While “My Story” began in 1968 in Florida, today I begin to share “My Story” with you. As I write my first blog entry, my children’s illustrated book Where is Pidge? is at the printer and will be complete in a few weeks. I can’t wait to share the story of Pidge and the Hoobler family with the world.
This past Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 I received a call from Pat Conroy whom I’m blessed to call one of my friends after we found ourselves sequestered in a hotel ballroom a year ago in Dallas, Texas during a tornado warning.
Before the tornado Sequestered during the tornado warning
Pat gave me his endorsement for Where is Pidge? over the phone and I get chills every time I read his words:
“Michelle Grimes’ children’s book Where is Pidge? is a book for the ages. I know of no American writer who didn’t fall in love with language by hearing children’s books read to us by our parents. Michelle’s book is charming, funny, and delightful. It is so full of family love that you’ll want to buy it for every child you know. It has the look, feel, and smell of a classic about it. You’ve got to buy Where is Pidge? for the child in your life.”
And this morning, I read the following in an interview of Anne Tyler in By the Book (an author interview published weekly) in today’s New York Times:
Question: If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
“I do know how strange this sounds, but who I am today is all because of a picture book that was given me on my fourth birthday: Virginia Lee Burton’s “The Little House.” I remember the first time my mother read it to me – how its message about the irreversible passage of time instantly hit home. From then on, I seem to have had a constant awareness of the fact that nothing lasts forever, and that someday I would miss what I was now taking for granted. That’s a valuable insight to go through life with.”
My passions to write children’s books, read to children, bring awareness to literacy, and to work toward ensuring all children have access to children picture books felt validated. While I wasn’t looking for validation, however I don’t believe it was a coincidence that the words of Pat Conroy and Anne Tyler came into my life the week I begin to share “My Story” with the world. The best gift you can give a child is a picture book.