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

What Should Happen Next?

Margie keeps falling into Doc's pond because she's myopic like all skunks. Doc makes glasses for her and Margie's entire world opens up and changes. She's extremely creative and let's us see this. She helps solve a mystery. Did her glasses help her with that? Then there is a little romance in the vegetable garden. Nature's rules take place and Doc is presented with a bit of a problem. I've had numerous requests for a sequel, one of which is to have Margie and the yard family have a surprise birthday party for Doc. After all, he does take great care of them. Send me your thoughts! I think Margie wants another story.

Let's Have A Party!

My mother-in-law could put a party together in no time and did so frequently. She didn't worry if the house was not in perfect order. What she wanted was a party. She invited family, friends, friends of friends, and served unbelievable food and drinks.I admired her ability so much and enjoyed many of those parties. People had a great time and many made new friends. Kathy's suggestion this week gave me an idea for the sequel to GLASSES FOR MARGIE. People have been asking since the book came out when I would have a sequel. I had not found an avenue for it until today. I looked at the team effort of Doc's yard family and thought, "Wouldn't it be fun for them to throw a party? Margie would, of course, be in charge of the decorations!" I think I can run with this. This excerpt shows the power of the yard family. I think this will work well in a sequel..

Weather or Critter

Night sometimes makes the imagination come alive more than any other time. Noises are heard. Vision is weak. What is creating all those unusual sounds? Do you want to investigate or snuggle safely in a protected area? Duchess and Jack are curious and feel the need to investigate. Margie wants to stay safe in her den. I think that is so true with people. Severe weather brings out the curiosity in some people. They feel drawn to the action. Others, like Margie, want to huddle up safe at home and hope for the best. I feel like I am a bit like all three of these creatures. When we experienced flood conditions in Cheyenne, I desperately wanted to stay at home and tend to our unfortunate situation. On the other hand, I was drawn to the outside to see how this storm had hit others. Animals, like people, have the same feelings.

Myopic Skunks

Did you know that skunks are myopic? Do you know why we sometimes get that Skunk Perfume Special? I really didn't know the answer to these questions until I started to research skunks after I put Weezie in Little Honker and the Swinging Tails. Skunks only see things clearly if they are up close. So, if they can't identify an object and become frightened, they will hiss, stamp their feet, and then raise their tails in order to warn off predators. If that doesn't work, it is time for the Skunk Perfume. In this book Margie provides much service to Doc's backyard, but her vision problems often get in the way of that service. She often ends up in Doc's pond while searching for some of her favorite treats. I thought it would be fun to figure out how Margie would react if she had better vision. So, I designed special glasses for her.

Margie to the Rescue!

Skunks spray their famous perfume when they are scared or want to give a warning. In this scene, Margie is giving a warning to the intruder and she wins the day. The yard family is there to support. The glasses have given her perfect aim! I had so much fun writing about Margie. Many of her creative traits are based on my dear sister-in-law. I wanted to show my young readers that we can all come into our own and most often, we have a support team. Margie does just that in this story.

What's Up?

While my husband was in Vietnam, I lived on Doc's acreage. We had a mobile home close to my in-laws' home and yet I was far enough away that it felt very much like I was alone with nature. I heard noises I couldn't identify and at times became a little alarmed. Nature became a mystery in a different way for me. There was an instance when I woke up to find trash sprinkled over the yard and I was clueless as to how it happened. So, I decided to use that experience in my Margie story. It used to be that animals like raccoons did not venture into the city as much. Surely that is not true now, but I went back in time and decided to put this mysterious creature into the story and then see how the yard family as a team solved the mystery.

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 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

Lights Out Routine

"Turn out your light," Mom says. I do and then snuggle under the covers--flash light in one hand and book in the other. This was a nightly routine when I was growing up. Later, my reading and then writing was still on the bed or in a comfortable chair, coffee at my side and a cat close beside me. I've loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. Most books wrapped me in suspense and wonder. I loved word choices and awesome ideas. So, I worked at it for years between reading essays and planning lessons. Retirement sent me in a direction where I could focus more on the writing.. I'm still rarely without a book and I'm rarely without pen and paper. One routine changes into another and this is what I wanted to show in this chapter.

