Tunes and Tales Radio Show

Tunes and Tales Radio Show

TUNES and TALES  is a radio show featured on 88.9 KRFC FM as Tunes and Tales every other Sunday at 6PM MST. This show is written and produced for kids by Kristen Olsen. On this show kids hear stories read out-loud by published picture book, middle grade and YA authors. Kids can get their wiggles out to music composed by local musicians, theatre groups, entertainers and from the latest albums of children’s music.  Kids, this show is for you!


2019 Tunes & Tales Episodes on KRFC 88.9 FM Fort Collins 

February 3, 2019 Tunes & Tales hosts author Laura Roettiger
& Musican Jonathan Bennett 

Laura Roettiger is the author of Aliana Reaches for the Moon, a picture book that draws inspiration from the moon and the curiosity of children. She has enjoyed working with children ever since she was no longer considered a child herself. She was a reading specialist and elementary teacher in Chicago, IL before moving to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked in Environmental Education and is now a mentor for literacy at a STEM school. Her superpower is encouraging curiosity in children and letting them know she believes in them. She has three children of her own whose curiosity and creativity led them into STEM related professions.

For more information:

For several decades Jonathan Bennett has been making music in Boulder Colorado. He suspended his Philosophy degree at the University of Michigan and followed Stephen Stills and Dan Fogelberg to Boulder, only to find that within a year of his arrival, they had moved to the greener pastures of Los Angeles. Jonathan stayed in Boulder and has been making music there ever since with bands like The Drivers, Shakey Ground and the iconic Boulder Band the Legendary 4Nikators. His latest project is a band called Laurel Canyon-an homage to his greatest influences as a writer and performer, almost all of whom resided or frequented Laurel Canyon in Southern California in the late 60’s and 70’s.

Recently he received recognition for his song Reason to Kill-Ballad of Big Boy, which protests the abuse of power and unwarranted murder of a peaceful Bull Elk by a City of Boulder policeman in the Mapleton Hill residential district of Boulder on New Years day 2013. And he has written songs like Chivington Lives Again, which implores the listener to reflect on their sense of entitlement in the face of hypocrisy and asks us to acknowledge our obligations to our Native American brothers and sisters. In general he writes songs in the blues, folk, and country rock traditions which explore both adult themes as well as whimsical musical and lyrical ideas. Jonathan loves to play local venues, sometimes as a soloist and sometimes with all or some of the members of Laurel Canyon, but is also intrigued by the authenticity of busker based performing and is currently contemplating a busker tour with an accompanying documentary.

If you hear him and you like the rich vocals, thoughtful writing and masterful guitar work, send him an email at: and he will put you on his fan base list so you can be notified of upcoming performances!

If you would like to contact him, send an e-mail to:  

“Curiosity and imagination, paired with research and experimental play, help Aliana bring her unique idea to life. Aliana Reaches for the Moon will inspire readers to use science, imagination, and experimental play to create their own innovations.”   ~Linda Schwab, Flight Director,  Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana


February 3, 2019 Tunes & Tales hosts Author Andrea Wang 

Andrea Wang is the award-winning author of The Nian Monster. She loves to travel and sample new and unusual foods. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of her writing is about food. Andrea writes picture books and middle grade novels. Her second picture book, Magic Ramen, will be published in March 2019. She has also written seven non-fiction titles for the library and school market.  Andrea holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Young People. She lives in Colorado with her family and their dog, Mochi, named for the sticky rice dessert.


(Albert Whitman & Co., 2016)

2017-2018 APALA Honor Book

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?



Sunday 12/9/2018 6PM 

Picture book Author Sally Willett & Musician Lucy S. 

Sally grew up in raucous family of five children and was the one that always had her nose in a book.  She decided to be a teacher in second grade and she went to Michigan State University and Dartmouth College to achieve her dream.  Sally’s love of new adventures and teaching took her to Wyoming, Washington, New Hampshire, Venezuelan, and California to teach. She and her family settled in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1990 and she taught at UNC Laboratory School for four years but wanted to work closer to home so she substituted in Poudre School District for two years before moving to The Netherlands and then China.During her years as a primary teacher, she loved telling her own stories during story time and If You Don’t Take a Bath was the students’ favorite one. When she returned from living overseas, she decided to pursue her dream of publishing her story. Her daughter, Julie, a graphic designer, married Ben Norcross, a creative artist and animator. Ben illustrated the story with very delightful drawings, and Julie designed the format. We decided to publish with BookBaby Publishing, and the first books arrived in June 2017.

Sally’s debut picture book was awarded First Place for Children’s Picture Books by Royal Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. Sally enjoys sharing her book at schools, libraries and bookstores and now on KRFC- Tunes and Tales with Kristen Olsen!

