We authors love to hear from readers of our books. This lovely note from a teacher—I don’t know her or where she teaches—sent this:
“Poppy is my favorite read aloud book of all time. I started teaching 17 years ago and have read it aloud to every class since then. It has my favorite written line ever (Hit the puke switch and duck.). All of my students know it well. I still burst out laughing every time I read it. I have the whole series and my students eagerly gobble up the rest after I read Poppy.
One class so loved it that they convinced me to read all the others aloud. That year, the last book in the series (or so I thought) came out the day before school got out. I had a copy of the book on hold at the book store, drove down to get it, and read it all on the last day of school. My students voted to hear your book over going to field day!!!
I can’t wait to read the new book. [Ragweed and Poppy] I was introduced to the series by the first grade teacher at my first school. I was trying to decide what book I would read with my students. She suggested that I get Poppy because she had read Ragweed with her students and they had really enjoyed it. So, I bought Poppy books for the class. I was young. It was my first job. I didn’t think about reading the book first. So we sit down to read the book, the kids tell me all about Ragweed (for at least 15 minutes they relived his adventures in the city). I explain that this is the next book in the series, we read the blurb, and I tell them that I bet Ragweed and Poppy are the two little mice that go dancing in the moonlight and that this book will be all about the new adventures Poppy and Ragweed have together. Alas, I now know that is not true and I have never again read a book with students without pre-reading it! I began to read that afternoon, while my students eagerly followed along. My eyes were scanning faster than the words were coming out of my mouth. It was not long before my eyes saw the horror and even sooner that the words came spewing from my mouth. Tears, really sobs and wails, could be heard from our classroom as the children mourned the loss of their favorite character. It was in that moment that the bell rang and I had to get the kids out to their parents and onto the bus. So, in short. This book that will be published soon is the book that I thought I was reading all those years ago.”