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The magic of wishes: Michelle Halvorson writes children's book

Press Photo by Linda Sailer Michelle Halvorson holds a copy of her book, “All My Wishes For You,” while visiting relatives in Dickinson over the Christmas holidays.

By Linda Sailer Children’s author and the mother of four sons, Michelle Halvorson believes in the magic of wishes. “Put your wishes out there and trust they will materialize,” Halvorson said from her home in Cheyenne, Wyo. A native of Dickinson, Halvorson recently published a children’s book, “All My Wishes for You.” Packaged in a glossy, hard-cover, the book describes the wishes a mother holds for her child, even in moments of silence. It’s been her experience that many wishes do come true. “We may forget about them, but usually they come true in some way or another,” she said. “I call it the magic of life.” The book is intended for a mother and child to read together — to start a conversation about the wishes and dreams held in their hearts. No characters in the book are named, so each mother and child can personalize their lives as they read along. Halvorson is the daughter of Kathy Zander and stepfather, Craig Zander of Dickinson. Kathy Zander said her daughter has always believed, even at a young age, that what you wish for in life will come true in one form or another. “I used to read stories to my kids, and here’s my daughter’s picture on a book. Wow, her dream did come true,” she said. Halvorson graduated from Dickinson High School in 1994, and attended Dickinson State University and Bismarck State College. Working for Stevenson’s Funeral Home in Dickinson, Halvorson described the experience as probably the best job she’s ever had. “It made me realize you do not take a day for granted,” she said. “I honestly try to make the most of every day.” The family moved to Wyoming in 2006 when her husband, Chet, was transferred with Wyoming Casing Service. They also are a promotional products distributor for Par 5 Promotions. The couple has four children, Bennett, 14; Calvin 6, and  twins, Beckett and Camden, 18 months. Halvorson envisioned the book for a year before searching for a publisher — Outskirts Press of Parker, Colo. The publisher provided the illustrator, Dustin Pike, who submitted three examples of  illustrations to choose from. Halvorson liked the characters with the cherub faces and big, bright eyes. Working with pictures taken at home, Pike drew illustrations of children watching TV, eating breakfast, playing with toys and doing homework. Each illustration contains a hidden star to hold a young child’s attention. As the illustrations arrived in the mail for her approval, Halvorson said, “The boys didn’t care about the characters — they kept looking for the hidden stars,” she said. Halvorson remembers the moment the author’s copy arrived in the mail. “I went into a room by myself and held the book,” she said. “It was unchartered territory for me, so to have it finally done, was a wonderful relief.” The book is tailored for any mother, grandmother or even friend to share with a young child. Purchase copes through, or Barnesandno or Outskirts