One of the lovely things about being an adult is looking back over the long sweep of years of your life, almost as though you were looking down at a gorgeous afghan stitched in multi-colored and textured yarns, and identifying the moment each life thread was woven in. The “writer” thread was woven into the blanket of my life when I was very, very small. My mother and my grandmother, who both loved books, were the weavers. They were the ones who took me with them to the library throughout my early years.I wasn’t much like Twiga when I was growing up and heading off on those library trips with my mother. I was timid and shy and not nearly so curious as he is. My mother would take me to the children’s room at the Dearborn Public Library on
Michigan Avenue and help me to select a stack of picture books. Then, when we were done, she’d accompany me to the huge dollhouse there and leave me to dream—for as long as she was busy selecting her own books. No doubt, I got my writer’s start spinning stories of the family living there behind the glass front, in the parlor, in the kitchen, in the many bedrooms.Unlike Twiga, I never wandered off and was only comfortable away from my mother’s side there in front of the dollhouse because of the company I imagined the house held in those dolls. I think, perhaps, surrounded by the safe and inviting smell of books lining wooden shelves, before a fictional world of dolls in their home, the writer in me was born.I am certain, though, that my mother had no need to admonish me, as Twiga’s mother does, “No little Twiga/Toni. Stay close. Stay safe.” It would never have occurred to me to do otherwise!
Toni Buzzeo is the author of several picture books for children, including The Sea Chest, illustrated by Mary GrandPre, Dawdle Duckling, illustrated by Margaret Spengler, and most recently No T.Rex in the Library, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa. A School Library Media Specialist, Toni lives on an old farm in
with her husband. Visit her at http://www.tonibuzzeo.com/. Buxton, Maine