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Author's Profile - Gudrun Ongman

Gudrun Ongman, author and illustrator of the children's books The Sleep Ponies and Sleep Pony Dreams, did not set out to be a writer and artist. Yet, throughout her life these two talents have continually worked their way to the surface and now play a prominent role in her life.

Born and raised in the Seattle area, to an artistic family, Gudrun decided early to try to make a difference in the world. Toward this end, she studied nursing at the University of Washington. In her spare time, she raced to art classes at the other end of the campus and then treated herself to two quarters studying the arts in Europe.

After graduating, Gudrun enlisted in the VISTA Volunteer poverty program and spent the next two years among Hispanic and Native American migrant farmworkers in Utah where she helped develop and institute a variety of medical programs. Her compassion and hard work led to a directorship of Indiana's Migrant Health Program, but soon she found that she missed hands-on interaction with people. She eventually returned to Seattle to pursue a Master's degree and then continued her work with farm laborers in Washington's Skagit Valley as a Nurse Practitioner.

Gudrun's career was interrupted by the arrival of her first child in 1978, followed closely by two more. She chose to spend the next several years as a full-time mom. Removed from her career, she returned to her artistic roots, sculpting and painting, and winning awards for her work. Successful gallery shows and teaching aspiring artists at the Arts Umbrella, an art center in Bothell, Washington, led to an exciting art career and gave her the creative atmosphere and encouragement she needed to write and illustrate stories of the Sleep Ponies. Her llatest book Sleep Pony Dreams, just like its predecessor The Sleep Ponies, is a labor of love. It is the beautifully written and illustrated story of Whicker, a young Sleep Pony, and her wish to see her Dream Child.

Gudrun lives on a small farm in the country with her husband, three daughters and a menagerie of animals. She continues to pursue her art, teaching and commitment to her community.


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