Listen to Sally Willett Read her Story, “If you Don’t Take a Bath”. Right here. 


Lucy S. Ukulele Musician Lucy S. is a 5th grader who loves to write, sing, and play her own songs on the ukulele. She is very outgoing and enjoys meeting new people. At her school, she is a student council president and also works on the announcements team. Her favorite animal is a dragon. She spends her free time reading and drawing comics. She recently helped support a nonprofit organization called Book Trust by giving a speech at their annual Books on Tap night. Her favorite shape is the oval. “Ovals are like circles, only they’re a lot more imperfect,” she says. “And I think we can all relate a little to that.”


Sunday 8/16/2018 6PM    

Author Ashley Young &  Musician Steve Weeks 

 Steve Weeks &  Ashley Young

A truly original voice on the Kindie music scene, Steve Weeks performs with both a boisterous sense of humor and a deep sense of purpose. “We’re supposed to be entertaining and educating kids,” the Colorado-based singer-songwriter enthuses. “I am sincere about the music I write. If it’s not coming from the heart or isn’t fun, I won’t write it.”

That focused attitude about his craft has led to a series of smile- inducing delights across multiple albums, including a trio of themed projects known as “The Alphabet Songs Series” and the critically acclaimed album Dandelion. More recently, Weeks has issued Once I Lived Upon the Sea, a collection of softer, more gentle pieces that continues his musical exploration.

Weeks has long been known for his richly layered, acoustic-based songs, and his latest work is noexception. From the gentle bluegrass of “Yellow Jacket” to the water-themed instrumentals “Rain”, “Creek” and “Ocean” to the easy melody of “Dog Beach”, a song about one dog’s pure joy at being let off leash by the sea, Steve creates a peaceful backdrop of guitars, ukuleles and pianos that make the perfect soundtrack for bedtime or any time that you just need a little calming influence in your home.

From the ocean to the mountains Ashley Young spends her life exploring the wild places and documenting their inhabitants in her sketchbook. An artist of many mediums, her subjects are unique and expressive animals drawn from her experiences as a zookeeper and environmental educator. At home in Fort Collins, Colorado she spends her days dreaming, creating and adventuring with her four-footed sidekick Harvey.“  

Ashley Young’s  children’s book The Curious Little Snail aims to bring small-scale epic adventures to your living room or classroom. Kids will enjoy the lively images, engaging story and fun characters of Serena and her Papa. Parents and teachers will appreciate the underlying lessons around scientific inquiry, curiosity and asking questions. At the end of each book you will find teaching activities and discussion questions to foster deeper scientific learning, curiosity and wild natural adventures.



Sunday, 8/5/2018  6PM 

Ayers, a Greeley resident, taught physical education and health at Thompson Valley High School for 20 years until she retired in May 2016 — but she didn’t exactly retire and now writes and works part-time at UCHealth’s Healthy Kids Club in Fort Collins.

She taught special education, physical education and health for another eight years at schools in Delta and Greeley after earning her bachelor’s degree in physical education and health and master’s degree in special education.

Ayers, who swims and runs for exercise and has competed in a few triathlons, also coached swimming at Greeley Central High School for four years and at Thompson Valley for eight years, followed by serving as an assistant cross country coach for another eight years at the Loveland school.


Sunday, 6/3/2018

 Author Melanie Crowder & 4th Grade Tavelli Elementary Students

Melanie Crowder is the acclaimed author of several books for young readers, including Audacity, Three Pennies, An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, A Nearer Moon and Parched, as well as the forthcoming middle grade duology The Lighthouse Between the Worlds

Melanie’s books have been awarded the Jefferson Cup, the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite, and the Bulletin Blue Ribbon; they have been recognized as a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist, Colorado Book Awards Finalist, Junior Library Guild selection, YALSA Top Ten Books For Young Adults, ILA Notable Book for a Global Society, Parents’ Choice Silver Medal, BookBrowse Editor’s Choice, BookPage Top Pick, and The Washington Post Best Children’s Books for April. Her work has been listed as Best Books of the Year by Bank Street College, Kirkus Reviews, The Amelia Bloomer List, New York Public Library, Tablet Magazine, A Mighty Girl, and The Children’s Book Review.

The author lives under the big blue Colorado sky with a wife, two kids, and one good dog. Visit her online at

Sunday , 5/20/2018

Jean Reidy is a rhythm-less dancing queen, a cackling karaoke contestant, an elite marathon runner in the Couch Potato Category and a children’s author. When she was little, she tried to be good, but her imaginary friends often pulled her into trouble. These days she’s told that a naughty little kid still lurks somewhere inside her – and she takes that as a compliment. Jean is a two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award. Her books include TOO PURPLEY!, TOO PICKLEY!, TOO PRINCESSY! and ALL THROUGH MY TOWN (Bloomsbury and Scholastic) and LIGHT UP THE NIGHT (Disney Hyperion and Scholastic) and TIME OUT FOR MONSTERS! (Disney Hyperion). She has many more on the way. In addition to her books for children, Jean’s articles have appeared in over fifty publications. She is represented by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She writes from her home in Colorado where she lives right across the street from her neighborhood library … which she visits nearly every day.

Sunday, 5/6/2018  

Authors Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester 

Book: Legends of The Lost Causes.

 Born and raised in Arkansas, Brad McLelland spent several years working as a crime journalist in the South before earning his MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University. A part-time drummer and singer, Brad lives in Oklahoma with his wife, stepdaughter, a mini-Aussie who gives hugs, and a chubby cat who begs for ham.

Dr. Sylvester is an Assiciate Professor of English at Lewis-Clark State College. He teaches Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Screenwriting for the Creative Writing Program. He also focuses on Film, Writing, and Literature and advises for Secondary Education: English.

When he isn’t busy with academia, Dr. Sylvester enjoys playing board games. He currently owns over one thousand games and he attends game conventions around the US. He co-sponsors a gaming club that meets every other week here at LCSC and hopes you’ll drop by to play.

His dogs are named Cake and Muse.

Sunday, 4/29/2018 & 5/6/2018 

Author Patricia Long with Jon & Amy Long Family Band

Growing up with 8 siblings was a true adventure! She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. Bonaventure University and her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Pat’s career as a learning disabilities resource teacher in the Cherry Creek School District rewarded her with wonderful story ideas. She is a member The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop. Pat’s passion for reading is fed by her two book clubs. Her writing critique group, the Picture Book Junkies (PBJ) is a constant source of support and expert criticism. Pat is blessed with an amazing family and dear friends. She lives in Centennial, Colorado with her fantastic husband, Jim. She enjoys travel, reading, and playing with her four beautiful grandchildren.

Author Patricia Long

Patricia is passionate about children’s literacy. Her story reading skills keep kids fully engaged and entertained. Older students enjoy learning about the writing process.Contact her at for Author Visits and Story Hours.


Sunday, 4/29/2018 

Author Patricia Long with Jon & Amy Long Family Band

Author Claudia Mills 

Author Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills was born in New York City on August 21, 1954. She received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1976, her M.A. degree from Princeton University in 1979, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1991. She also received an M.L.S. degree from the University of Maryland in 1988, with a concentration in children’s literature. She worked as an editorial assistant at Four Winds Press (Scholastic) from 1979-1980 and as an editor at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland 1980 to 1989. Since 1991 she has taught philosophy, first as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, then as an assistant professor and now as an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has two children, Christopher Wahl (born in September 1988) and Gregory Wahl (born in October 1991) and one cat named Snickers.

Email Claudia at Or write to her at 47 Benthaven Place, Boulder CO 80305. You can also visit her University of Colorado Philosophy Dept website at

Sunday, 4/18/2018

Illustrator and  Artist Tony Ortega & Musician  Jesse G Shephard

Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado and is currently an associate professor for Regis University. He is the recipient of the coveted Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1999) and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998). He has been a working artist and teacher for the past 30 years and is known for his vibrant, colorful artwork.

Tony Ortega’s lifelong goal is to contribute to a better understanding of cultural diversity by addressing the culture, history and experiences of Latinos through his art. His work can be found in Denver Art Museum, Los Angles County Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Tony’s artwork can be found in Denver, Colorado at the William Havu Gallery. He has exhibited in United States, Latin America and other parts of the world. For more information, please visit his web site at:

Sunday, 3/18/2018

Author Dow Phumiruk & Musician Heidi Mausbach

Tiemdow PhumirukTiemdow Phumiruk is an author and illustrator of children’s books. She is originally from Thailand but grew up in the United States. She now lives in the Lone Tree, Colorado with her husband, girls, and assorted small pets. When she is not creating, Dow teaches medical students and enjoys hiking. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by East West Literary Agency.


Heidi MausbachClassical cellist, Heidi Mausbach, a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, has enjoyed a fulfilling and diverse orchestral career throughout the US. She has played with the Naples Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra, and the Minnesota Opera before moving to Fort Collins in 2000. Currently, she is assistant principal of the Cheyenne Symphony and Fort Collins Symphony.

Heidi is a busy freelance musician and teacher. She is a faculty member of Just Chamber Music, a local summer festival for young aspiring music students. An enthusiast of chamber music, Heidi feels fortunate to list the two Brahms Sextets, Schubert Quintet Op 163, Schumann Fantasy Pieces and an entire cello quartet recital in her recent performances. In her free time, you can find Heidi on the Spring Creek Trail or hiking around Colorado.

