As a kid growing up in Chicago, Illinois in the 1940s, I loved
to write; especially poems that rhymed.
I think I was influenced by the book A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson that my mother bought me. I read that book so much I eventually memorized most of the poems. A wonderful accomplishment, I thought, until my mother had me recite them to everyone who came
There was another book that meant a lot to me.
There used to be a storyteller on the radio named Malcom Claire. He called himself "Uncle Mal," and I loved listening
to his stories.
Then one day my mother came home with a package for me from Marshall Field's.
It was the book, Tune-in-Tales, written by Malcom Claire. And inside was an inscription:
To Charlotte from Uncle Mal. I was thrilled. And I thought, Wow! He knows me.
I read those stories over and over again. I still have that book today.
I wrote my way through high school and college, married and became a teacher. And it was while I was teaching that the idea of becoming an author of children's books came to me.
I enjoyed reading to the students in my classes. And they enjoyed listening.
We read in the morning, we read in the afternoon (and sometimes we even did some math and science!) After a while I found that I was reading more to myself than to the kids. And I thought, Hey, I can do this! I can write a children's book.
After several years of writing, sending stories to publishers and getting rejection letters, my first book, String Bean, came out. Oh happy day!
That was over forty (gulp!) years ago. And now with four children, eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and twenty three published books, I'm still writing.
And I hope to continue doing so for a long, long time.