My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure

Mar 26, 2015

Claudia McGehee uses scratchboard illustrations to bring her readers into nature.

My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure
Credit Claudia McGehee / Sasquatch Books

"A picture of a heron is going to tell [children] one thing, but I can show the heron just about to eat a frog in a way that maybe they wouldn't see in a photograph," she says.

McGehee is an illustrator and author whose recent children's book My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure recounts the 1918–1919 winter spent on Alaska’s Fox Island from the point of view of nine-year-old Rocky, son of the painter Rockwell Kent.

In this Talk of Iowa interview, Charity Nebbe talks with McGehee about the story, why the book contains a Common Core teacher’s guide, and how scratchboard has become her favorite medium for expression.