When my brother, sister, and I were little, our parents read to us every night. I loved picture books, and my mom made sure to save them for me (always writing the date I received the book inside the front cover). Reading on my own did not come easily to me. I was a slow reader, and was even tested for dyslexia. Writing, however, just seemed to flow out of me. I wrote poetry and fictional stories for fun, and kept a journal all the way through college.
My love of writing began in third grade when my teacher, Mrs. Parenza, helped each of her students publish a book through Writer’s Workshop. We wrote, edited, and illustrated our stories; designed book covers; typed up our copyright pages. I felt like a real author at the age of nine!
At the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, while I was working on my degree in Early Childhood Development, I enrolled in Literature in the Classroom. My professor opened my eyes to all the incredible possibilities for teaching with books, and I began to stockpile them (adding to my childhood collection) for my future classroom. It was about that time that I began volunteering at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, where I would pick up used picture books for 10¢ a piece!
Following my Master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction, I landed a job as first grade teacher. I loved 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 wonder 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.
When I became pregnant with my first son, I decided to resign from my job to stay home with him. I read to him constantly and whenever I had a story idea, I wrote it down. Two children followed, and my three sons became my inspiration. When my youngest started preschool, I went back to teaching Library. I still wrote whenever I had the chance. Several good friends, for whom I am extremely grateful, encouraged me on my path to becoming an author. Being an optimist and a believer in the power of positive thinking, I made a vision board. That same year, I published Starry’s Haircut.
It has been a whirlwind ever since! My manuscript, Up Up Up, won the First Edition Project Children’s Book Contest and was published in 2016. The sequel to Starry’s Haircut, Starry Gets Lost, came out the following year. And just recently my bi-lingual book, Babies Nurse ~ Así se alimentan los bebés, made its debut.
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 writing!
I adore books, respect children, and believe in the power of reading! Welcome to my website!
~ Phoebe Fox