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This is my kindergarten picture

One of my earliest memories of my childhood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is lying on the kitchen floor reading to my mother. I also enjoyed her reading to me and looked forward to going to school so I could pick out books for myself. However, my first day of kindergarten at our nearby one-room school was disappointing because the teacher gave me only one book. When I saw directions printed along the edges of the pages, I turned the book sideways and drew lines to all the things that matched and crossed out the ones that were different. Soon the teacher promoted me to first grade and gave me books with stories.


When I finished fifth grade I saw no reason to continue going to school as I thought I had learned everything worth knowing. But I went on to the big school in town. There I discovered the library, one whole wall of a large room, floor to eye-level filled with books. My goal was to read every one.

Reading led to my next love—writing. It was a treat for me when my teacher assigned an essay. One of my stories was printed in our school newspaper. In high school I entered two writing contests and won both, so I considered writing as a career. However, when I went to college I decided to become a teacher so I could share my love of reading and writing with children.

When these brothers visited Washington D.C. with their family they looked up my books at the Library of Congress.


When I taught, I read to my students every day and often gave them opportunities to write. Sometimes I shared my writing with the class. One story was about a child with a stuck zipper. The kids laughed in the right places. Friends encouraged me to send it to a publisher. The editor at Greenwillow liked it, and The Jacket I Wear in the Snow became my first published book.

Besides books for children, I sometimes write for magazines, both for children and for adults. I also like visiting schools to read my stories and share my writing experiences. I know the hard work of writing has been worthwhile when a child says, “I read your book and I like it.”