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Fan Mail: Minnesota Historical Society Press 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
We do not have a good fan email address for Ms. Larson, but you could try contacting her through Facebook
One Frozen Lake is available through our Bookshop store.
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Deborah Jo Larson is a local children’s book author. She was born right here in St. Paul and continues to call Minnesota her home. Larson claims she began her career as a playwright and puppeteer, but soon learned her sold-out performances in her parent’s garage were mainly due to free popcorn. She published her first picture book, One Frozen Lake in 2012 through the MN Historical Society Press. Scroll down to read more about One Frozen Lake in Gianna’s interview with Ms. Larson from 2013.

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Books About Ice Fishing

Larson published One Frozen Lake in 2012 and we include that book on our list of books about Ice Fishing.

Interview with Deborah Jo Larson

Headshot of author Deborah Jo Larson on a background of an illustration from her book, One Frozen Lake.

In One Frozen Lake, Deborah Jo Larson has written the most beautiful book ever written on one of the most deplorable past-times known to man–ice fishing.  My husband loves it.  My dad and brother love it.  There are millions of men around the world who love this sport.

I cannot understand why anyone in their right mind would choose to go sit on the ice for hours on end (it doesn’t even matter how nice the shelter is), drill a hole in the ice, and put a line in the water through that hole.  On top of everything, you are expected to be overjoyed when you catch a wee bass.

I don’t get it.  But even so, I love this book.  And if you have an ice fisherperson or a child or someone who wants to understand the mind of a Minnesotan better, this is the book for you.  It really is beautiful.  The word pictures and the illustrations are gorgeous.  And by the end of the book, even I, the skeptical-you-are-never-getting-me-to-ice-fish person that I am, wanted know if they were going to catch a fish.

Deborah Jo Larson has quite a story to tell about how she became an author.

She is a native Minnesotan who began her writing career on stage, but I’ll let her tell you about it.

I was born in St. Paul, MN. I began my career as a playwright and puppeteer, enjoying a string of sold-out performances in my parent’s garage, only to learn later in life that the audience came mainly for my mom’s free popcorn…  But I continued my creative journey nonetheless and was thrilled to sell my first picture book, One Frozen Lake, to the MN Historical Society Press, a mere 40 years later.

Currently, she is self-employed consultant for PR, Marketing, and Events which allows her the flexibility to continue writing. She lives in Woodbury, MN with her husband, two teenage children and a “bossy Miniature Schnauzer named Oliver.”

I spend my free time reading, gardening, antiquing and enjoying the outdoors. I bait my own hook (except for leeches – I have to draw the line somewhere!) 

Her journey as an author has not been all peaches and cream. She began writing by taking classes through the Loft Literary Center (I have been doing that recently and am so happy to have met her Deb Larson personally!).  After taking classes for 10 years, Deb’s story looks like this:

I won a Shabo Award for picture book writing from the Loft  in 2007. 

My first fiction story (Halloween on Hickory Street) appeared in Stories for Children Magazine in 2009.  This story is very special to me as it is based on my childhood best friend, who passed away of a brain tumor at a very young way (20).  I believe that somewhere, somehow she had something to do with the story’s publication which sparked my journey as a published author.  Since then I have had another story published in Stories for Children Magazine, Don’t Look For a Moose.  

Then in 2012 my first picture book, One Frozen Lake, was published by the MN Historical Society.  The book went on to win the 2012 International Reading Association Book Award, a tremendous honor for which I thank everyone involved with the book (Editor Shannon Pennefeather and illustration team of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher).
My first e-book, Where is Apple Pie, is schedule for release this month by Meegenius Publishing.  I have two other manuscripts undergoing the editorial review process.  The waiting game does not get any easier!
Why do you like children’s literature, Deb?
First, I love the rhythmic language – it’s a lot like writing poetry.  I have also loved seeing my text brought to life through illustration by the incredibly talented artists I have worked with.  And I love telling the stories about my favorite childhood memories as well as those of my children.  Finally, it is so much fun to read my book to children, experience their wonder and field their interesting questions (“Do any dinosaurs live under the ice?”, “No”, “Not even T-Rexes?”) 
Tell us more about yourself!
  • What work are you most thrilled about?  Both One  Frozen Lake, as my first picture book, and Halloween on Hickory Street as a tribute to my childhood best friend.  I am also pretty excited about a middle grade book I am currently working on.
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?  I wanted to be a teacher.
  • What do you like best about living in the Twin Cities?  I love being a short drive to parks, lakes and rivers, yet have access to plenty of culture, arts and delicious restaurants.  Plus the anticipation for each of the seasons, even winter.  
  • What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?  My children are teenagers now, so shopping is high on the list…  When they were young, we loved to take car trips – be it just for a weekend on the North Shore or all the way to Yellowstone.  A 12-hour car ride is a great way to bond.  We laugh a lot.
  • What is your favorite restaurant in town? There are so many it’s hard to pick one!  Right now I am craving San Pedro Cafe in Hudson, WI.
  • What is one thing you would never be caught dead doing?  Buy a store-bought costume.
  • What is one thing you have always wanted to do but have never been able to?  Travel to Europe.  (I knew I liked this lady!)

Gianna Kordatzky conducted this interview in December of 2013

One Frozen Lake

The pictures in One Frozen Lake were created by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher who worked on Dr. Seuss’s My Many Colored Days.  And they are really gorgeous! Did I mention that it’s a perfect gift?

One Frozen Lake 
by Deborah Jo Larson
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012

You can pick up One Frozen Lake on (see our affiliate link below**), directly through the Minnesota Historical Society Press, or one of our local bookstores: The Best Twin Cities Independent Bookstores for Kids

*images courtesy of Deborah Jo Larson, used with permission

**This article includes an affiliate link to, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on books ordered through our link. If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on this map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop). Learn more here.


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