Then one night, he twisted himself into the room of Sasha, the little girl next door. A voracious reader, she had dozens of books on her shelf. The Word Burglar had known Sasha before he became so very small and withdrawn, but he did not know that she lay awake at night after she had read, thinking of all the magnificent stories in her books. Her light was off, but her mind was not. He crawled onto her bedside table and went right to work. Just as he was trimming the edge around the word “lawn” a soft, sweet voice rose above the clipping:
“What are you doing?”
Before THE WORD BURGLAR became a book, it was a simple story written for my daughter while she was at sleep-away camp for the first time. Each morning for three weeks, I wrote and emailed a story by 10:00 AM so that the camp admins could print it and deliver it to her cabin by bedtime. Many of the stories featured either Sasha or her brother Joshua or both, as in the case of this one. I had no idea back then that this story would eventually become a children’s book illustrated by one of my dearest friends. So each time Kat gives me a preview of her latest drawing, my heart catches again.
A few weeks ago, she called and said, “Can you take a photo of Sasha for me? Have her kneel down with her hands resting on the floor, looking down sort of in the middle distance.” A few days ago, she sent me the final rendering of the moment when the Word Burglar encounters Sasha. I can’t stop looking at it. And each time I do, I tear up a little–with appreciation of Kat’s immense talent, gratitude for my publisher‘s dedication to the project, and profound happiness that my children will have this book as a token of my everlasting love.