Just wanted to let you know how much of an inspiration you were to me when I was a young teacher who dreamed of being a writer.
I first got to know you through your book, THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS. My teaching colleagues and I actually used to have competitions to see who could read it aloud with the best, funniest voices.* I loved that book to infinity.
I kept it for myself.
I could not let it go!!**
The best part of this story, though, happened when I received my Scholastic Book Order and the publisher had enclosed a cassette tape featuring an interview of you and Lane Smith! I played it right away, naturally.
When you said that you were a schoolteacher and a writer...well, that rocked my world. That someone could do BOTH of the things that I loved so much was just so incredibly affirming. The fact that you were successfully balancing writing and teaching inspired me not to give up.
Because of you, I have been a teacher for nearly thirty years, and an author for almost twenty.
And now, my students (third grade) are falling in love with Frank Einstein!
I really wish I had thought of this!!
And don't get me started on this:
No words can properly express the awesome.
So, thank you, Jon, for proving by example that there was hope for me. Thank you for instilling the spark of resilience and optimism within my heart. For writing books that break all the rules and expertly manage to worm their way into the hearts of kids everywhere.
I am forever grateful.
*Yes, I usually won. But my colleagues would probably say that they won. But they would be incorrect. It was ME!
**The student did bring the book back, of course. It just took an extra day. Not really that big of a deal. However, I was a newish teacher in New Mexico (and my husband was still in school) which meant I was about as far down on the pay scale as it is possible for any teacher anywhere to go, The fact that I went out and bought a hardcover book is a testament to Stinky Cheese Man's amazingness.