Everyone gets homesick. And Nic is different. She's so excited about spending the entire summer on a small New England island with her grandparents that she counts down the days through winter and spring. But when the grand adventure finally begins, she finds tears and loneliness instead of joy and freedom. Astrid Sheckels' picture book Nic and Nellie is a gorgeously illustrated, heartwarming story of a girl and her beloved dog, Nellie, who slowly learn that new places really aren't so scary, and that often friends can be found around every corner, even in old row boats, tidal ponds, and stinky mud flats.
Astrid Sheckels is a native of the small farming town of Hatfield, Massachusetts. She cannot remember a time when she was not telling or illustrating stories. She grew up with her father's and grandfather's stories, so it's not surprising that Astrid herself enjoys telling storiesa though she prefers to tell hers visually, using illustrations to give a story more depth and dimension. Astrid began expressing herself artistically at age two when she decorated her family's new wall-to-wall carpeting with wax crayons. Home schooling and private art instruction laid the foundation for her artistic education, which was formalized at Greenfield Community College. Nic and Nellie is her first book as both author and illustrator. Astrid is a member of The Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her first two picture books, the award-winning The Scallop Christmas (2009) and the award-winning The Fish House Door (2010), were both published by Islandport Press. She is the illustrator of the picture book Hope Somewhere in America (Twin Lights Publishers, 2012) and two of the Horse Diaries chapter books (Random House). She has also won awards for her fine art, including the Archibald MacLeish Prize for Art (2003) and the Medici Award in the Visual Arts (2004). Astrid lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts.