Joe in Iceland, March 2015

photos by Chris Ogden


Photos from Book Reading September 26, 2014

at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School Hispanic Heritage Night

Photos by Louise and Hattie Bendall


Photos from August 23rd Book Launch Celebration

at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro

Photos by Silvia Pini

A lovely and well-written story! Joe captures the beauty of a place and its people and the beauty within when one finds and follows one’s dream.
— Ana Baca, author of Chiles for Benito
Joe’s words convey a graceful story and Stacy’s illustrations are marvelous. It stays in the mind and activates the heart. Love of place and simple faith carry more water than all the false fears of the world. Besides, we all live on the volcano.
— Gary Phillips, writer, naturalist, entrepreneur

I Built My House on a Volcano/Mi casa en el volcán is a bilingual picture book for all ages, and a parable about what happens when we follow our dreams and find more difficulties than we imagined.


A beautifully written – and equally beautifully illustrated – parable, with some of the complexity and uncertainty of real life and struggle. May it inspire each of us to build our homes a little closer to the fiery energies of life!
— Anthony Weston, Professor of Philosophy, Elon University
Amazing descriptions, and the pictures and writing are great! Reminds me of being on a mountaintop. Never listen to what people say you can’t do. They have never tried it.
— Tyler Armstrong, record setting young mountaineer climbing the highest mountains in the world

Following our dreams can feel like choosing to live on a volcano.  We know there will be difficulties, but may not see them clearly until they erupt beneath our feet.  And no matter what, we can't survive and succeed alone.  Find out what happens when Herman leaves his life as a miner to build his house on a volcano.  Can he embrace the challenges and live his dream?


The story is perfect, full of mystery and great illustrations. Each reader will have his own answer about why Herman goes to live on the volcano. Mothers and fathers: read this book to the kids before bed and share the wonderful mystery.
— Agustín Comotto, author of El mar dijo basta!
This wise and refreshingly down-to-earth folktale is about an everyman determined to make his dream home on a volcano by looking beyond the impossible to see what’s possible. His struggle to stay firmly rooted is a message for our times. Cole’s writing comes through with grace, compassion, and humility, a story that speaks straight to the heart.
— Phillip Shabazz, poet, writer, educator, and author of Flames in the Fire


Stirs up classroom and at-home questions like, ‘Why do we live where we live?’, ‘Do we follow custom or try something new?’ ‘How do people best decide where to build a house or a village?’
— Pat Hyatt, author of The Quite Contrary Man
This is a story that underscores the importance of owning your own choices in life, and the power of not limiting one’s dreams. There is not one right choice for all, and your choice may be different from another’s without anyone making a mistake. A lovely story of Herman and his dance with risk, and his journey to know what he is called to do.
— Laird Schaub, group consultant, founder of Sandhill Farm in Missouri, and Executive Secretary of the Fellowship for Intentional Community.


This book was inspired by the challenges and joys of living in community; by a trip to Santorini Island in Greece, where people really do live on the rim of a volcano; and by everyone who pursues an unconventional path of beauty and connection.

Esta historia es producto de las alegrías y desafíos de vivir en comunidad, así como también de mi viaje a la Isla Santorini en Grecia, donde la gente realmente vive al borde de un volcán. Parte de mi inspiración la debo asímismo a aquéllos que procuran senderos poco convencionales de belleza y comunión.


Dedicated to Freddy and to all those who suffer from living near an active volcano.  We send our thoughts and love to them.

Dedicado con cariño a Freddy y a todos los que sufren por vivir cerca de un volcán activo.





  • Laird Schaub, group consultant, founder of Sandhill Farm in Missouri, and Executive Secretary of the Fellowship for Intentional Community.


  • Tyler Armstrong, record setting young mountaineer climbing the highest mountains in the world, encourages kids to set their own personal goals--kids can do more than adults think they can.  Tyler uses his amazing talents to help other kids who have trouble walking and suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Tyler's friends with Duchenne inspire him to keep climbing higher when he is tired on the mountain.



All illustrations copyright Stacye Leanza