Douglas Wood has been called Minnesota’s “renaissance man” — author, artist, musician, naturalist, wilderness guide. As a writer of books for children and adults he has almost two and a half million copies in print, including the classics Old Turtle and Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth.

Among his many honors and awards have been the Christopher Medal, ABBY Award, International Reading Association Book of the Year, Minnesota Book Award, Midwest Publishers Association Book of the Year, Parent’s Choice Award, Barnes and Noble Star of the North, and Story Telling World Award.

Doug has read his books, narrated, and performed at the White House, New York’s famed Lincoln Center, and other major performing venues around the country.

Photo with wild spirit band

Not only an author-illustrator, Doug is also an accomplished musician and composer. He performs his original, nature-themed music on guitar, banjo, and mandolin, often performing with his Wild Spirit Band.

In his books, frequent speaking engagements, and far-flung wilderness expeditions Doug continues to explore the relationship between the natural world and the human spirit. Douglas Wood lives with his family in a log cabin in the pines by the Mississippi River.

Learn more:
Resume – pdf

Awards Page
Complete Book List – pdf

Upcoming Performances Page


Douglas Wood Artist Resumé

Bachelors of Music Education Degree, Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa

Master’s coursework in psychology, St Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN

Professional/Leadership Positions
President, Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation

President, Listening Point Foundation


  • Meriden-Cleghorn School District, Iowa 1973-75
  • Morris, Minnesota School District 1975-77
  • Audubon Center of the North Woods, MN – Naturalist/Educator 1984-85


Self Employment: Douglas Wood, Inc.   1985-Present
Professional Composer/Musician/Performer – Traveled/toured the United States, Canada, Great Britain, appearing at colleges, nature centers, theaters, national and state parks, concert halls, and other venues, including:

  • The Lincoln Center, NY; Meyerson Symphony Hall, Dallas, TX; Seattle Center, Seattle, WA; US Capitol Rotunda and The White House, Washington, DC.
  • Currently with the band, “WildSpirit”, with 5 albums and DVD.


Public Speaker – Keynotes at conferences and conventions throughout the United States:

  • The National Wellness Conference and numerous state wellness conferences, including Texas, New York, Washington, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Minnesota.
  • Literary conferences, including American Booksellers Convention, International Reading Association (many state chapters including New York, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas), Texas Library Association, numerous regional Young Authors conferences, annually at Twin Cities YAC at Bethel College, Sinclair Lewis Writers’ Conference.
  • Environmental and outdoor conferences, including Minnesota Naturalist’s Association, World Wilderness Congress, Midwest Environmental Education Conference (10 years), National Association of Interpreters, National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, Association of Interpretive Naturalists, National Park Interpreters’ Workshops at Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and other parks.


Wilderness Guide

  • Expeditions for the National Wildlife Federation, Smithsonian Institute, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Science Museum of Minnesota, Listening Point Foundation, Audubon Center of the North Woods, Douglas Wood, Inc.


Published Author
Author of numerous magazine articles, newspaper column and weekly radio series.

30 published books for children and adults, 2.5 million copies sold. Including:

Children’s Titles

  • Old Turtle – Scholastic, NY 2001 (originally Pfeiffer-Hamilton, MN 1992)
  • The Windigo’s Return – Simon & Schuster, NY 1996
  • Northwoods Cradle Song – Simon & Schuster, NY 1996
  • Making the World – Simon & Schuster, NY 1998
  • Rabbit and the Moon – Simon & Schuster, NY 1998
  • Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth – Candlewick Press, MA 1999
  • Can’t Do Series (5) – Simon & Schuster, NY 2000-2005
  • A Quiet Place – Simon & Schuster, NY 2002
  • Old Turtle and the Broken Truth – Scholastic, NY 2003
  • The Secret of Saying Thanks – Simon & Schuster, NY 2005
  • Nothing to Do – Dutton, NY 2006
  • Chickadee’s Message – Adventure Publications, MN 2009
  • Miss Little’s Gift – Candlewick Press, MA 2009
  • Aunt Mary’s Rose – Candlewick Press, MA 2010
  • Where the Sunrise Begins – Simon & Schuster, NY 2010
  • No One But You – Candlewick Press, MA 2011
  • Franklin and Winston: A Christmas that Changed the World – Candlewick Press, MA 2011
  • When A Dad Says I Love You, Simon and Schuster, NY 2013


Adult Titles

  • Paddle Whispers – University of MN Press, MN (originally Pfeiffer-Hamilton 1993)
  • Minnesota: The Spirit of the Land – Voyageur Press, MN 1995
  • Fawn Island – University of MN Press, MN 2001
  • Wisdom of Nature Series (6) – Adventure Publications, MN 2002-2007


Honors and Awards

  • Carlson Award for Distinction in Environmental Education – Indiana Univ., 1990
  • Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans – Minnesota Jaycees, 1991
  • Minnesota Book Award, 1992
  • Midwest Publishers Association Book of the Year, 1992
  • ABBY Award – American Booksellers Book of the Year, 1993
  • International Reading Association Book of the Year, 1993
  • Who’s Who in America, 48th Edition, 1994
  • The Christopher Medal, 1999
  • Parent’s Choice Award, 2000
  • Barnes and Noble Star of the North, 2000
  • Story Telling World Honor, 2000
  • Easter Brunch and Book Reading at the White House, 2004
  • Audubon Center of the North Woods – Alumni Award for Education, 2005
  • Smithsonian Notable Book, 2009
  • Alumni Educator of the Year – Morningside College, 2009
  • Junior Library Guild Selected Book, 2011
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award, 2011
  • MN State Arts Board Individual Artist Grant for Prose, 2013
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, MN Association for Environmental Ed. 2013
  • Central MN Arts Board/McKnight Established Artist Award, 2013
  • Multiple starred reviews: Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, Horn Book, School Library Journal, and other reviewing source