Molly and the Magic Suitcase shares the world. The stories feature different locations, cultures and a bit of language. It is educational fun.
Chris and Amy Oler came up with the idea for Molly and the Magic Suitcase when their daughter Molly, barely 1 year old at the time, crawled into their suitcase and expected to go somewhere. What better way to share the word with kids, they thought, then to share their travels as children’s books. Molly and her brother Michael are older now, and Chris and Amy love traveling with them and capturing their adventures in stories. Molly and the Magic Suitcase books have been around the world, and we hope that these stories will expand your child’s horizons and help them see that while our world has many wonderful cultures and differences, we are the same at heart.
Visit the Educator Resources section to discover fun and engaging learning activities to do with kids.
Meet the Author
Chris Oler began a freelance writing career through sports, specifically the corporate softball team he put together in Chicago. His game reports entertained well enough that he was soon writing for other divisions of Kaplan Professional. The idea that “less is more” drives the work on promotions, speeches, Web sites and books that Chris has done throughout his professional career. His background includes speechwriting for the Indiana House of Representatives, serving as an editor for Kaplan in Chicago, and teaching and coaching students from grade 5 to grade 12 at the International School of Indiana and Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. He has education certifications from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) at both the MYP (Language A) and Diploma Program (ToK, Language B) levels. Chris is currently the President and Lead Writer of COLOR Marketing & Design. Get to know Chris on http://chrisoler.com/.
Meet the Illustrator
Amy Houston Oler is a trained artist who has loved drawing all her life, rarely going anywhere without a sketch pad. She created her first comic strip at age ten and continued creating comics and cartoons in high school and college, graduating from DePauw University with a double major in both History and Studio Art (focus on drawing and painting). She later studied at the New York School of Visual Arts. During her time in New York, she worked for Marvel Comics, The New Yorker, and Entertainment Weekly. Amy produces all of the art for the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series by hand. She loves drawing from both imagination and reality, but her favorite thing to capture is facial expression. Her father says he recognizes her characters easily because she’s been working on them all her life. Amy is currently the Creative Director at COLOR Marketing & Design.
Molly and the Magic Suitcase is an educational adventure, seeing international locations, language and culture through the eyes of Molly and her brother Michael.
We develop these books intent on bringing authenticity to them. For our first book, we interviewed a parent who lived and raised her children in Rome for several years. It is difficult to find any references to “elastico” on the Internet, but it is one of the revealing cultural aspects we included just for kids.
Chris and Amy Oler, the author and illustrator, are currently scheduling talks at elementary schools and libraries in the greater Indianapolis area. Contact us to speak at your school.
Lesson Plans and Preparation for an Author Visit
Our books potentially support lessons in reading, geography, history, art, and culture. Find some ideas below, or visit our Educator Resources page for more ideas.
- Read the books to the students. Use Google Earth to help introduce and talk about the specific places that are featured in the books.
- Use blank outlines of Molly and Michael so the students can create their own Molly or Michael. Have students draw a background of a favorite place they’ve traveled and paste Molly or Michael into their background. Click here for printable outlines.
- Have students take a Molly or Michael cutout with them on trips or around the area to photograph them in different places. Kids can bring in their photos and write about where they traveled.
- Have the kids make Molly and Michael bookmarks by printing and coloring the bookmarks on our “Coloring” page. Talk about the icons on the bookmarks and where each place is. Point out the cities on a map.
- Print and color pictures from our “Coloring” page. Talk about what Molly and Michael are doing in the picture and what special cultural elements the picture has.