Sunday, 2/4/2018

Author Julie Hedlund & Musician Dirk Kraus: Piano & Guitar Institute

Hedlud’s Books: A Troop Is A Group of Monkeys & My Love For You Is The Sun

 Julie Hedllund is an Author & Freelance Writer. Her creative work  is intended not only to help you strive, but to thrive as a writer. Her blog is loaded with inspirational posts from fellow writers, her weekly Gratitude Sunday series and much more. She formed the 12 x 12 picture book writing community as a way to motivate others to meet their writing goals. The For Writers section is full of resources on all aspects of writing, including digital publishing.

Dirk Kraus: Piano & Guitar Institute has been offering quality piano & guitar instruction to Fort Collins and surrounding areas since 2001.  There are currently several hundred students with a qualified staff to meet all of their needs. While each student is paired with a single teacher, all teachers provide instruction following the same methodology, beliefs, and terminology.  This allows Piano Institute to have a team approach in providing individualized instruction for each student.

Sunday, 2/4/2108 & 2/18/2018

Author Natasha Wing

Natasha Wing is the best-selling author of The Night Before series. Her new book, Bagel In Love, is a filled with bakery puns and is about a dancing bagel who doesn’t give up in the face of naysayers.

Joy MyersPianist, Accompanist, Teaching Artist, Actor/Voice Over, Multi-instrumentalist

Heather Wilberger & Joy Myers

Joy Myers has always believed that Music makes one’s heart sing and feet dance while the brain is having a party!  She has been a performer/teaching artist for 50 years teaching and coaching all ages on most instruments and voice. She has a degree in piano performance and music education from Jacksonville University- BM piano performance and BME summa cum laude.  She taught band, orchestra, show choir, general music for over 10 years in Florida schools before moving to Boulder.  Performances include the Jacksonville Symphony, Altoona Symphony, NW Fl Symphony, SFlorida Symphony, Amadeus Trio, Continental Strings, Artz Out Loud!  She currently performs throughout the East Coast with Artz Out Loud/Donna Wissinger, flutist.  “My dream of performing and sharing my love of music with my family has come true…I perform with my daughter, Beth, and my two young grandsons, Tristan and Reed throughout Colorado at libraries, schools, and music festivals as Kid’s House of Joy.” Joy Myers performs at weddings, corporate functions, restaurants, and many Senior Living Centers as House of Joy.  “Being active outdoors brings balance to my life in this beautiful state of Colorado.”-Joy Myers 

Beth Wilberger-Violin/Fiddle/Viola/Guitar/Ukulele/Vocals

I’m a teacher, coach, performer, wife & mother to 2 boys.  In the summer of 2011, Kaleidoscope Music began while pregnant with my second child bringing together both the Kid Music Classes and private music lessons.  I wanted to create an experience with music classes where kids at a young age along with family members could Sing, Shake & Shimmy to touch their hearts and expand their mind.  I started playing both the piano and violin at age 4 studying the Suzuki Method until high school, performing with various string quartets and orchestras in the North Florida area.  I studied with Eliot Chapo at Florida State University and began guitar lessons my freshman year.  Transitioning from classical violin to fiddle brought new life into my playing while living in Nashville, TN.  I graduated with a BBA, emphasis in Music Business from Belmont University.  Toured with my brother, Kort McCumber all over the country from 2001-2008 and teaching privately while off the road.  Moved to Boulder, CO in 2004 and worked for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival as Box Office Manager and Education Coordinator while continuing to perform and teach.  I perform nationally with Kort McCumber, Moors & McCumber, House of Joy/Kid’s House of Joy and Ali Grayson.

For Sale: Kaleidoscope Music Sing, Shake & Shimmy Vol. 1 CD

Family Friendly tunes that we love to sing and share with families attending my music classes & concerts.  Featuring Favorites, World, Bluegrass and Classic Kid Songs.  

SUNDAY, 1/21/2018 

Author: Katie Kirwan  Illustrator: Sean Martines  

Musician: Jesse G Shephard 

Book: The 9 lives of Charlie the Chicken Mushroom

Author: Katie Kirwan“I eat, therefore I cook!” After graduating from culinary school Katie spent the last 14 years in all different facets of the restaurant industry. Over the past year she has been instructing and developing a culinary course at Emily Griffith Technical College designed to get passionate people into Denver’s best kitchens. She has always loved to write and during her time as a nanny she put all her passions into motion to create her picture book: The 9 lives of Charlie the Chicken Mushroom. 

