Virginia Kay White

Children's Books

Author Profile

Virginia Kay White

When my first Siamese cat gave birth to six kittens on my bed, my appreciation for differences and the love of cats started. Cats and students have been a big part of my life for fifty years. Creative Writing was among the high school English courses I taught over my forty years in the classroom. I always wrote with my students. It provided me with knowledge of the assignment and led me down my own path of discovery. After retirement I was able to follow my passion of writing for young readers. I enjoy reading my books in elementary school classrooms and talking to my audience. They always provide me with amazing ideas and I have been able to use some of them to create new stories. I live in Colorado with my husband and one senior cat. I also enjoy being an active grandmother.

Books

Glasses for Margie

Children's Books

Doc is a veterinarian whose backyard is filled with animal friends, including Margie the myopic, sniffing skunk. One day, a mysterious visitor makes a mess and the animals must find the intruder. Will their adventures lead to more trouble or love at first smell?

Book Bubbles from Glasses for Margie

Sight Sensations

Not being able to see well is a problem for many. Lack of good vision creates all kinds of problems for everyone. For Margie, her myopic vision caused her to constantly end up in Doc's pond. So, I wanted to figure out how Doc could make glasses for Margie to prevent this from happening so often. Her vision also caused frequent unwanted Skunk Perfume Specials. Nobody wanted that either. Enter the basketball net and flowers made into bonnet glasses for Doc's ecological yard wonder. Once Margie could see, the world of creation in addition to yummy yard treats was wide open! I based Margie the skunk on my dear sister-in-law who creates the most amazing things! Enter Skunk Margie and a world of necklaces, wreaths, and more. A little bit of magic begins to happen. Sight does that for all of us.

For the Love of Animals

When I started to date my husband, I started to learn so many things about all kinds of animals. Doc White had a yard and clinic full of animals. He was the teacher. I was the student. He did not have a skunk living in his yard, but I did witness a "descenting" of a few skunks wanted as pets. Not Doc's favorite thing to do, but in the process, I learned something about the characteristics of skunks and decided to apply that knowledge to Glasses for Margie. Doc did have a German Shepherd named Duchess and a cat named King Tut. There were also various other animals who visited his yard and often found a home living there. I fell in love with the idea of all animals living together. I fell in love with my new knowledge of animals and carried that with me for years. After retirement, I was able to use that information to teach young readers.

Little Honker's Winter Concert

Children's Books

Can a cat play music at a school concert? Little Honker can and did. First he plays a duet and then the bells with the rest of the band. When the bells get loose, the kitty inside him takes over and the excitement begins as Little Honker chases them around the auditorium. Did Little Honker ruin the concert or make it the most memorable one ever?

Book Bubbles from Little Honker's Winter Concert

Surprise Fun

Cats always create fun surprises for the pet parents! Our Siamese cats loved to create their own tunes if the keyboard was available. Our oldest daughter played the sax and I thought it would be fun to have Little Honker's brothers put cat toys into the bell. Kris thinks it is amusing but Little Honker thinks they have ruined the music. After Kris explains to him that all creatures are not the same and have individual talents, he seems to appreciate the idea of differences. He is, after all, unique in his own way.

Surprise Fun

Our Siamese cats loved the piano. When the keys were available, they often played their own tunes by walking across the keyboard. I wanted to show the fun of that but also that all animals are different. Little Honker certainly is. And, it is all good. Animals, like humans. have different talents. Our oldest daughter played the sax. If you have cats, you never know where you will find things. So, I thought it would be fun to show the male cats putting their toys into the bell of the sax and Kris not aware of it. Cats can make you laugh with their hidden surprises. Kris thinks the burst of toys rather funny but Honker doesn't agree until she talks to him about appreciating differences.

For the Love of Differences

We had two Siamese kittens who loved to help our girls practice the piano. They would sit on the piano bench and assist with the practice. They even enjoyed pushing on the keys when alone and we used to say they created their own tune. I wanted to use that in this book because I thought it was so different than any of the other cats we lived with. All creatures have their own personalities and talents and I wanted to show that in Winter Concert. Animals and humans can share many things and music is one of those things. Little Honker is different than his siblings and his uniqueness turns out to be a great thing. His parents and his girls believe in his talents and encourage him to embrace his honking in all the right places,his kitty dancing to the music, and in trying new things. Encouraging others is a trait I believe we should all embrace.

