FotoBoek Lieve Snellings

Picture books featured with full color photos

Meeting a new creature of nature

I came to Quebec for the first time in April 2008 and suddenly saw a little – for me unknown – animal emerge out of the ground. It was a groundhog,  just coming out of hibernation. She had made her winter burrow in the field, just behind our backyard.

For hours, days, weeks (year after year) I have observed and photographed her.

eerste foto Margot 17 april 2008 in jpg - kleiner

At that moment I couldn’t presume I would call her Margot, nor that this woodchuck would convince me later to make children’s book with her as main characther.

The first book, Margot Gets An Unexpected Visit, is a children’s tale where high quality nature photography meets up with friendship, diversity, fun, education and ice hockey.

The second one ‘Groundhog Secrets – Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Woodchucks’ is an invitation to discover the secret world of the groundhog, through the eyes of Margot, while gaining a close-up view of wildlife in whimsical photo illustrations.

Discover the secret world of the groundhog through the eyes of Margot the woodchuck while gaining a close-up view of wildlife in whimsical photo illustrations.



In april 2008 kwam ik voor het eerst naar Quebec  en zag ik ineens een voor mij onbekend diertje net boven de grond komen uitpiepen. Het was blijkbaar een bosmarmot die pas uit haar winterslaap kwam. Haar winterhol ligt in het veld, net achter onze tuin.

portret Lieve in actie - 2 - 300doiUren, dagen, weken (jaar in jaar uit) heb ik haar in het oog gehouden en gefotografeerd.

Niets deed mij toen vermoeden dat Margot de bosmarmot mij zou overtuigen om twee kinderboeken over haar te maken. Het eerste, Margot Krijgt Onverwacht Bezoek, is een prentenboek voor kinderen. Hierin gaan hoog professionele natuurfoto’s  samen met vriendschap, diversiteit, leren, plezier en ijshockey

Het tweede, Het Grote Weetjesboek Over De Bosmarmot, is een uitnodiging om de geheime wereld van de Amerikaanse marmot te ontdekken door de ogen van Margot en aan de hand van grappige close-up foto-illustraties in


Ellen L. Buikema is my first guest at ‘Meet Your Next Favorite Author’ today.

Today we start this new series ‘Meet Your Next Favorite Author’ by charlie_logo

introducing you Ellen L. Buikema, the author of these amazing children’s books about Charlie Chameleon and his friend Frankie the fish, which I enjoyed so much.

After hearing the name Ellen Buikema, many in the Low Countries (Netherlands and Flemish part of Belgium) will think, she must have relatives in the Netherlands. And yes she has, and that makes her, my perfect candidate, to be my first interview guest at FotoBoek Lieve Snellings.


  1. Can you introduce yourself, what’s your name, where are you from… ?

My name is Ellen Lucey Buikema. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Forest Park, Illinois, a village west of Chicago. I’ve lived and taught in several states in the USA.

  1. Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I’m sensitive to a lot of medications. Because of this I make my own medicinal teas. Growing up, my children thought that all mommies did the same.

  1. Give 2 things about yourself that you think matter the most?

Sense of humor and patience.  I have a wicked sense of humor, which helps immensely with writing and life in general.  Having children has made me a better and more patient person.


ID Card Ellen Buikema - beige

  1. Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I can remember reading by myself was Dick and Jane. The books I enjoyed the most as a child were The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

  1. What makes you laugh?

Good stand-up comedy makes me laugh, as do comedic movies and sitcoms.

  1. In which genre do you write? 

I write in multiple genres: children’s fiction, YA historical fiction, and non-fiction for adults.

  1. What makes your book special, how is it different from other books in your genre?

I include humor in my writing, no matter the genre. The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series is different from other chapter books as it has fun activities at the end of chapters, and has life lessons woven into the humorous stories.

  1. How do you feel when you write, do you have a special ritual?

Baby Dragon Nom Nom - kleinerI usually write at our dining room table on my laptop computer. A plush toy dragon, Nom Nom, as in nom nom I just ate another fairy, graces the table while I work. I have learned never to write after watching the news! I do not listen to music while writing, although I know many authors that find it helpful to write to music.  I prefer drawing and painting to music.  Frequently, our black lab, Bailey, will hang out near me while I write.

  1. parenting - kleinerWhat inspired you to write your first book?

I started writing the Charlie Chameleon stories first, but set them aside to complete the parenting book. I saw a great need in the parenting area, specifically how to understand why children do the things they do. It is my belief that if you understand someone, you will be more patient with him or her.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

Parenting truly is a work in progress.

  1. If you could be any famous book character, who would you be and why?

I would be Laura in the book Lightning, as she is brave in the face of many obstacles and finds success as a writer.

  1. Is there a message in your book that you hope the readers will grasp?

Have faith in yourself and keep moving forward.

  1. What are your top 3 books of all time?

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher (I have been known to binge read these), Lightning by Dean Koontz, and if I may, a fourth book: Bell Canto by Ann Patchett.

