Southwest Children's  Literature

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The Same Sun Was in the Sky

Author Interview with Denise Webb:

This is a photograph of Denise Webb.

Why did you write this book?
At the time I decided to write this book, I was teaching fourth grade. Our class was conducting a study of Native American peoples. I found that there were almost no materials on Hohokam culture so I decided to write a book about them. I also remember a field trip I'd taken to a Hohokam site near Phoenix when I was in fourth-grade.

Did you share it with kids as you were writing it?
No, I wrote the book over the summer in 1993 and shared it with my next year's fourth-grade students.

Did you do research on the Hohokam?
I spent most of the summer in the library at the University of Arizona. I read a number of books by archeologists who have studied Hohokam culture. There wasn't much information about petroglyphs. I also had an archeologist check my story for accuracy before I submitted it to the publisher.

Did you work with the illustrator?
I didn't get to meet Walter Porter until after the book was published. We did talk once on the telephone. An interesting thing about Walter is that he lives near Signal Hill in the Saguaro Monument, the location of the story. I received a copy of Walter's original pictures when the book was in progress. I shared his paintings with Linda Gregonis, the archeologist, who checked the artwork for accuracy as well.

Have you written other books?
I've written other books, but I haven't had any others published.

What are your other books about?
One is an informational book about patterns in nature. Another is a fantasy story about a lonely princess who travels to exotic places and learns about cultures different from her own.

What's the best part about being an author?
I really enjoy having my book in my classroom. It's fun to watch my students pick up The Same Sun Was in the Sky and read it. It's also great to use it to teach about the Hohokam.

Do you have any children? or pets?
Yes, my children are adults; they are twenty-eight and twenty-nine. My pets are two old lady dogs, Samantha and Frisky and my long-haired gray cat named Persia.

This interview was conducted on September 12, 1999. Denise Webb currently teaches fifth grade in Tucson Unified School District. If you have more questions or want to contact her, you can reach Ms. Webb via email at:

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