Scared

Scared could have been my middle name. What if I can't do it? What if people laugh at me? What if I don't fit in? Those questions became a black cloud hanging over my head and often found a way of digging deep into my mind. I wanted to be a teacher but that meant I'd have to be on stage and instruct students. I wanted to write but that meant I would have to let people read what I wrote. Then I took an Introduction to Speech class the summer before my freshman year in college. One of the students was a woman in her late 40s who decided to go back to school. She was a nervous wreck when she gave her first speech. But, she did it! I thought, "If she can do it, I can do it!" She saved me from much apprehension and Little Honker saved his family from the famous Skunk Special. We can all do it when a little confidence kicks in!

We've Come a Long Way!

I knew I wanted to write books for kids. I knew it should be about cats because I'd had cats all of my married life. Four years ago I wrote a picture book called Warren the Honking Cat Saves the Day. I soon followed it with Warren the Honking Cat and the Exciting Winter Recital. Although the books were well received and I had a third one ready to go to press, my company closed it doors and left me in search of a new way to get my Little Honker stories out to kids. Lots of attempts at finding an illustrator lead me to a gal in Denver and eventually to my current illustrator in Argentina. I went from writing picture books to early readers thanks to Kathy Meis at Bublish! So, Warren the Honking Cat Saves the Day became Little Honker Saves the Day with much more detail and fun. I was able to include much loved information about my dear father-in-law, a vet who offered more than he ever knew! Thanks to Kathy and Doc, Little Honker and I are on the way!

Pawsome!

He did it. Sometimes it just takes a while for creatures to figure out their strengths. Facing a challenge can do that. Those around you finally realize it. I, for one, often try to figure out how I fit into a situation. So, I wanted to show Little Honker finally figuring out something about himself. Instinct kicked in and he was able to scare danger away. He is paws-a-tively pawsome and the entire family appreciates it at the end.

Give a High Paw for Change

Sometimes scary. Sometimes exciting. Always a new adventure. In each of my Little Honker books, I have tried to encourage young readers to think about changes in a positive way and move forward. It might be scary at first, but a little team work is all you need. I've faced many transitions in my life and with each one, I felt some apprehension. My head was filled with questions regarding this next chapter in my life. With a little encouragement from those around me, I've been able to go from apprehension to comfort. I want my young readers to feel the same way because it is PAWSOME!

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.

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

For the Love of Music!

My dad loved polkas and 1940s music. I played the piano and clarinet. I loved everything from Rock and Roll to Classical music. My daughters played the piano, saxophone, and flute and loved the popular 1980s music. Our two Siamese cats sat on the piano bench and assisted in practice time-- paws and tails following the rhythm. So I thought "Why not?" and I let Little Honker start his own band. All creatures respond to music in some way. Read to find out how Little Honker and the Swinging Tails became a band!

Kid Reader Review

I am always interested in kid reviews of my books. I need to know what works. So, I decided to include this excerpt because it embodies much of what this young reader thought was good about Swinging Tails. "I loved the skunk in the book and giving Weezie a second chance. I liked the way they made up the band with pots and pans and had to improvise. I especially liked that Little Honker had a dream about a band and it becomes real. And, I liked the teamwork of the girls and Little Honker and his buddies. This was a fun book. I can hardly wait to read more Little Honker stories."

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.

Little Honker's Backyard Adventures

Children's Books

Can a cat have magical powers? Are cats able to predict a future event? From Egyptian times to the present, cats in many cultures are considered both lucky and magical. Is Little Honker one of those magical cats? Little Honker seems to have some magical powers and predicts an upcoming event.

Book Bubbles from Little Honker's Backyard Adventures

Magical Changes

I started Backyard Adventures about four years ago and it didn't have that name. I could not figure out what I was going to do with Little Honker At that time, he was just Warren the honker cat. He made his way to the pond and stopped.. I was stumped and so was he. We both walked away from the story and waited. My dear friend Marinell suggested the floater, but Honker and I were still stumped. Then my husband and I adopted three rescue cats and my youngest granddaughter spent the summer with us. Our rescue cats started to take center stage along with my granddaughter. Suddenly Honker had a new role. I recalled the role of cats from Egyptian times and decided Honker had some magical powers. We learn about cats magical powers and rescue animals in this book. Honker was not the usual musical cat in this books and he and I are both thrilled with the outcome. He's come a long way!