Little Honker Saves the Day

Children's Books

Warren’s meow is a honk. He doesn’t sound like his Seal Point Siamese family or look like them. His brothers and sisters will not play kitty games with him. And, then, on a backyard adventure things change. He saves his family from an unwanted visitor and his honking is important after all.

Book Bubbles from Little Honker Saves the Day

Kid memories

My husband is 6'3" and loves music and kids and cats! When our girls were little, he would love to pick them up, turn them over, and let them walk on the ceiling. A little music meant dancing on the ceiling. More fun and giggles. Never the typical guy, I wanted to use this idea to show how memories influence selecting a name. I also wanted to give a hint that differences are often surprising and prove to be fun and important. In all my Little Honker books I show unique qualities are important. Little Honker proves that is several ways throughout the series.

Stepping Up

Help is there just when you need it! When Loai, our first Siamese cat, gave birth to six kittens on our bed, I was surprised when Cass, our male, stepped up and assisted at the birth. He cleaned up the babies and even babysat them when Loai went to eat or use the litter box. Sometimes we are surprised when the necessary parenting skills kick in. Normally male cats don't have much to do with their babies. I thought it was a great example for kids to see. Regardless of the gender, the instinct of taking care of the young can kick in. Throughout my book, I wanted to show support of family regardless of differences discovered in the family. Four-legged families have differences just as two-legged families. Support, step up, and stick together.

Delivery Surprise!

Figuring out just what I wanted to do with this scene was a struggle for me. Our first cat, Loai, delivered her kittens on our bed even though I fixed a comfortable basket for her. I wanted to include this but was not sure just how to do it. I was completely new to this pet mom role and clearly did not understand nature's rule with baby delivery. I wanted to teach young readers that new moms, and in our case a new dad, delivered where they felt safe. So, I added Doc, my veteirnarian father-in-law, to the scene to give the words of wisdom needed. My young readers have asked many questions about this scene. Since our male cat assisted at the birth of his babies, what do you think comes next?

The Road to a New Adventure

I was thinking back to the wedding gift my husband gave me -- a female Siamese kitten -- and later a male Siamese kitten. Totally new to me. Loai had six kittens on our bed and my husband was on a college field trip. Let the fun begin! I was a bit clueless. I wanted to put some of that and the adventures we had into the story. Then I decided to put my own kids and my father-in-law into the picture. Doc was amazing and gentle with so many creatures and I wanted that to shine through too. He gives them some advice and they are excited for the fun to begin. I show the usual routine these four have and hint at the change that will occur.

Virginia Kay White

Glasses for Margie

Children's Books

Doc is a veterinarian whose backyard is filled with animal friends, including Margie the myopic, sniffing skunk. One day, a mysterious visitor makes a mess and the animals must find the intruder. Will their adventures lead to more trouble or love at first smell?

Book Bubbles from Glasses for Margie

Six Skunks?

It seemed like the right way to end the book. Earlier, when Doc sees that Margie and Kit are smitten with each other, he says "nature's rules" and is not surprised by the event. However, now my readers want a sequel! Doc says "Whatever will I do?" and I am feeling the same way. I am open to suggestions, so fire away and give me your thoughts.

Attack Scents

Doc's yard family sticks together like most families do. When an unwanted invader enters the yard, creates a mess by getting into the trash and recycle, the yard family is ready for action. In this scene I wanted to show how the yard family works together when they feel threatened. Skunks only attack when they feel threatened, and Margie is ready to go into action when the intruder creates alarm. There is a strong family bond in the yard family and she aims to protect that bond!

Skunks are more than Stinkers

I put a skunk in my first book thinking only that they are little stinkers. Then I started to look into the worth of skunks. When my father-in-law practiced vet medicine, there were people who wanted skunks as pets. Why I wondered? Then I discovered they are a model for ecology. I think that was part of the reason to have skunk pets. So, I decided to use the fact that skunks are myopic and good for the environment and create an educational and fun story for young readers.

Doc to the Rescue

My dear father-in-law was a veterinarian who constantly had ideas about ways to fix a situation. I remember one time I watched Doc descent a skunk because someone wanted the skunk as a pet. He improvised in an amazing way. He also had many boxes of "useful things for future needs" that he dipped into when an idea struck him. I used that information when Doc goes to his boxes and comes up with an idea for Margie's glasses. So much of this story is based on Doc's yard, his many animals, and the way he improvised to solve a situation. Thank you Doc!

