GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK I was born in 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. I was surrounded by art, music, and books. My father, William, worked on the art staff of the World Telegram & Sun, one of New York's major newspapers. My mother, Florence, was a junior high school home economics teacher. They both enriched my life with the love of reading, playing the piano, singing, dancing, science and stamp collecting. I was the youngest of three girls. My favorite possessions were my microscope, a box of 64 crayons and my library card. I loved being a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie all the way through Cadets. I enjoyed it so much, especially selling Girl Scout cookies. The Thin Mints were and still are my favorites. My best friend, Pat, and I would work on badges together.
MY LOVE OF READING BEGINS
I also loved to draw, read and make up stories. I started writing my own stories and drew pictures to go with them. I would make a bookcover for them and write down the name of a publisher. I also spent a great deal of time reading. The public library was about 5 blocks from my house and I went every week. At that time you were only allowed six books at a time. I gobbled up all of the books by Beverly Cleary, Marguerite Henry, the DR. DOOLITTLE series and books about animals. When I read ELOISE, by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight, it became one of my favorites. I also loved, STUART LITTLE, by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams. (Most people are big CHARLOTTE'S WEB fans, but Stuart won my heart!) And of course, I adored THE CAT IN THE HAT, by Dr. Seuss! I'm honored to be able to say that the three publishers of those 3 titles, are also the same publishers of my books! HarperCollins, who published STUART LITTLE, did IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE, IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN, IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE and THE CHICKEN SISTERS! Simon & Schuster, who published ELOISE, did WHAT MOMMIES DO BEST, TWO FOR STEW, WHY A DISGUISE?, SOMETIMES I WONDER IF POODLES LIKE NOODLES, DOGS DON'T WEAR SNEAKERS and CHIMPS DON'T WEAR GLASSES! And Random House put my book MONSTER MUNCHIES in the Dr. Seuss Beginner Reader Series, along with THE CAT IN THE HAT! What a thrill!
GOING TO COLLEGE
THE START OF MY LIFE AS AN AUTHOR
When I was 15, I had a change of heart. Instead of being a writer, I decided to follow in my sister Emily's footsteps. She was a fashion designer and I thought it sounded like a great job. When the time came to go to college, I only applied to Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, where Emily had gone! Unfortunately, I hated everything about the fashion department and I couldn't sew to save my life! I ended up taking classes in things I enjoyed, photography, animation and radio broadcasting. By my last semester, I was still unsure of what I would do once I graduated. I ended up taking a class in writing and illustrating books for children because it sounded like a great class. We had an assignment to write and illustrate a children's book. Mine was about the tallest girl in the third grade. (No, I wasn't the tallest but I have an imagination!)I made several attempts to get it published and after only 4 rejections, Macmillan bought it! I graduated from college with a degree AND a contract for my first book!
My first nine books are now out of print. One of them (my favorite), BEATRICE DOESN'T WANT TO, is a story about a girl who hates books!!! This one is coming back with all new illustrations by Lynn Munsinger who did the art for WHAT MOMMIES DO BEST/WHAT DADDIES DO BEST! I can't wait! I'm hoping to make the other titles available so keep an eye open for those!
THE REST OF MY FAMILY.
I'm the youngest of three girls! Emily, the middle sister, was a fashion designer and now owns her own company that helps other fashion designers find new jobs! She and her husband, Larry, collect antiques (I was inspired by them!). Their collections range from old posters and cookie jars to advertising signs. Then there's Alice. She is a junior high school English teacher, she's married, to Jerry, who sells commercial real estate. She and I co-authored 2 of my out of print books, EMILY'S BUNCH and YOU CAN'T PUT BRACES ON SPACES. I have a niece, Nancy, who lives in London with her husband Andrew and their son, Charlie. I also have a nephew, Douglas who lives in Los Angeles, with his wife, Jennifer. I have great memories of laughing with Alice and Emily, doing silly things, traveling with them and feeling so lucky to have two great sisters.