I grew up in Brooklyn, New York never imagining I would become a writer someday. I began my professional life as an early childhood teacher and had the pleasure of reading to children and discovering which books captivate them. When budget cuts left me looking for work, I became a children’s book editor and got to see how a book is made.
Planning to go back to teaching, I enrolled in a Master’s Program in Education at New York University where I took a course called, “Writing for Children.” My very first story was published in a children’s magazine. I was off and writing!
Though I now spend my days at home in front of a computer instead of in a classroom, I still think of myself as a teacher, speaking to children through my books. Before beginning a book, I always ask the same question: What will this book give to a child? Will it be a love of language? A feeling of being valued? A trip to a new place? An introduction to numbers or letters? A belly laugh to ease a difficult growing-up day? When I’m satisfied with the answer, I begin to write.
My next task is to be as sure as I can that my book will bring joy in the reading. Humor is my best ally. Check out books like, Dinner at the Panda Palace, Late for School!, and Ollie’s School Day to see if they make you smile. Even the nonfiction books, Rosie, A Visiting Dog’s Story and May I Pet Your Dog? have a big dose of humor thanks to their four-legged stars. Thank you, Rosie! Thank you, Harry!