Events,  Spring into Writing,  Writing

Jennifer Ward: Avian Writer

Jennifer Ward is the author of over 20 kids books including “Mama Built a Little Nest” and “Mama Dug a Little Den”. I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer at the Children’s Book Academy’s “The Craft and Business of Illustrating Picture Books”. Jennifer Ward was encouraged by her Illustrator Steve Jenkins to take the class and I’m so glad she did. She is an amazing illustrator and I can’t wait to see her illustrate some of her future books!

You can see more of Jennifer’s work on her website at:


_MG_2025 (1)
nest cover

Dani Duck: How did your time as a teacher influence how you write now?

Jennifer Ward: I am a naturalist and have a degree in education with a minor in science. As a teacher, I used picture books to enhance all subject areas of curriculum, including science. Reading picture books daily helped me to “know” picture books. I found myself creating my own picture books to use with my students to share scientific concepts  – expository nonfiction books that were simply made for classroom use when I couldn’t find books on the market with science concepts I wanted to convey. It’s exciting to see how the market of expository nonfiction has grown since my teaching days!

Dani: Which bird most represents who you are? Which bird would you like to be? 

Jennifer Ward: Hmmm. Perhaps a Carolina Wren represents my personality – they are SO curious about everything around them, and so am I. If I had to be a bird, I think I’d choose to be an American Crow. They’re family oriented, with multiple generations living together year after year, intelligent, and have a more varied diet than most bug-eating songbirds!


Dani: What is the most fun you’ve ever had writing?

Jennifer Ward:The most fun I have writing is when I experience that “aha!” moment. You know, that epiphany moment when the right words surface to make something work – such as the perfect ending to a story. Writing isn’t always like that, so it’s always a “rush”, or fun, when it all comes together as I envisioned.

Dani: Why is STEM so important?

Jennifer Ward: It’s important that we provide students authentic opportunities to explore, wonder, question, create, problem solve and practice STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), that they may pursue careers related to STEM. As our world becomes more populated and natural resources decrease, I believe the health and vitality of our planet and its populations will depend on creative and innovative STEM focused minds.


Dani:  What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about writing?


Jennifer Ward: Writing involves A LOT of thinking, and sometimes thinking is hard – especially when you’re trying to make a picture book story. Sometimes a story works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Some picture books may happen quickly; some may take years. Writing is truly a process, and a creative one. 


Follow Jennifer:



Momma Built a Little Nest:

Momma Dug a Little Den:

More of Jennifer Ward’s Books:




  • Debra M Daugherty

    Great interview, Jennifer. I love the “aha!” moments, too, when my story connects in a special way.

  • Kelly Vavala

    I love how you used your creativity along wirh your teaching to get the message across to the children. My son was a visual learner, and I often had to do the same thing to get a lesson across to him! Well done interview and thank you for sharing your wonderful techniques! I love hummingbirds!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *