I have always loved picture books – reading them, collecting them, and sharing them with children as a nanny, first grade teacher, and later, as a school librarian. This passion started with my parents reading to me every night before bed. It grew, in college, when my professors in the College of Education at Barrett opened my eyes to the many incredible possibilities for teaching with books. When I began volunteering at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, it really got out of control. I began to stockpile picture books (adding to my childhood collection) for my future classroom. After all, used picture books in the library’s Book Corral were only 10¢ a piece!
Although as a child, reading was difficult for me (at one point my mom decided to have me tested dyslexia), I loved to write! I kept a daily journal, wrote letters to extended family and camp friends, and created stories and poems for fun. When my third grade teacher, Mrs. Parenza, helped each of her students publish a book through Writer’s Workshop, I was in heaven. We wrote, edited, and illustrated our stories; designed book covers; and typed up our copyright pages. I felt like a real author at the age of nine!
Little did I know, one day, I would actually get to be an author… Following my Master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction, I landed a job as first grade teacher. I loved our Library days, and I would stay with my class, helping the librarian (and secretly wishing I had her job). I wanted to be surrounded by books, sharing their wonders with students of all ages. At that point, I made up my mind to get a library science endorsement. Shortly after, I was hired as a Library Media Specialist in the Tempe School District. I loved it!
But when my husband and I decided to start a family, I planned to resign from my job to stay home with our baby. I read to him constantly and whenever I had a story idea of my own, I wrote it down. We had two more babies in the following five years, and my three sons became my writing inspiration. When my youngest started preschool, I went back to teaching Library part-time. I still wrote whenever I had the chance and dreamed of becoming a children’s author. A good friend of mine encouraged me to make a vision board. That year, my first book, Starry’s Haircut, was published.
It has been a whirlwind ever since! Aside from writing, my favorite part about being a children’s book author is visiting schools. I love reading aloud to young audiences, and school visits give me a unique opportunity to share my books and experiences with students.
When I write, I keep children in the forefront of my mind – what fears they may have, what makes them laugh, what they might be curious about, and what may bring them joy. I hope this comes through in my stories!
I adore books, respect children, and believe in the power of reading! Welcome to my website!
~ Phoebe Fox