All the jobs I have had in my lifetime – swim lesson instructor, nanny, first grade teacher, and elementary school librarian – have one thing in common: children! I’ve always enjoyed being with kids, and I have always adored children’s books – reading them, collecting them, and sharing them with children. When I finally realized I could write them, too, there was no turning back!
I was lucky to have parents who read to me every night when I was little. Reading on my own was difficult (at one point my mom decided to have me tested for dyslexia). Writing came more easily (although I was a terrible speller)! In grade school, I kept a daily journal, wrote letters to extended family and friends from camp, and created stories and poems for fun. When I was in third grade, our teacher helped each of her students publish a book through Writer’s Workshop. 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 a 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.
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 full of my goals. That year, my first book, Starry’s Haircut, was published.
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. I also have a YouTube Channel for virtual storytimes. My hope is that “Storytime Saturdays” allows me to reach all the kids who might not get a chance to be read to each night.
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