Katie Kirwan baking with fanThe story is  based on true events that have happened to her; “I wanted to emphasize friendship and letting your freak flag fly. I also wanted a way to introduce kids to more obscure vegetables and encourage them to get cooking.”-Kirwan.  Katie Kirwan partnered with Share Our Strength, a charity that educates families on the importance of healthy cooking and affordable options. Their goal is to end childhood hunger in America and $1 from each book sold is donated to their cause.

Illustrator: Sean Martines

Hello, I am well over three feet tall and I have bachelor of arts degree that is printed on incredibly fancy paper. I have been painting and drawing since I was five and I haven’t gotten any better. It was a pleasure working on Charlie the Chicken Mushroom with my long time friend (15 years) Katie Kirwan. Charlie is absolutely the embodiment of Katie and I tried hard to show her love and everlasting innocence with the loose watercolor style and silly bold black lines. Katie is a unique and beautiful monster that has an unbridled affection for her friends and life itself.

I was honored to help bring Charlie and the gang to life and I hope the journey of his 9 lives reaches as many kids as possible. I believe in Charlie, I believe in the freedom of his folly and the value of his outlook. We should all be so lucky, to let ourselves embrace friendship the way that Charlie does; he knows that true happiness comes not only from helping our friends but from letting them help us. Katie makes her life’s work to teach that lesson as often as possible and I hope Charlie can teach it to the world. Sometimes I tell people I have nine toes but it’s a lie.


Sunday, 12/31/17, 6pm MST Episode 9  on 88.9 KRFC  

Featured Local Author & Singer: Nina Adams

Book: Silly Sally Squirrel and the Sneaky Cat

Author Nina Adams

Born in the midst of Iowa farm country during the great depression, Nina Adams reaped all the benefits of a loving family and the infinite wonders of nature. Retirement now provides opportunity to pursue her long standing desire to “play with words.”  A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, she has attended numerous classes and workshops, as well as taking part in local writing and critique groups. While authoring her collection of children’s books and stories, she is published in the article, editorial and poetry fields.

Sunday, 12/17/17, 6pm MST Episode 9  on 88.9 KRFC  

Featured Author: Jean Hanson

 Book: The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch 


Author Jean Hanson

Jean Hanson is the author of The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch.Her short stories and essays for adults have been published in numerous magazines, including North American Review, Zoetrope, Indiana Review, Nimrod, New Letters, and Alaska Quarterly Review.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, she has received a Pushcart Prize nomination, an artist fellowship in fiction from the Colorado Council on the Arts, the Hackney Prize, the Writers Repertory Award, the Literal Latte Essay Prize, and a Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Jean lives in Colorado with thousands of “friends” and two clever cockatoos.

Launie Parry: Illustrator of The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch. She is an award-winning graphic designer whose work has brought many books to life. Launie and her husband, George, have two daughters, one cat, and a golden retriever named Maisie who is known around the office for her sweet disposition and very bad manners.

Launie also has her own design company and is available for branding projects and book design at

“The 5,000 Friends of Veronica Veetch manages to warn against the perils of snap judgment and extol the wonders of friendly books in such beguiling rhyme that it doesn’t seem like a lesson at all. In fact, what it seems like is pure joy. Hooray for Jean Hanson and Launie Parry for giving us this wonderful book.” — Ann Patchett, beloved novelist and indie bookstore owner

Voice-Over Artists:

Pictured: Jean Hanson,Wilder Gribble,Kiera Geiger, Forest Gribble  Juliet Tremblay, Back Jasper Gribble and Jesse G Shephard.


Juliet Tremblay just performed her musical theater debut performance as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, directed and produced by Fort Collins Children’s Theater.  She has loved theater ever since her first summer taking part in the CSU Kids Do It All Theater Camp.  Juliet also practices dance with Canyon Concert Ballet.  She is a 5th grader at Laurel Elementary.  When Juliet is not in school or dancing, she can be found in the kitchen singing all 47 songs from Hamilton with her sister, Ella, at full volume. When asked about her favorite book she said Divergent with Wonder at a close second.

Kiera Geiger is eleven years old and an only child. She is a 6th grader at Cache La Poudre Middle School. She really enjoys school, and her favorite subject is math. She lives in Fort Collins with her mom, dad, her dog, Riggs, five chickens and two guinea pigs.  She enjoys running, swimming, acro-parkour and trying new sports. Her favorite thing to do at home to let it all go is dance crazy around the family living room. She loves traveling with her parents, and seeing new places is one of her favorite things. They always have so much fun together. She loves spending time with her friends and her absolute dream is to visit Paris.


Jasper Gribble is an eleven year old who is in the 6th grade at CLPMS. He loves learning about technology and is well versed in videography, newly released technologies from Apple and Google, and many photography apps. He plays guitar, piano, and cello, and is on the yearbook committee at school. His favorite book series are the Hunger Games series and the Divergent series.  He is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, paddle boarding, and rock climbing.