  1. How important is marketing and social media for you?

Marketing and social media are incredibly important for me. I market myself and my work most days. Through social media I have met a plethora of interesting people and am happy to help others in their writing journey as I am able.

  1. Is it important for you to get book reviews? Do you read them?

Without reviews it is very difficult for customers to make an informed decision about a book. I read book reviews and write reviews for the books I’ve read, as I know how important reviews are for the authors.

  1. What advice do you have for other writers?

Please join critique groups, use beta readers, and get help with editing. Do not worry about making mistakes, especially in the first drafts. Like I’ve told grade school children during author visits, “Every author of the books in the library made mistakes when they were writing. It is okay to make mistakes, everyone makes them.”

  1. Can you give your book information: blurb, link, genre (for children’s book, please tell for what age)

Books The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series (for ages 5 – 9, younger if read to)
Hook: In the series, Charlie the Chameleon and his obnoxious pet fish, Frankie, navigate friendship challenges, cultural differences and the results of their choices. They have many adventures and zany fun while learning how to be respectful and appreciative of their friends and community.

tekening cover 1 - kleinerBlurb for New Beginnings: Moving and making new friends is tough! When Charlie Chameleon and his family start their adventures in New Town, Charlie discovers he is braver than he knows. With his bossy pet fish Frankie by his side, he faces many challenges, including standing up to the neighborhood bully.
Asin (Amazon): B01DAX7EBQ
ISBN: 978-0990897934

Blurb for School Days: In this second in a series of humorous multicultural books, Charlie Chameleon and his friends are having trouble with Boris Bunny, the class bully. Charlie thinks Boris is putting on an act, but his friends disagree. Follow Charlie’s adventures as he helps Boris learn how to be a friend. Fans of the Arthur the Aardvark series will enjoy the antics of the characters in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: School Days. Even bullies can be bullied—who knew!
Asin: B01J2XKETW
ISBN: 978-0990897965

drie Charlie boeken

Blurb for Summertime: Follow the wacky summertime adventures of the Chameleon family and their obnoxious pet fish, as they get lost trying to find an out-of-the way vacation spot. Who needs a map, right?

The family returns home in time for a big soccer event that Charlie and his school friends plan to attend. He hopes his new friends will accept Tamika, his best friend from his old neighborhood, never expecting what actually happens.
Asin: B072SX6MQT
ISBN: 978-0990897996

Social Media links:
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/ecellenb 
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ecellenb 
Website: http://ellenbuikema.com 
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/EllenKidsAuthor/ 
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-buikema-b289a661/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EllenLBuikema 
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJugScmUYKs6L3NH9oyYn2A                                               

  1. QUICK  POP-QUIZ. (You can choose one or both, and please feel free to add a very brief comment)

Snow or Sun: Sun! I spent way too much time shoveling snow.
Soccer or (ice) hockey: Both are fun to watch.
Dogs or cats: I love both.
Ice-cream or fruit: I am a fan of both, but prefer ice cream. I have a weakness for mint chocolate chip.
Fact or fiction: Fiction. Making up stuff is fun!
Music or silence: Music at all times except when writing, then silence or nature sounds.
Sport or reading: Reading! I can dance though. Can we call that a sport?
Sea or mountains: Sea. I find watching the ocean calming and invigorating at the same time.
Groundhogs or squirrels: They are both adorable.
Books or movies: Both, but I prefer to read the book before attending the movie if possible.
E-book or print: E-book for day, print for evening.

  1. Is there anything more you want to tell your readers? 

It is my hope that readers of all ages will find something to enjoy. The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon stories were written to amuse adults as well as children. There are lessons to be learned in the books, but they are subtle.


Thank you so much Ellen!

00 - meet your next favorite author

What do YOU have to say? – interview with Lieve Snellings BY ANITA KOVACEVIC

Thank you Anita K met link

To read the whole interview please tap the image or click here

Nothing gives me more peace than photographing nature.

hello fellow nature lovers

About 10 years ago I was introduced to this heavenly pleasure of nature photography. I was so charmed seeing all these pretty animals and birds in our Quebec garden. I had seen cats washing themselves, but here I also saw birds, squirrels, groundhogs… doing the same. Observing them was so much fun.

I don’t know if these lovely creatures have emotions like humans have, though I could hear them talk. And Margot the woodchuck started to tell me I had to publish their story, to show small and big kids that all creatures in nature are living beings and that they love to live too.  Of course Margot wanted to play the first violin in the orchestra, but that was OK. She loved to share the attention with her family and friends.

It was Margot, who told me about Eufrazie the hairdresser and how she create a special hairstyle for every critter, also birds, when some festivity is coming up. It was exciting to see all those birds with this special haircut. I had to photograph them and share this with you all.


