"I have always loved to draw. When I was a young girl, I had a subscription to Little Lulu comic books. I hung the bright covers on my wall each month. The comic books inspired me to draw my own characters-ballet dancers with impossibly long legs, queens with changeable gowns, and boy and girl twins with names like Paul and Pauline or Steve and Stephanie.
As an only child, I entertained myself for hours acting out stories about the dancers, the queens or the twins in a big mirror in our living room. I gave drawing lessons to my friends and told them stories using the pictures. It was only natural that teaching, drawing and stories would always be central to my life (because I wasn't good at ballet!).
I was a sixth-grade teacher for fourteen years so the picture books I write, as well as the many I have illustrated, have classroom settings. I'm intrigued with the drama of the classroom, especially the stories swirling just below the surface—the girl preoccupied with the lack of snow, those first day jitters, the worried boy who left his Halloween costume on the bus, or running out of red construction paper on Valentine's Day!
Recently, my husband surprised me with old Little Lulu comic books. They sit between my drawing board and computer, serving not only as an inspiration still, but also, as a reminder of where it all began."