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About the Author
Roni Schotter: I was born in New York City and lived in an apartment building called "The House of Joyful Living." On the roof there was an outdoor shower, a goldfish pond, some potted trees, a handball court, and a hawk's eye view of the buildings around us - including the Empire State Building. With a mama and a papa all to myself, it seemed that we lived in paradise. Then my two sisters were born and we moved to an apartment in Brooklyn - no goldfish pond, but from the six-story roof I could see the Statue of Liberty lifting its torch to me and the tall, gray smokestack of the nearby Pilgrim Laundry. When I was nine, my parents brought out a wooden puzzle map of the United States and tried to show my sisters and I where we were moving. They couldn't because the tiniest piece was missing - Rhode Island.
I grew up in Rhode Island, enjoying my new backyard where we grew one of everything - a pea plant, a tomato plant, a gladiolus, etc. I loved being only minutes away from the ocean. Eating "Johnny cakes" and clams.
I was always terribly shy and spent a great deal of time observing people and the beauty around me, storing it up, for I never guessed that I'd end up being a writer.
Now that I'm an adult and a writer, I still feel like a child. In fact, I often feel like someone impersonating a grownup, so it's far easier for me to write for children than to write for adults.
Life is full of so many wonderful things - happy, sad, amazing, puzzling, beautiful and ugly things. Writing helps me to figure out the world. I love the power of words and how powerful I feel when I use them the right way. I intensely value imagination and worry that many children have it knocked out of them as they grow up and are exposed to life, mass culture, and the media. I love using my imagination when I write. I feel I am speaking very directly to my children. To me, children are the best!
Kyrsten Brooker studied illustration at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has since illustrated over twenty books for children, including Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff and The Poem That Will Not End, written by Joan Bransfield Graham. She lives with her family in Edmonton.