Glasses and team effort

Margie's glasses have enabled her to see and judge things much better than she ever could before. Don't we all appreciate it when we can see things more clearly? Also, Doc's backyard animals have always been a team and I wanted to show Margie in charge and the rest of the team working with her to save all from the intruder. Did her glasses give her perfect aim? I like to think so.

Team Work

I think team work is important regardless of species. Animals, like people,should learn to work together to solve a problem. In this chapter all of Doc's yard family works together to solve the problem of the unwanted intruder. This is the biggest challenge they have faced. Because Margie has glasses now and can see that this intruder is not going to be a team player, she takes the lead and the yard family follows. Her perfect aim sends the unwanted visitor on his way and the yard family is back to normal.

Improvisation Working

I struggled with finding a way to get the glasses on Margie so they would not fall off. My husband suggested the basketball net so her ears would go through the holes. But, the bonnet glasses needed to be "elegant," so, I decided I needed to fancy them up so to speak. I added the flowers. Because skunks have trouble seeing distances, there is always the threat of Skunk Perfume even for Doc, so he has to entice her in some way. Hence the cheese. Doc is based on my father-in-law who was a veterinarian and was always solving problems in some way. So, when his first plan didn't work, he tried something else and it worked. Doc always focused on the person or animal in need to solve the problem. That was my focus in this chapter.

The Problem Solver

My father-in-law, a veterinarian, was an enormous inspiration for me on so many levels. There were always animals in his yard as well as in his clinic that he cared for. And, he was constantly solving problems. My first experience with a skunk came from Doc when he was asked to “de-skunk” a skunk someone wanted for a pet. When I started including Weezie in my Little Honker series, I began to do some research on skunks and discovered, among other things, that skunks are myopic. The idea of glasses and doc’s boxes of “useful things” came together. I also learned just how useful skunks can be ecologically. I also discovered that most elementary students do not know much about skunks, so I thought I would present some interesting facts about skunks throughout the story in a creative way. Animals, like people, can work as a team, so I wanted to include the team work idea as well. Another positive message for young readers. My sister-in-law’s name is Margie and she loved the idea of using her name for the skunk. Her creativity comes into play later in the story.

Little Honker Saves the Day

Children's Books

Warren’s meow is a honk. He doesn’t sound like his Seal Point Siamese family or look like them. His brothers and sisters will not play kitty games with him. And, then, on a backyard adventure things change. He saves his family from an unwanted visitor and his honking is important after all.

Book Bubbles from Little Honker Saves the Day

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Every creature struggles when things are hard to understand. I used Little Honker's differences and his mom and dad to illustrate the need to find an answer. Going to someone you trust is usually the first place you go when you seek answers. Little Honker's mom and dad have faith in him and tell him that he will be important in his own way. During the Backyard Adventure, Little Honker does prove he is important in his own way. Trust in yourself gives you confidence and that is exactly what happens at the end of Little Honker Saves the Day.

Always a surprise Awaits!

When we were first married, we had two cats. Our female was Loai and the male was Cass. It was one surprise after another with those two! Opening cabinet doors, closet doors, or even doors to another room in the house was something we faced daily. One day I entered the kitchen to find Loai sleeping on our kitchen plates! I decided to use that in Little Honker Saves the Day. Cass was an ideal daddy and I used that in this book as well. But, it was Nick, a cat we got later, who provided me with the idea of opening the cabinet to snack on chips. His favorite was Doritos.

The Name Game

How do you decide on the name of a pet or a child? Do you use the name of a favorite family member? Is there a fun story that goes with it? This excerpt is actually something that happened in my family. My husband is 6'4" and loved to turn the kids upside down and let them walk on the ceiling. A little music added to the event. They loved the idea and wanted more. So, I used that experience when I was helping the girls come up with names for the cats. Warren was not going to be a typical cat and this seemed to add to the fun of it. What fun stories about naming do you have? I would love to have you share!

Little Honker's Winter Concert

Children's Books

Can a cat play music at a school concert? Little Honker can and did. First he plays a duet and then the bells with the rest of the band. When the bells get loose, the kitty inside him takes over and the excitement begins as Little Honker chases them around the auditorium. Did Little Honker ruin the concert or make it the most memorable one ever?

Book Bubbles from Little Honker's Winter Concert

Catatude Creations

With every cat there is a new adventure! I often wonder how they are able to come up with the things they do. Kittens are especially creative. I decided to use the bell of the saxophone and kitty toys to illustrate "catatude" thinking. The boys put their toys in the bell of the sax for a catatude surprise. I also remembered that we had a cat who used to take dish cloths off the sink and I would find them in the living room, upstairs in a bedroom, or inside the pot of a plant. At Christmas I would find low hanging ornaments any where but the tree. It was an adventure for her and an adventure for us! Catatude Cats make life fun!

