I am happy to write about how the books came about. The first book is based on our cat Jerry who loved cantaloupe.
The Reading Rabbit was inspired by a friend and literary agent in Madrid who had a pet rabbit. I hadn't really known anyone with a pet rabbit before. I was amazed at how much rabbits can interact with people!
The Quiet Dog is based on my dog QUEENIE. She was one of my dogs when I was growing up. I wasround 9 or 10. The dramatic event is fictitious but I can definitely see that happening with not just dogs but people too!
Anyway, those are some thoughts I wanted to share.
The illustrator, Mitzi Lyman, is a very talented fine artist. I was fortunate to meet herthrough my older sister. THE CANTALOUPE CAT was her first children's book.
Hello, this is Jan Yager from Connecticut, USA. I teach college courses and one of the courses I teach is Introduction to Sociology. In that course, we discuss stereotyping, what it is and why it could be so negative.
All three of my children's books deal with stereotyping. You could say that the books are "anti-stereotyping" stories. I want students in schools, or in libraries, if the books are part of a children's reading program, to reconsider their preconceptions about animals, including dogs, cats, and even rabbits, but also to reconsider their stereotypes about other children or even themselves.
It is my hope that teachers will use one or all of these books to encourage discussion with the children. In the back of each book are questions that teaches (or librarians or parents) can ask children to help the discussions along.
When my children were growing up, we tried very hard to get away as a family at least once every other year and for even a shorter treat every year. Those trips are some of my fondest memories. As a family, we traveled all the way to Japan and even further to Australia. We went to several countries in Europe over the years and we even brought our older son's friend along when we did an author tour of Sweden for the novel that my husband Fred and I co-wrote that was translated into Swedish and published there.
Now that the boys are grown, and we have a grandson, it is more challenging to coordinate trips with everyone's work and school schedules, but we are committed to doing that. This summer, we hope to take a family trip to Washington, D.C. and, in a year or two, when our grandson is nine or ten, to take our first international trip as an extended family. Who knows? Maybe we will be able to make that trip to Japan and I can read all of my children's books to school children in schools in Tokyo, Kyoto, and other towns and cities. 【ジャン・イェイガー】