One of the posts along the story path at Lilleskogen Park highlighting “Early to Bed, Late to Rise”, featuring Scandia native Debra Mitts-Smith.   


Visitors to Scandia’s Lilleskogen Park Children’s Story Path are going to be in for a treat. 

Nationally published children’s literature author and Scandia native Debra Mitts-Smith debuted her newest book “Early to Bed, Late to Rise”, which tells the tale about Sven, the rooster and his interesting life on the farm. 

Smith explained the Scandia Parks board came to her husband, Marschall, and wonder if she’d be interested in writing a book. She already had one in mind. 

“I always like to write,” Debra continued. “I love animals and I love photography.”  

A little revising occurred and the result came what was shown around the park. Sven, a rooster sleeps late and the hens are trying to find out why. 

“It tells the job of a rooster and you understand at the end,” Debra said. The photos accompany the text along the path are animals from Smith’s farm. 

“I think it was a great idea to have it along the story path,” Debra continued.   

The Smiths have called Scandia home for the last 12 years after Marschall took a job at 3M. 

“I didn’t want a home, so we took a farm instead,” Debra explained. “We love it here. It’s been a great community. The countryside has been great and the wildlife has been amazing.

Smith previously taught children’s and young adult literature at the University of Illinois. She has Master’s degrees in French and Library and Information Science and  a PhD from the University of Illinois. Her publications include articles in Princeton University Library Chronicle and Library Trends, and a book chapter in From Colonialism to the Contemporary: Intertextual Transformation in World Children’s and Youth Literature and her book, Picturing the Wolf in Children’s Literature. 

“I hope people go and visit it,” she said.

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