I have launched Melvin Fine Mouse: First Day of School. He is now available through Amazon for $7.95. Yes, a shameless commercial plug. (You can click here to see more information.)
I first drew and wrote Melvin in 2001 when I was a librarian at an elementary school in the Orlando area. Each week I taught every child from age 4 to fifth grade.
I knew the first day in my first class when the first grade entered the little library that I was in for the ride of a lifetime, and it might be a bumpy ride. My crowd control skills were nonexistent.
I was a young mom with an art degree. I loved books, was very good at organizing, and I had to drive 40 minutes to take my son to school each day. I may as well stay for the day. So I did.
Reading to the children was my favorite part of the day. Computers were just making their presence known in the library. This was becoming the media center and I was becoming the media specialist.
My incredible volunteers worked hard to get the reading programs on-line and each child registered. The powers that be thought I was an arty misguided soul, but the children LOVED library and it wasn’t because there were computers in the room. There were great books.
Books are what make a library a library. The students enjoyed shelves of shark and dinosaur books, American Girl books, dog books, cat books, Captain Underpants books, histories of inventions, and true stories of three little pigs. They were reading and loving it.
I could understand this. Children plus books equals a focused thinking young mind.
Melvin is out and about searching for young minds with his rhymes and bright colors.
People who didn’t know he existed are welcoming him into their homes. Thank you so much for giving him the opportunity. Like the opportunity that was given me so many years ago in that little library.
And thank you to Will’s fifth grade class who heard this story in that little library and cheered me on. I will never forget their smiles and encouragement.
And my family who cajoled and loved me into pushing Melvin out the studio door.