Kirstine Keel's life began as the daughter of singer/actor Howard Keel, famous for his movies Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kiss Me Kate and Annie Get Your Gun, among others. Kirstine discovered her talent for painting at the age of 40 when a neighbor was offering art lessons. The love for her children, her talent for art combined with her knowledge as an educator motivated her to write and create all the characters in her book. Their stories come from her experiences as a child, especially Marley. With simple alliteration and the jaguar's rhyme, mothers, fathers, teachers and friends will enjoy watching their children interact with the characters while they learn to read. The "Can You" page will help you find lots of ways to enjoy Marley the Motmot In the Land of Trees. As a special note - after losing her son, Daniel to drug addiction, Kirstine has learned that living life one day at a time with gratitude for all things can create miracles.