Follow the adventures of Herman the Turtle, Mr. White Paws, Huey the Hummingbird, Baldy the Eagle and the rest of their friends as they learn many valuable lessons in The Spring Pond Series!

Author Pamela Quinlan is a retired social worker in human services and enjoys free-lance writing. She developed the idea for her series of children books about Spring Pond while volunteering as an outdoor tour guide at Durward's Glen Retreat Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The central character, Herman the Turtle, actually was her son's turtle that was released into the pond over fifteen years ago. Visitors on her tours still look for him to this day.

Media Coverage

Author unveils Christmas-themed children’s book - By Ed Zagorski, News Republic

New children’s book series based at Durward’s Glen article Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald




References / Testimonials

Pam Quinlan's visit to Waubesa Intermediate School Gloria Frank, 5th grade teacher at Waubesa Intermediate School, McFarland, WI-- I had the pleasure of organizing the author visit with Pamela Quinlan for our entire school, grades 3-5 in McFarland, Wisconsin, in May of 2014. I met with her before her visit and Ms. Quinlan had everything so organized and detailed. It was very easy for me to arrange her visit at Waubesa School. Ms. Quinlan spoke to 170 third graders in our gymnasium, followed by 178 fifth graders. Then she had lunch with each grade and spoke to selected students about becoming an author and answered any questions they had. After lunch, Ms. Quinlan spoke to 168 fourth graders. Her presentation included a powerpoint about her volunteer work at Durward's Glen, the Spring Pond book series, how she became an author, and so much more. She ended her presentation with her dog, Chorizo, doing some tricks. She spent the entire day with us. Students were able to order her books (signed by Ms. Quinlan) before her visit and after they had heard her presentation. We purchased the first 9 books in the Spring Pond Series for our school library. Ms. Quinlan's presentation kept the interest of all our students. They truly enjoyed everything that she had to share, especially her suggestions on how to become a writer. We have been using Writer's Workshop in our building, and Ms. Quinlan's experiences fit so well with how to write personal narratives. One of the Writer's Workshop lessons is to think of a place that matters to them and the episodes that occurred in that place. Ms. Quinlan's Spring Pond series all take place in a setting that is so important to her, and all the events center around Herman the Turtle. The children were fascinated with how Ms. Quinlan went through the whole writing process: from ideas to published books. Many of our students are very interested in becoming published writers, so Ms. Quinlan gave them the hope and encouragement they need. I would highly recommend Pamela Quinlan as a speaker. Her books are very entertaining, and the photographs were taken at Durward's Glen. Kids connect with her animal characters and each book has an important theme.

What the Waubesa Intermediate School kids said:

Emma, 5th grade--"It was exciting to hear Pamela talk about how she became a writer. I can't believe she has written so many books."
Jamie, 5th grade--"I really liked how hard she worked to get her books done."
Alli, 5th grade--"It was cool that all of her Spring Pond books are based on a real place."
Nina, 5th grade--"I liked how she set everything up for her presentation. Her powerpoint was very interesting."
Sarah, 5th grade--"I liked how her dog, Chorizo, did his tricks. He was adorable."


‘Spring Pond’ Author Visits Waubesa - Posted on May 22, 2014 - by Amber Gerber


More than 15 years ago, Pamela Quinlan and her son released his pet turtle at the pond at Durward’s Glen Retreat Center in Baraboo. As an outdoor tour guide at Durward’s Glen, Quinlan would share the story about releasing the turtle at the pond. Many people would ask if the turtle was still in the pond; she would respond that she believes the turtle is still at the pond.

Quinlan visits WaubesaIt was the inquiries about the turtle and the beauty of Durward’s Glen that led Quinlan to spend six weeks writing the Spring Pond series about animals who live at the pond in Durward’s Glen.

“It’s very beautiful and it’s also a national historical place that people can come and experience,” she said, adding people can also stay overnight at the Glen.

Waubesa Intermediate School students had the opportunity to hear Quinlan speak about her books and even meet one of the Spring Pond characters on Wednesday.

For the entire article click here.

I had the pleasure to hear Pamela Quinlan speak to St. Joseph’s Parish Council of Catholic Women in March, 2013.   Ms. Quinlan, an author of a series of children’s books, spoke with us about her writing career.   She provided a brief history of Durward’s Glen, her volunteer work there, and how this led to her new career as a writer of The Spring Pond series of books, set at Spring Pond, at Durward’s Glen. 

She spoke about “the Glen” as many refer to Durward’s Glen and its Retreat Center.  She also shared with us what precipitated her writing career as well as information about the characters in the books.

She explained the process a writer has to go through to be recognized as an author.  She explained the process of how she selected the characters, including the central character, Herman the Turtle, who actually belonged to Quinlan’s son.  Not only are the books entertaining and great reading for children, but Ms. Quinlan also explained that each book teaches a lesson using the animal characters.  Topics range from problem solving, coping with fear, helping others, safety around you, and bullying to name a few. 

Her presentation was very informative and kept audience interest.  It was very interesting to know about the steps an author must take to have books published, printed, and sold.  She explained that she took the photographs in the books and how the help of a local printer helped make her dream a reality.  After her talk, we were able to purchase books which she graciously signed for us.

I can recommend Pamela Quinlan and a speaker to your group and hope they find her story as interesting as our Council of Catholic Women did. 

Coreen M.
Parish Member, St. Joseph’s Parish, Baraboo, Wisconsin
President, Madison Diocesan Council of Catholic Women


Pamela Quinlan was a guest speaker for our group of “Rough Writers” this past week, June 10, 13.  She made an impressive presentation, inspiring and to the point.  Her product is and will continue to be welcomed and enjoyed by all ages. Great gifts for children and inspiring for adults who appreciate good stories and photography.  Her enthusiasm and ambitious nature is contagious and therefore I believe her future is a bright one. 

The best to her,  Charlotte O. (Char), artist, writer, publisher of “Merrimack, Wisconsin History & Ferry Tales Et ‘Cetera”, founder of 5 shopping guides and 3 newspapers and presently co-owner of Merrimac Communications ( in Merrimac(k), Wisconsin.

We read A Starry Night from the Spring Pond Series last night.  My son Cody is such a sweetie - he was getting sad and scared for the dog (Chorizo) - he sort of loses his way and his family can't find him.  He really likes those books and the pictures of Mr. White Paws are his favorite :) 
It definitely kept his attention!!

Thanks so much for telling me about these books - I think I might send a couple of them to my friend Diane’s daughter :) Jennifer

"Writing is one of the most important skills we teach our students.  Pamela and Chorizo helped spark a love of writing in the students who attended the Writer's Workshop. I am sure many of them will look at writing as a creative activity and not just something they have to do."  --Kristen Ries, Principal (holding Chorizo with Author Pamela Quinlan on the right) -St. Mary School (Mayville, Wisconsin)


To book a speaking engagement with Pamela Quinlan, please e-mail Pamela at  Current titles of some her talks are:  "Say No to Bullying" (Book 2, "A Snowy Day at Spring Pond), "Let's Get Started-Write and Publish Your Book," and "The Spring Pond Series, a Burst of Light."

Mr. White Paws

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Author: Pamela Quinlan
The Spring Pond Series


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