When I was little, my mom read picture books to me and my brother and sisters every night. My favorites were The Cat in the Hat and The Story of Ping.
Every Saturday morning, we took turns telling “original stories” with my dad. When it was my turn, everyone else named one thing I had to fit into my story. Can you imagine a story involving a bathtub, a caboose, a swan, and an evil wizard? I always thought up my best stories long after my turn was over.
Growing up in Connecticut, I spent many hours playing in the woods with my siblings and our dog named Puppy. We had our own town called Green Meadows, and we all chose jobs. I published a newspaper written on leaves with “ink” from squished berries and charged 25 cents in hickory nut money.
My family was not surprised when I decided to become a writer. After college, I wrote for newspapers and magazines.
When I started reading to my own children, I remembered how much I loved picture books and started writing my own. I jotted down ideas while my kids played in the park, and I wished on pennies in a wishing well. Ten years later, my first picture book, The Lion’s Whiskers, came out.
Now my ninth picture book, What in the World? Numbers in Nature, is out. And my daughter Meghan, all grown up, is a children’s librarian! My son Jesse picked up my love of nature and works with animals.
My husband and I live on an island. Now I think up ideas while walking the beach and swimming in the ocean. I always loved the water and thought I’d make a very good mermaid. Maybe I’ll do that next….
Click here for an excellent interview with Nancy Raines Day!