Pre-school children at the West Iron District Library gather around Erika Lindwall as she reads “The Moose and the Goose” at a recent Tuesday morning story hour. (submitted photo)
By Nikki Mitchell
IRON RIVER—Iron River resident Erika Lindwall recently fulfilled one of her dreams: She turned a class project into a published children’s book.
Her book, “The Moose and the Goose,” tells the tale of two friends
who get into an argument that nearly ruins their friendship.
Maverick the Moose learns that his pride is not more important than his friendship with Ralph the Goose. Instead of sending gifts to make amends, he must apologize to his best friend.
“I wanted a unique moral,” Erika said. “I thought about interactions in my own life and found the idea of apologizing for a perceived hurt.”
She said that she really wanted to focus on humble approaches to relationships, especially when a friend’s feelings are hurt even when someone is not at fault.
In the case of Maverick and Ralph, Ralph’s feelings get hurt because Maverick crushes his lunch by accident and won’t apologize. Maverick blames Ralph for leaving his lunch in the way. Instead of apologizing, Maverick calls Ralph a big baby.
The lines “But Maverick was thinking I am sick of this fight. I’d rather be friends than insist that I’m right” highlight the moral Erika was aiming for.
“To save a friendship, it’s better to have a humble reaction instead of the ‘get-over-it’ approach,” Erika said.
She chose the moose and goose as her characters because she wanted them to be U.P.-inspired. She loves moose and wanted a name with alliteration. In the early stages of the book, Maverick was Marzipan, but it was too hard to get the rhymes going.
“My inspiration for Ralph was actually a friend from school,” Erika said. “He was a unique person and was there while I was writing the book. He and I used to bicker a lot, so he was my inspiration for making amends.”
She urges both adults and children to gain a moral lesson from “The Moose and the Goose.”
“I would really like for people to learn a better way of doing relationships,” she said.
The book began as a final project for her children’s literature class as an undergraduate at Azusa Pacific University in California. Her professor at Azusa enjoyed the book so much that she pointed Erika in the direction of becoming published.
A family friend introduced Erika to Sunrise Mountain Publishing. She said she had a very personal experience and had the owner of the publishing company review her book.
Her advice to local authors interested in publishing a children’s book is, “Have faith and confidence in yourself. When you have an idea, pursue it with your best ability. It’s a totally attainable dream.”
Maverick and Ralph may be back in another book soon, Erika said. She is currently working on a book with a lesson in “finder’s-keepers.”