New children’s book series based at Durward’s Glen Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 -- 12:00 AM
Author Pamela R. Quinlan, center, holds a Kindle showing her new book, A Sunny Day at Spring Pond. With her are Mardell Krejchik, left, and Chris Dreyer. They are pictured at the pond at Durward’s Glen Retreat Center in Baraboo that is the site of Quinlan’s Spring Pond Series, of which this is the first. (Contributed photo)

BARABOO -- If you got a Kindle for Christmas (especially the new Kindle Fire), you might want to consider buying a new book that appeals to the whole family.

A Sunny Day at Spring Pond is the first book in the Spring Pond Series by Baraboo author Pamela R. Quinlan. She developed the idea for her series of children’s books while volunteering as an outdoor tour guide at Durward’s Glen Retreat Center in Baraboo.

(As a disclaimer, I would like to point out that I served as an editor of the book.)

Set at Durward’s Glen

The books are all set at Spring Pond and tell stories about animals like those found at Durward’s Glen. In fact, the central character, Herman the Turtle, actually belonged to Quinlan’s son. The turtle was released into the pond 15 years ago.

“I believe Herman is still in the pond,” said Quinlan, who noted that visitors on tours at the Glen continue to look for him.

“The Glen is dear to my heart,” said Quinlan. She hopes her books will inspire people — especially families with children — to come to Durward’s Glen.

“This place has been in existence for over 150 years,” she noted. The Glen is named after the family of Bernard Isaac Durward, who purchased the property in 1862 and moved there with his wife and five children from Milwaukee on the Feast of All Saints, November 1.

The Durward family offered the property to the religious Order of St. Camillus who received it in 1932. The order operated Durward’s Glen as a novitiate for over 40 years, during which time a parish was opened at the property. Later, the buildings were used as a retreat center. It is now operated by Durward's Glen OLRG, Ltd.

Excited about the series

Mardell Krejchik, current director of Durward’s Glen Retreat Center, is excited about the new series of books.

She said Quinlan called her in the middle of the night when she started writing the stories. “She wrote 41 stories in about six weeks. They are fiction, but based on fact,” said Krejchik.

The books are geared for children ages eight to 12 years old, but people of all ages will enjoy them. “It’s a good wholesome book to read to children,” said Krejchik.

“We hope her books will bring more people to the Glen. They will see the beauty of God’s nature and creation.”

Quinlan, a retired social worker, enjoys freelance writing. She took many of the photographs at Durward’s Glen that illustrate the book.

The first book, A Sunny Day at Spring Pond, describes the many challenges Herman the Turtle faces in the strange world of Spring Pond. With the help of Huey the Hummingbird and Mr. White Paws the Cat, Herman learns to like his new home.

The next book will be A Snowy Day at Spring Pond.

Many characters, stories

The Spring Pond Series will gradually introduce 72 characters, mostly animals and birds with colorful personalities.

There are funny and serious stories covering such things as change of seasons, holidays, and storms. Several of the books have religious themes, including those dealing with Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and the Feast of Corpus Christi. They all have important messages for children.

Krejchik assisted with the book as an editor, as did Jim Quinlan, Pamela’s son. Chris Dreyer, a graphic designer from Portage, prepared the book for the Kindle format.

Eventually Quinlan hopes to publish the books in printed form, but for now, she plans to release a new book every six to eight weeks on Kindle.

The electronic books may be purchased from and there are other options for downloading the books available besides the Kindle.

For more information, go to which also features a link to the Durward’s Glen Web site at