Growing up in Philadelphia, I was a HUGE reader and loved bringing home stacks of books from the library. I graduated from Cornell University in English and became a science writer for public audiences, covering all different areas of STEM. I wrote my first children’s book when my daughter was born, because I wanted to tell her wonderful stories about the world she would be discovering as she grew up. She and her younger brother have since inspired me through many books, both fiction and nonfiction, about science and school and the environment and families and more. My books are read by children across the country and around the world, so I try to include universal aspects in each book, often about the natural world.
Charlotte’s Web is my all time favorite children’s book, because the character of Charlotte is a writer like I am. She thinks a long time before she starts, she works when everyone else is asleep, she does research and chooses her words carefully, she checks her spelling, she shows off her writing in the best light possible, and she understands that words are powerful and can change lives. I am also a lifelong Dr. Seuss fan, and his playful rhythms, play with words, and subtle deep meaning have inspired and guided me in many of my books.
I will have a new children’s nonfiction book out in fall 2019, about scientists and their amazing work—including scientists who study the ocean, glaciers, volcanoes, dinosaurs, bats, pandas, and more. I love hearing from scientists about the challenges of their explorations, and how they became so fascinated with science that they made it their life career.
The Noyes Library, all public libraries, and books are critical to individuals and communities. They are part of people’s entire life span, and part of communities for even longer, as sources of reading, learning, exploring, networking, growing, and giving back in countless ways. My life and career and would not be what they are without libraries. I have volunteered and worked in libraries, met my husband when he worked for the Library of Congress, and started taking my kids with me to the local library even when they were babies. When people ask me how to get kids to read more, I say get them a library card and take them to the library as often as possible!
(getting to know our local authors and illustrators)