Bluebonnet at the Texas State Capitol

Bluebonnet at the Texas State Capitol

Bluebonnet at the Texas State Capitol

In a recent blog, I noted that this year marks the 35th year of my birth.  As part of the celebration, I’m telling the “story behind the story” for each of the Bluebonnet Armadillo Adventure series books.

“Bluebonnet at the Texas State Capitol” was published in 1997……20 years ago!  MBC recently learned that the hardback copies have sold out.  Pelican Publishing Company printed the first paperback edition this past April. The book sells for $7.95, making it the least expensive book of the entire series.  Copies can be ordered on this website or at:

Back in the mid-90s, when MBC decided to write about the Texas State Capitol, she had friends in Austin that helped connect her with Capitol officials, who graciously gave us a tour of the Capitol and supplied us with historical information.  But the story was greatly influenced by a school visit to then Oak Creek Elementary School in Houston (the name was changed in 2005 to Reynolds Elementary School, honoring long-time principal Pat Reynolds).

We were invited to visit this school because we have something in common:  their mascot is the armadillo! The students worked hard to have the armadillo proclaimed the recognized mascot of Texas in 1981.  Because of their efforts, other schoolchildren across Texas lobbied the state legislature for years to adopt the armadillo as the small state mammal and the longhorn as the large state mammal.  This was the primary influence for MBC’s story….and that’s why you see Bevo, the longhorn mascot of the University of Texas, make an appearance in this book.

MBC and I had lots of fun working in the “official” items of Texas, and they are scattered throughout the story.  MBC’s son, McCrae, named the character Mac the Mockingbird (the official bird of Texas).  When MBC’s husband, Vic, expressed concern about an armadillo and longhorn dancing together at a square dance (the official dance of Texas), MBC just shrugged and said, “That’s the illustrator’s problem!”  Benjamin Vincent was up to the challenge as always; Bevo and I look pretty good “dancing on the capitol grounds!”

But perhaps my favorite part of the book is the last line.  After coming through a tale of debate over differing opinions in the political process, all the characters remember the official motto of Texas:  “Friendship.”  Thus, the story ends with these words:  “Just remember in Texas, we’re all friends!”

Would that we could live up to those words today!

Your friend, Bluebonnet Armadillo