Molly and the Magic Suitcase shares the world. The stories feature different locations, cultures and a bit of language. It is educational fun.
The inspiration came from our children. We had a suitcase out, getting ready to go on a trip. Our little girl, barely one year-old, climbed inside and looked out as if she expected it to take her somewhere. Well, why not? We research each location, interviewing people that lived or traveled there to find out what kids did for fun and where they enjoyed visiting. The stories don’t always stick to the beaten path, so there are things for adults to learn.
We hope you enjoy these adventures. Creating the stories is a reward in itself and we hope the joy we approach these books with brings some fun into your home.
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.