. She couldn't resist illustrating this book told by her mom, and she just had to make Willie a blue teddy bear. She has spent many happy hours living in this wonderful world she created.
Born and raised in NY, Kurt Keller was always surrounded by art and design. He found his passion young, in elementary school art class, honed his skills in high school, and finally graduated college with a degree in Industrial Design and a degree in Toy Design, giving him the ability to let his creative passions soar. He has designed many books for children including the Nelson Beats the Odds Series. Blue bear was his childhood friend, so it made sense to use Blue Bear as a mascot for the publishing division of Imagine That! Design, Blue Bear Stories.