Being a children's librarian is the best job in the world, and if passion and heart paid the bills I'd still be standing behind a circulation desk talking books. I live in southeastern Michigan with my husband and kids. We share our home with 2 dogs and 2 cats. There are a couple more cats outside, and a hen house full of chickens and ducks.
The West Toledo Branch Library was a short two block walk away from where I grew up. It's where I learned how to climb trees and play baseball. We had picnics under the white birch (it's gone now), watched after-school movies on the big projector screen in the basement and where I realized I was really happy being completely surrounded by books.
One of the first books I ever checked out by myself was Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I loved it so much I asked my parents to buy me a copy of my own. They did, and I still have it. It's a very well-loved book...tattered and worn, missing its dust jacket and all of my favorite poems are still bookmarked. It inspired me to write poetry, which I did for many childhood years.
I enjoy reading children's literature because when I escape into the pages of a book I want them to have light and happiness and magic. I also love talking to kids and parents about books and I like knowing wonderful stories to suggest for them. I hope my passion inspires all of them to read.
My favorite children's author is Kate DiCamillo. I have loved every book she has ever wrote, and I've watched kids fall in love with her books over and over again. I recently had the pleasure of meeting her at a book signing and gave her a letter I wrote letting her know how it came to be that our third grade classes will now and forever read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane thanks to a bit of my own determination and the generosity of our PTO who purchased 30 hardcover copies for our school. I love that story, and every kid who has ever read it loves it too. It's amazing to think over half of our school has read that book. I wrote her a letter because I knew she would love knowing how her story has taught so many kids in our small community how enjoyable reading can be. Here we are, me about to break out into hives from complete adoration and her holding my letter.