Me and my favorites--sheep, raccoon, and books.
Grandma read to me when I was very young.
I visited a farm and fed a sheep.
I gobbled up books when
I was growing up. I loved Half Magic, My Father's Dragon, Uncle
Scrooge Comics, and many more. We didn't get a TV until I was
almost finished with third grade. My family played word games on the
long car trips we took, so I enjoyed fooling around with words.
I studied English
literature in college and graduate school.
I'd been intrigued by
picture books for a long time, but reading to my children made me much
more tuned in to them. My daughter and son loved silly stories. We were
on a dull car trip in 1982 when I tinkered with animal rhymes, which
turned into Sheep in a Jeep. Sheep on a Ship, Sheep
in a Shop, Sheep Out to Eat, Sheep Take a Hike,
Sheep Trick or Treat, Sheep Blast Off!, and Sheep Go
to Sleep have followed.
When raccoons made a
mess of our garbage cans, I was exasperated, but I had to admire their
can-do spirit. I imagined them singing cheerfully about their garbage
raids. The result was Raccoon Tune.
Elena's Story was inspired by a trip to Guatemala.
It's quite something to see stories
take shape as picture books, especially when artists like Kristina Rodanas, Margot Apple, and Howard Fine
add so much to them!