Wilder Gribble is a nine year old who is in the 4th grade at Tavelli Elementary School. He plays both soccer and basketball, and enjoys being active in a multitude of other ways as well, such as long boarding and kayaking. He is an avid painter and watches Bob Ross on you tube to pick new skills. Wilder plays the piano, drums, and guitar and is in the modern rock band through his elementary school. His favorite book series include the Hatchet series, as well as Harry Potter.



Forest Gribble is a seven year old who is in the second grade at Tavelli Elementary School. He is a talented artist who enjoys sketching pencil drawings of animals. He has always preferred nonfiction and had read books on wildlife since he could hold a book. Forest enjoys gardening, and he picks all the ripe produce for his family. He also enjoys tree climbing, and playing the piano. His favorite book of all time is The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.


Jesse G Shepherd has been writing and playing his songs for 50 years and hasn’t stopped. He taught himself guitar from listening to early Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles and Rolling Stones music and in 1984 studied songwriting in Hollywood, California, with the National Academy of Songwriters. Later he studied piedmont finger picking style with Elizabeth Cotton. 

And so, stylistically, Jesse is an accomplished finger picker on his vintage Guild D50, with a good strong folk style and a piedmont bluesy influence. His voice has a rich, warm soulful presence and calls his style “Americana,” for he can be spiritual, social political, loving and story telling with his lyrics and is a master at his craft. 

Nowadays Jesse lives in Loveland, Colorado, writes songs, stories, makes videos and also volunteers at KRFC 88.9 FM, in Fort Collins, and enjoys getting together with other creative writers and musicians.

Jesse received three songwriting awards in 2017 in two different contests; Hollywood Songwriting Contest, for an instrumental and the American Songwriting Awards, for an instrumental and a lyric song. 

Albums can be purchased through the internet at,, please refer to the discography below for the exact address.

Jesse can also be seen on Just enter his name in the search bar then watch, listen and enjoy! 

New Dove Recordings Discography:

1,000 Years Of Peace Vol: 1, JG Shepherd, 2009; Meditative soundscape, available @

Perspectives; Jesse Gordon Shepherd, 1995; americana – available @

Reclaim My Brain; Jesse G, 1984; bluesy pop rock and fun – available @

Unpolished Perfection; Jesse G Shepherd, 2008; americana, song sampler,

Open Our Eyes; Shepherd Soundcraft, 1980; on vinyl – un-available

Sunday, 12/3/17, 6pm MST Episode 8  on 88.9 KRFC 

Featured Author: Chris Van Allsburg  Audio Recording: THE POLAR EXPRESS 

The recording played on Tunes & Tales was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 2000. The Music is by  Michael Moss. Recorded at Soundscape, Boston, MA.  This is a Charlesberry production/Susan Dudnick Boer, Producer.

Sunday, 11/19/17, 6pm MST Episode Seven on 88.9 KRFC 

Featured Author: Heather Preusser & Featured Musician: Saja Butler 

Author Heather Preusser

Heather Preusser earned a BA in English and art history from Williams College, an MA in education from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is currently working on several picture books and novels for young readers. When not writing, Heather teaches high school English, bikes the European countryside, and attempts to learn ridiculously long German words. She and her husband reside in Colorado.

Saja Butler’s a musical muse calling you over for a righteous jam.

Musician Saja ButlerSince 2007, Saja has taught thousands of people to play guitar, banjo, ukulele and how to sing beautifully. No matter where you’re at in skill, Saja can teach you how to play well,write your own tunes, and perform your favorite songs with soul and power.When it comes to music, Saja loves it all. You can hear her Southern roots as she picks a ballad on the banjo.

You can feel the beauty of blues, pop, R&B and rock when she’s hammering on the guitar. Her voice is a calling to heal you through and through. Saja gives familiar tunes newfound soul. She’s been jamming out on instruments of every kind for over 30 years, and she uses her mastery of guitar, banjo, and voice to entertain, inspire and put students on center stage.Saja graduated from the Colorado Contemporary Music College with a degree in Music Theory and Instruction. She hauled her passion for music to her Rocky Mountain Studio in 2007, and the place has been singing ever since. She welcomes you to come and tap into the groove.

Saja is also proud to be in Lois and the Lantern.
​Check them out

Sunday, 10/29/17, 6pm MST Episode Six on 88.9 KRFC

Featured Author: Stan Yan & Theatre Group: Playground Theatre

Playground Theatre: Jeff Haycook & Mia SoleAs a writer/director, Mia Sole is incredibly creative, inventive, and high powered, and a member of that handful of comedians that loves to ad lib. Her mind is a bonafide comedy computer working at lightning speed to generate giggles, dedicated to bring the joy. On stage, Mia takes you to a make-believe place of supreme goodness and then makes you laugh uncontrollably. A master of physical comedy and a crafty puppeteer behind the curtain. She can deliver Shakespeare trippingly off her tongue, twist Red Riding-hood into a rap sensation or tangle with a chair as a cunning cowgirl, all with hilarious consequences.

