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Ramona Muse Lambert releases children’s book “Fest Friends” just in time for Hinterland

 Two young children sitting outside reading a book titled "Fest Friends"
Ramona Muse Lambert
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Courtesy of Ramona Muse Lambert
Muse Lambert's new book, "Fest Friends: A Hinterland Music Festival Adventure," will be for sale at the merch tent at Hinterland and then online after the festival.

Ramona Muse Lambert, a Des Moines based musician and artist, is well known in Iowa for her musical illustrations and her devotion to the joy of the chaos. She's best known as the illustrator behind the popular Hinterland Hinterkids activity books. This summer, she has something new for musical kiddos and their families: an illustrated children's book.

The new project is called Fest Friends, and the storyline happens at Hinterland. Her husband Derek wrote the story, and she illustrated the book.

"It's got a great flow, it rhymes, it's funny," said Muse Lambert. "The entire book is some animals going around Hinterland, seeing some of your favorite Hinterland things."

 An open page of the new book "Fest Friends" shows a drawing of the Hinterland stage in St. Charles
Ramona Muse Lambert
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Courtesy of Ramona Muse Lambert
Copies of the book "Fest Friends" will be for sale in the merch tent at Hinterland and then online after the fest.

Earlier this month, Muse Lambert played at 80/35 with her band Ramona and the Sometimes. She's a fan of the festival culture growing in Iowa and was as excited to talk about 80/35 as she was the book.

"80/35 brings checks to musicians...the incredible opportunity to be exposed to people who haven't seen you before as a musician, and then, the most fantastic part about 80/35 is you have these kids, and it's their first time out here," said Muse Lambert. "Who cares if it has to move? I'll be there...I'll follow you wherever you go, 80/35."

You can pick up a copy of Fest Friends at the merch tent during Hinterland this year. The book will be for sale online after the festival as well.

While you're having a blast at Hinterland this year, make sure to check out Koo Koo Kanga Roo's set at the Hinterkids tent. It promises to be fun and appropriately silly. This is the first year that Hinterland has booked a band specifically for the Hinterkids tent. In years past, families have had the chance to "meet a musician," and kids in the tent have had time to ask questions of Nathaniel Rateliff and Tré Burt, among others.

Phineas Pope served as a digital production assistant at Iowa Public Radio from 2023 - 2024.