Maybe you are interested in how to photograph birds too. I’m glad to offer you  here 14 easy tips:

  1. If you want to start photographing birds, you do not have to go far. It is best to start in your garden or street or a park or field in your area.
  2. It is important to get to know the behavior of the birds you want to photograph. Around what time of the day do they show up? On which branch do they usually sit? Do they show up alone or in the company of others?
  3. Use a tripod.
  4. Hide yourself, make use of a shelter, something you’ll not too visible. An old paravan, with opening to pierce the lens of your camera through can also be a handy thing to hide.
  5. Don’t make sudden movements.
  6. Birds adhere to the same habits, they regularly return to the same place. Choose a spot, prepare your camera and wait until the bird returns to that spot.
  7. Set your camera to a fast shutter speed (S in high number) and the aperture or diaphragm as large as possible (F in small number) – this is to allow as much light as possible to come in and to make the shutter speed as short as possible.
  8. Take your photos in the larger format (highest megapixels) because otherwise you lose a lot of quality when you make a cut-out afterwards.
  9. Make sure you are dressed warm enough because you may have to sit still for a while.
  10. Pay attention to the foreground and background.
  11. Birds like to fly against the wind direction to keep more control. So when you choose to photograph birds in flight, draw with your camera in the flight direction.
  12. Experiment with different points of view.
  13. Photographing birds is in fact, like top sport. Patience, exercise and perseverance are important.
  14. It is pleasant to have a bird encyclopedia or a bird app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can look up which birds you just saw and to learn more about them.


I wish you can enjoy as much as I did and do!click here
If you want to learn more about my work.

Something new is coming up

As many of you I started this new year with good intentions. I subscribed for the Ultimate Character Building Challenge by Traci Sanders because I want to become more professional in what I can offer you. And from now on I want to announce there will be some changes in the content I’ll offer you.

But don’t worry, you’ll still will see my nature-photography, get some quotes of the day and I’ll continue sharing some articles or programs when I think they will be interesting for followers of my author page.

Today I want to start this new road by showing you a short video in which I present my two picture books. I’ll explain what my mission is in those books and how they are different from others. Furthermore, I give you a glance on my ideas for the following books.

Some other new things you can expect on my Facebook Author Page and Blog is that I not only share reviews I received for my books, but also the reviews I wrote for others. I also think of presenting you on a regular base another author or photographer/illustrator. Giving some tips etc.

Please let me know what topics you’d like me to talk about in future videos or posts!

Click here if you want to visit my Facebook Author Page

wishes wensen 2018 + klein

5 Star Book Review Press Release :

5sterren review Readers Favorite

For immediate release:

Author’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Children – Picture Book book “Groundhog Secrets” by Lieve Snellings, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071Z35TDB.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By Samantha Coville for Readers’ Favorite

Take your children and your whole family on an adventure with Margot the groundhog in Groundhog Secrets: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Woodchucks by Lieve Snellings. Margot will use her witty humor and her extended family members to teach you all about the size, life cycle, hibernation, speed, eating habits, and more of groundhogs. There’s enough fun facts in here to last multiple readings and there’s no one better to bring them all to you than Lieve Snellings, who is a wildlife photographer with a particular interest in groundhogs. You can see her passion come to life on every page you turn.

Lieve Snellings may have converted this reader into a groundhog fan. Or at least a fan of little Margot. The merging of beautiful, high resolution wildlife photos and digital elements is humorous and captivating. You only need one look at Margot holding a letter she just got in the mail to know the creativity is strong in this picture book. I think kids and adults alike will learn something from Groundhog Secrets. It can sometimes feel like a lot is being thrown at you at once, but in the end it’s enjoyable, colorful, vibrant, and fun. And when you’re trying to read an educational book to a child, whose attention can easily be lost, fun is an important element. Apparently, there is another Margot book so I know what I’ll have to check out pretty soon! Fantastic work from an author who proves that passion can really make a difference every time in what you do.”

You can learn more about Lieve Snellings and “Groundhog Secrets” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/groundhog-secrets where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Readers’ Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202

AIWAW Review: Groundhog Secrets

Thank you so much for this!

Other Worlds

Groundhog Secrets by Lieve Snellings (Childrens, non-fiction, natural history)

35277901.jpgOverview and Synopsis

It’s no secret I have a soft spot for animals. I was hoping Groundhog Secrets would clue me in to the hidden life of an animal I’d encountered on in Canada but didn’t know much about. Well, now I know a bit more!

Readers are introduced to Margot, a chatty and charming groundhog who is very happy to share the hidden lives of her family (and rodent friends). We learn all sorts of things from the unique fur woodchucks wear to their toilet arrangements (did you know they dig lavatory burrows?).

Narrative and style:

Snellings doesn’t shy away from including complicated, scientifically correct terminology but I think that’s a good thing. Children tend to read up and while younger readers will enjoy the lovely, characterful photographs, older readers might enjoy getting their teeth into the details. Some…

View original post 146 woorden meer

Blog op WordPress.com.

Omhoog ↑