Shout Out for Differences

Discovering your strengths and what to do about them when they don't match what might be considered the norm, is not always easy. I wanted my readers to understand that differences create wonderful new things for themselves as well as others. Be comfortable in your skin and with your talents. Little Honker has been able to embrace his new found musical talent and will eventually be able to play with the school band!

Changes Occur

Regardless of how well you plan and how well you think things will work out, often something inside all of us causes things to go in a different direction. That is what happens in this chapter, but that change turns out to be fun for all. We need to roll with the situation.

A Musical Plan

I was remembering how much two of Siamese cats loved to sit on the piano bench while my daughters practiced. They even enjoyed listening to Kris practice her sax. So, I thought it would be fun to see what a musically talented cat might do in a school concert. At all times I kept in mind the idea that he was a cat and would still let that kitty inside of him kick into gear when the invitation arose. It was fun to let this fall into place. Of course, there would be some resistance at first because he was a cat! I let Dad and Mr. Woody say it could be fun and that is what it turned out to be. The pictures in this book at so much to the story!

Differences Can Be fun

This is my first rewrite of one of the books I had published earlier. I think I like it better than the first one because I have been able to expand some ideas. We have had cats in our lives over the last 50 years and no two cats were the same. We also had two Siamese cats who loved to help our daughters practice the piano and saxophone. So, I wanted to capture the fun of those days and take the story to another level. Warren does not look or sound like his feline family and his difference becomes an strength and creates fun for everyone. I show differences throughout the story and want young readers to understand that differences can be great and fun.

Little Honker and the Swinging Tails

Children's Books

Can a cat really start his own band? Warren the Honking Cat decides to do just that, and Little Honker and the Swinging Tails is born...but not without some surprises.

Book Bubbles from Little Honker and the Swinging Tails

Don't Have It? Improvise

As a kid, I remember trying to figure out what I could do if I didn't have something. Playing teacher without students? No problem. I had stuffed animals, a box and pieces of paper to use as a chalkboard, and a variety of old pencils and coloring tools. At an early age I had a dream of becoming a teacher, so I started to practice that role in our unfinished basement when I was about 7. Instruction also meant reading stories to my stuffies and asking those quiet students what they thought? I had a dream and I was trying to figure out how to make it work. I used the dream idea with Little Honker. He wants a band but doesn't have the usual instruments used in a band. So, with team work and improvising, he is able to achieve his dream. This skill is so important. Everyone needs to learn how to make it work if you won't have the necessary tools at hand. Playing around with what you have can lead to amazing creations.

Second Chances

I have always believed in second chances! So, I decided to put the skunk from Little Honker Saves the Day back into Little Honker and the Swinging Tails. Honker and his band agree that Weezie should have an opportunity to play in the band IF she doesn't give them the famous Skunk Perfume. She keeps her promise and it turns out she plays a mean milk jug!

Inspired by Students

The idea for my Little Honker to start his own band came from a third grader at Indian Ridge Elementary. Each time I read my previous two books in schools, the kids always asked, “What’s he going to do next?” I turned the question to them and received many great suggestions. I loved Zoey’s suggestion that Little Honker start his own band and ran with it. The original story was never published because my company closed its doors. Bublish helped me get my feet on the ground again and opened a new door for me. I’ve rewritten my third book in the series, taken a good look at my audience, and discovered early chapter books with enthusiasm. I’m pleased with my new beginning and hope my readers will be as well. In this scene, Little Honker wants to convince his human girls to help him get his band going. In my second book, he discovered that music flows through his body and mind and now he wants more and more music. He can’t do it alone, so he asks for help and gets it.

Improvise

Learning to improvise is an important thing for everyone to learn to do. If we don’t have the necessary tools to complete a task, how can we figure out a way to overcome the problem? In order to create his band, Little Honker needs to improvise because he doesn’t have all of the necessary instruments. I wanted to show my Little Honker’s musical talent, determination, and ability to improvise, so I thought he could play the keyboard and bells. With the help of his human girls, they improvise and create the rest of the instruments. Determination is so important if you want your dream to become a reality. The triangle and drums were not difficult to visualize, but I struggled a bit with getting the guitar idea to work for the band. It was my oldest daughter who said, “Put it on the floor and let the cat strum with his or her claws.” Thank goodness for insights from others.

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