Children's book author, dad and elementary school teacher inspired by nature, children, and all of the wonders yet to be imagined.
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5 (Okay 7) Facts About Me
#1 In high school I developed a fear of growing up. Lucky for me I didn't have to! By becoming a second grade teacher I have been able to keep in touch with my inner child and be surrounded by the most inspiring and imaginative people I know....KIDS!
#2 Speaking of kids...my own 3 cherubs and their shenanigans provide more joy and sparks for ideas than I can keep up with. Nature Boy, Curlilocks and Tommy Tutu, or Tommy Two Hands, or Shooshoo Butt (that boy has a lot of nicknames) light up my imagination and keep me writing.
#3, 4 & 5 Top 3 books I remember from my childhood
1. Could Be Worse! By James Stevenson
This is a story I forgot I loved until it crossed my path and all of my memories of it came flooding back. "Could be worse" has become a bit of a mantra in my family for staying positive and shrugging off the inevitable setbacks and annoyances that pop up from time to time, ya know, like spilling strawberry yogurt on the white rug or your brother crunching too loudly in your ear. "Could be worse" we say and then find some positives in our lives to focus on instead.
2. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie By Laura Numeroff
It is impossible to keep track of the number of times I have read this story. I don't know if it was the clever cause and effect storytelling or that cute little mouse in those trousers or just my love for chocolate chip cookies, but I couldn't get enough. This is also the first book that I remember falling in love with the illustrations. I have vivid memories of tracing the images off of the pages to make my own coloring pages.
3. The Cat and the Hat By Dr. Seuss or let's be serious, any story by Dr. Seuss.
I remember teetering down the stairs like a Seusian character myself, with a stack of books up to my nose and heading into my parents bedroom on rainy days. My mother loved listening to the rain and would crack the window so we could hear the steady drum of the raindrops keeping beat with Seuss' rhymes.
#4 "Get me outta here!" That's how I feel when I've stuck inside too long. I was not made to be a house cat. Breathing in the fresh air and spying the beauty and mysteries hidden in nature feeds my soul. I could spend hours catching salamanders and crayfish or hiking and skiing.
#5 I went to see The Little Mermaid in the movie theater when I was 6. I made it until Ursula (you know the scary octopus lady) slinked onto the screen before my poor unfortunate soul left crying. Being a kid is hard. This is why I write. For children to see themselves in a book, to accept and overcome their insecurities, or to escape just for a little while to help them understand the power they have within their own imagination.
Good news! Since that time I have come to love and appreciate all types of animated musicals which I love to sing loudly and poorly for my children's enjoyment.
2nd grade me at my first ever author engagement, reading aloud my "What the flag means to me" essay.