As a performer, Jeff Haycock is magnetic, lively, and irresistible, a children’s theatre all star. Upon entering the stage, he immediately connects to his audience a true force of positive power with a big, bright smile. Jeff is a gifted entertainer: a handsome leading man, zany character actor, comic sketch writer and a soaring song bird. Also in his bag of tricks, he is a skilled musician, agile on a variety of instruments, he slings his axe to every show and kids thrive with his magical melodies.

As an educator, Jeff is equipped with a wealth of valuable knowledge of theatrics. Precise and eloquent, Jeff creates drama curriculum and contributes content that amalgamates performing arts with education, highlighting the fact that acting accelerates learning, and it’s fun too! As a trainer, theatre teacher, and consultant, Jeff motivates and inspires; his thirty years of creative education experience is pure gold. 

To Contact: email: 

Stan Yan is a Denver-based writer/illustrator, caricature artist and instructor. Growing up in Denver, Yan, a self-taught artist, went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he got his bachelor’s degree in accounting, where Yan’s life took the tragic turn into sales for the securities industry, where he wallowed in ethical poverty on-and-off for thirteen years. Yan takes his frustrations out by penning graphic novels such as The Wang. In 2005, Yan gave up on financial security and become a full-time freelance cartoonist, illustrating SubCulture for Ape Entertaiment and Action Lab Danger Zone, creating comic strips for the financial and sales industry, drawing zombie caricatures, and picking up odd illustration and teaching jobs when folks are feeling agonizing pity for him. Stan teaches Summer camps, after school programs, workshops, and helped to develop a degree program in graphic storytelling as an adjunct faculty member at the Community College of Aurora. His recent credits include art and colors for Show Devils (Mother Mind Studios), writing and art for Vincent Price Presents (BlueWater Productions / Storm Comics), and writing and art for There’s a Zombie in the Basement (Squid Works Kids). But, he’s probably best known for doing zombie and pony caricatures. Upcoming projects include development of a graphic novel about his best friend’s battle with cancer.

Sunday, 10/15/17, 6pm MST Episode Five on 88.9 KRFC

Author: Judy Schachner

Book: Skippyjon Jones (Puffin Story-time)

Author & Illustrator Judy Schachner

I’m so excited to introduce our community to author & illustrator Judy Schachner! I met her in 2016 at the RMSCBWI Letters & Line Conference while riding in the elevator before her keynote. She is so talented, and she is so important to the picture book community. I hope you enjoy my interview. Judy’s latest book to come out and is called Sarabella’s Thinking Cap.

Judy Schachner was born into an Irish Catholic working class family from New England. Money was as tight as their apartment was tiny and though she may not have had the easiest of childhoods, she credits her imagination with helping her survive it.

She can’t ever remember a time when she was not drawing and like most budding artists she doodled on everything, including her father’s bald head. She drew herself into stories where she was the smartest in her class and into a family where mothers lived to be a ripe old age. In many ways, Judy feels that her own life has resembled the fairy tales she loved reading as a child, complete with a happy ending. And the best part of this author/illustrator’s story? She married a prince of a guy and they had two beautiful daughters and just like the mothers in her earliest tales, she plans on living to a ripe old age.

Described by the New York Times as “…something like the James Joyce for the elementary school – set…”, Judy Schachner is the #1 NY Times Best Selling Author/Illustrator of over 23 books for children including Bits & Pieces, the Skippyjon Jones series, Yo Vikings, The Grannyman and Willy and May. She has won many awards including the first E. B. White Read Aloud Award.

Sunday, 9/29/17, 6pm MST Episode Four on 88.9 KRFC 

Author: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Sunday, 9/17/17, 6pm MST EPISODE  THREE on 88.9 KRFC 



Carmela LaVigna Coyle is an award-winning author of a dozen picture books and board books. Her first published book, Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? illustrated by Mike Gordon, is a favorite among the not-your-average-princess crowd. She credits her four-year-old daughter for asking the title question, sparking several more Do Princesses books. Her latest Wild Zoo Train, illustrated by Steve Gray, is out this fall, and Do Princesses Live in Sandcastles? will be released in the coming year. Her princess books have been modified into Keepsake Doodle editions and Board books, as well as Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and French editions. Her book, The Tumbleweed Came Back, illustrated by Kevin Rechin, won 2014 Colorado Book Award.

