Irene was inspired to write Once I Was a Bear upon discovering that her son, who is on the Autism spectrum, seems most at home in natural surroundings. "As a result," she says, "his dad and I started calling him 'our little bear.' His powerful imagination, abilities, and sensitivities enlighten me every day."
"Masterful artwork and nuanced verse invite readers to hold their breath and dive deep."... read more
"Outstanding mixed-media collages and a thoughtful text create a distinctive book that rises far above most tributes to grandparental love."... read more
"From tiny discoveries to one big treasure, the natural world delights at every turn"... read more
"Deep Underwater took shape as a life raft, and the process of writing it was a way to safely explore the depths of my feelings without getting lost and drowning in them."... read more
"Aunt Pearl takes a similar approach with the tale of an older homeless relative who finds temporary shelter inside a child's suburban home. Aunt Pearl wears a raspberry beret covered in buttons with sayings like "Normal People Scare Me," and roots through the neighborhood garbage, finding treasure in what has been tossed away. Luxbacher's artwork conjures a child's point of view, with its textured overgrown gardens and mountains of junk on the verge of a landslide." ... read more
"Treasure is a feel-good story in the best possible way. It is satisfying to see the children persevere and finally come upon a glorious scene. There is so much beauty on every page – you could discover countless nature treasures perusing the two-page spreads that show each of the children's stops along the way" ... read more