Prairie City author publishes chirp-tastic children’s book

Aug 24, 2023

Young readers, parents, and teachers have a new book to get excited about, just in time for the 2023–2024 school year! Is Papa Robin Listening? by Prairie City author and illustrator Kaylene De Vries is now available. 

The story starts on a lovely spring day. Papa Robin is very excited to build his first nest. He quickly flies off to get started, too busy to listen to Mama Robin’s helpful advice. When things don’t go as planned, he must learn to listen and work as a team with Mama Robin so they will have a safe place for their eggs to hatch.

De Vries was inspired to write the story after watching the robins on her own deck. “One day, I looked outside and there was this squawking robin trying to build a nest on a ledge. He was angry because the grass kept blowing away,” explained De Vries. “Clearly, it was his first time building a nest! I told the story to my mom, and she told me I should turn it into a children’s book. And so here we are!”

De Vries has been an artist most of her life. When she started writing her book, she knew she wanted to illustrate it too. “These drawings are a tribute to my grandfather, who always encouraged me to do something that would share my art with others,” she said.

The lesson De Vries subtly weaves into the story is for people of all ages. “It’s hard for all of us to listen sometimes—adults and children. But we don’t always need to be the one talking. It’s good to listen and ask for help,” she shared.

Is Papa Robin Listening? was published through the Write Place. It is available for purchase online at Amazon and

Kaylene De Vries is a mother and grandmother who dedicated 30 years to teaching preschool. She and her husband live on a farm near Prairie City, Iowa. Is Papa Robin Listening? is her first book.


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