Carmela has a degree in Education and Art. After graduation from college, and a fair bit of soul searching, she decided to pursue a writing career. Her other interests include inventing recipes, family dinners, dabbling in paints, growing pumpkins, heart-rock hounding, feeding the birds, and long solitary walks in nature.

She is in awe of the remarkable artists and writers in her field, and keeps an ever-expanding collection of extraordinary books. This year marks her 3rd year as a SCBWI mentor. Carmela lives in Colorado with her family and a lively shi-poo dog named, Lulu.


Kara enjoys sharing her love for music with individuals of all ages and abilities.  She works as a music therapist and music teacher at Foundation Music School. When she is not singing and playing songs, you can find her hiking, skiing, or camping along the Front Range mountains with her husband, Mike and their dog Mazie.


Early Childhood Music Program

Foundation Music School is non-profit community school of the arts committed to providing high quality arts opportunities to individuals of all ages, abilities, ethnicities and incomes. Established in March 2006, Foundation Music School currently offers a range of classes for students of all ages and abilities which nurture the love of music in a developmentally appropriate way.


Sunday, 9/3/17, 6pm MST EPISODE  TWO on 88.9 KRFC 


AUTHOR: NATASHA WING & MUSICIAN EMMA SLONIKER perform together on Kristen Olsen’s TUNES & TALES radio program for kids featured every other Sunday on 88.9 KRFC    community radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Kids will hear three stories written and performed by Natasha Wing with music created by Emma Sloniker. Kids, This show is for YOU!

Author Natasha Wing

Natasha Wing lives in Fort Collins and is the best-selling author of The Night Before Series. She has been writing children’s books for more than 25 years and has published both fiction and non-fiction books. Her newest book, When Jackie Saved Grand Central, received two starred reviews.




As the story goes, Emma Sloniker was singing long before she could speak. But as she grew up Emma was dead set against becoming a musician. Chalk it up to a vicious case of stage fright. But being raised by a family of musicians, and after a healthy dose of musical theatre in high school, she is irretrievably entrenched in music. Specializing in jazz, blues, and folk, her parents are to thank for the diverse styles she preforms. Her repertoire is vast and varied, but her knowledge of children’s songs was cultivated by her time working in child care with her mother; bringing music to children through a program called Kiddie Chorale. You can catch her singing jazz with Mark Sloniker and Colleen Crosson at Jay’s Bistro and Ace Gillette’s. Or go to: Three Shots Band   to find out more about her adventures with the blues.


Sunday, 8/20/17, 6pm MST EPISODE ONE


AUTHOR DENISE VEGA & MUSICIAN JESSE G SHEPHERD perform together on Kristen Olsen’s TUNES & TALES radio program for kids featured every other Sunday on 88.9 KRFC    community radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Kids will hear three stories: If Your Monster Won’t Go To BedBuild a Burrito: A Counting Book in English and Spanish, illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz and Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? These stores are all written and read aloud  by Denise Vega. Kids will be entertained by the music of musician Jesse G Shepherd. Jesse wrote songs to accompany the themes in Denise’s books. 

 DENISE VEGA is the award-winning author of seven books from toddler to teen, including her newest picture book, If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed as well as Build a Burrito: A Counting Book in English and Spanish, illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz and Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono (Colorado Book Award winner, Colorado Authors’ League Award, Américas Award Commended Title). Her middle school and young adult titles include her middle school “blog” books: Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade) – a Colorado Book Award winner – and Access Denied (and other eighth grade error messages). Her other YA novels are the award-winning Fact of Life #3 and Rock On: A story of guitars, gigs, girls, and a brother (not necessarily in that order).


Jesse G Shepherd has been writing and playing his songs for 50 years and hasn’t stopped. He taught himself guitar from listening to early Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles and Rolling Stones music and in 1984 studied songwriting in Hollywood, California, with the National Academy of Songwriters. Later he studied piedmont finger picking style with Elizabeth Cotton. 

And so, stylistically, Jesse is an accomplished finger picker on his vintage Guild D50, with a good strong folk style and a piedmont bluesy influence. His voice has a rich, warm soulful presence and calls his style “Americana,” for he can be spiritual, social political, loving and story telling with his lyrics and is a master at his craft. 

Nowadays Jesse lives in Loveland, Colorado, writes songs, stories, makes videos and also volunteers at KRFC 88.9 FM, in Fort Collins, and enjoys getting together with other creative writers and musicians.

Jesse received three songwriting awards in 2017 in two different contests; Hollywood Songwriting Contest, for an instrumental and the American Songwriting Awards, for an instrumental and a lyric song. 

Albums can be purchased through the internet at,, please refer to the discography below for the exact address.

Jesse can also be seen on Just enter his name in the search bar then watch, listen and enjoy!