As a teacher, librarian and mother of three, I live a life rich with children's books. I love to collect them, organize them, read them and write them! My passion for children's literature developed in elementary school, where I had the unique opportunity to meet some amazing children's authors.
My signed copies of books written by these special visitors were more than mementos from their visits. They were subtle reminders that creative individuals were responsible for the stories I was enjoying!
Authors such as Byrd Baylor and Marc Brown shared everything from their writing process to what their home studios looked like. And by explaining how and why they became authors, they encouraged me to write my own stories.
When I was in third grade, my teacher helped each of her students “publish” a book from start to finish. Through Writer's Workshop, we wrote, edited and finalized our text; illustrated our stories; designed book covers; and developed our own copyright pages. This experience was not only fun, it was satisfying. I had become an author at the age of nine!
When my brother, sister and I were little, our parents read to us every night. I still possess my cherished books from childhood. However, it wasn't until later that my children’s book collection really began to grow. While I was working on my BA in Early Childhood Development at Arizona State University, I enrolled in Literature in the Classroom. My professor opened my eyes to all the incredible possibilities for teaching with books, and a collection began.
I can't resist visiting book fairs, used book sales, libraries and independent bookstores. The literary treasures I gather bring so much joy to my family. Like my parents, my husband and I read to our boys every night. And the more children's books I read, the more I want to write!
My first published book, Starry’s Haircut, was inspired by my middle son, who at two years old, was terrified of getting his hair cut. At the same time, my oldest son was attending Montessori Center School in urban Phoenix. There, the students took care of a sheep named Starry. Every Spring, the children observed Starry having her wool shorn, and I wondered if Starry was ever nervous about her "haircut".
Reading aloud to children is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, I have enjoyed reading aloud to young audiences for almost twenty years. As a library media specialist in the Tempe Elementary School District and later as the librarian at Christ Church School in Paradise Valley, I read to and taught library skills to children ages three to twelve years.
Music, singing, puppets, big books, games, art activities, author studies and visits, and more helped me engage my students in all kinds of stories. And we had a blast! Now I get to share my love for children's literature and read my very own books to children all over the Valley.
I adore books, respect children and believe in the power of reading! Welcome to my website!
~ Phoebe Fox