I never thought of being a writer.
It happened by chance with an encounter (and now long-time friendship) with another author, Jane Yolen, that I discovered my joy in writing for children.
I love my audience.
I love how children are free from "bad philosophy", how the geography of childhood has no obstacles, borders, or frontiers. Children are wide-eyed travelers - every book is an adventure to which they come open-minded and excited. Their world is straight forward to the horizon.
I write for children because I love and admire their honesty. You can't fool them. And so, I hope, we who do write for them must be honest with ourselves, not fool ourselves.
I listen to them. Many of my books have grown out of remarks made by my grandchildren or those that my own children made many years ago, or an incident long ago committed to memory. So many aspects of our lives go into our books.
I am ever-ready to take a child's hand and enter his/her world. And I am grateful to them, for I have been profoundly enriched by these journeys.
In Cricket Magazine, for the Iranian New Year in March 2010, there was a long short story called Ali and Old is Best, which describes further adventures of Ali and his beloved monkey from Ali and the Magic Stew. It's here (You do not need to have read Ali and the Magic Stew to appreciate it.)
A longer version of my story "Hurrah for Mr Davis, Hurrah for Mr. Lincoln" appeared in Cricket Magazine to coincide with Lincoln's birthday. You can read it here.