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Family and home is where you feel welcome and at ease. You are comfortable in your surroundings. We have had cats for over 50 years and when we lost our last kitty, our house was empty. It was not the home we felt comfortable in. We needed a cat. My high school classmate posted a picture of two rescue cats who needed a home. We saw them, met them, and fell in love with them. But, those kitties had joined another rescue cat at the facility and had become a family. We could not separate them, so we adopted all three cats. Our home was right once again and this family became part of our family. I gave a little background and factual information in this excerpt. Little Honker has always lived in his current home, so this was a lesson for him. As he learns, I hope my young readers learn about what makes a family and a home.

Gratitude Glory

We are in the gratitude season. It comes to us in unusual ways and sometimes when we least expect it and sometimes when we need it the most. Coming when I needed it the most recently happened to me. As I looked back at the books I have written, I discovered that gratitude is up front and center in all of my books. Because that trait has always been important to me, I wanted young readers to realize how important it is to them as well as those around them. In this scene, Little Honker is saved by the ducklings because he can't swim. He is filled with gratitude for saving him. Gratitude. Embrace it. Wrap yourself in it. Such a precious quality to have in your life. Enjoy.

Decisions. Decisions.

This is one season where many decisions seem to be at the forefront. From stocking stuffers to what's on the menu and more, decisions are waiting to be made. Some are easier than others. With decisions, that is usually the case. Little honker is often faced with decisions. In this chapter he makes the decision to escape from the house to join his new duck friends. Before he knows it, they invite him to take a swim. He decides to take the plunge! See what happens in my new book, Little Honker's Backyard Adventures, available on Amazon and book sellers of your choice. It is available in print or ebook -- another decision. Take the plunge and have fun!

Love and Fear

When you love someone, you want to protect them. So, I think we live with a fear that something bad might happen to what we love. I lived with that fear when my husband was in Vietnam, and nearly every time my girls walked out of the door. When they started to drive, I felt out of control! Fear and protection are natural feelings when there is love. In this excerpt, Little Honker is trying to convince his girls to let him go to the backyard more frequently. Earlier he dashed out unnoticed and took an unwanted swim in the pond. The girls are afraid something will happen to him and want to protect him. Much like you would do with a child. He convinces them that he will be careful, but the pet door option is out of the question for the girls. Keeping Little Honker safe is a top priority.

Dream Help

From the time I was a college student, I wanted to write stories for young readers. I have loved children's literature for as long as I can remember. I wanted to write stories that would provide some teaching moments as well as present fun experiences. Using cats seemed the avenue to do just that because I have known many cats well over the 50 years of living with them. I could not accomplish my dream alone! My dream finally came true after retirement and receiving much needed support from my husband and friends. Little Honker has a dream of starting his own band and does it with the help of his girls in Swinging Tails. In Backyard Adventures, he dreams of being able to swim in a floater but needs help from the ducklings. Most of us can not accomplish a dream without a little assistance.

To the Rescue!

Sometimes we all need a little rescue. After our sweet little Gabby crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we were left with an empty feeling. After over 50 years of having cats in the house, we were lost. Then, my high school classmate passed on a link to FUR the Love of Paws and I fell in love with two rescue cats. I needed rescued and so did they. Sprite and Fanta were mom and daughter and became a family with Willy. They were a family and we needed a kitty family. So, we rescued them and they rescued us. Much of what is in this book comes from the new stars in our lives.

Help From Friends

Just as Fanta helps Honker in this chapter, I found just the help I needed from my college classmate and the wonderful woman to helped us find Fanta, Sprite, and Willy who are featured in this book. When I first started writing this book, I stopped with the Mallards and could not figure out where to go next. My unfinished book sat for about three years. Then Marinell suggested the floater and later I met Jenn and our three new felines and the story came together quickly. They both helped me immensely and our friendship has grown. Put your paws and hands together for friendships and teamwork!

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.

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.

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