January 4, 2013
Illustrated by Candace Whitman
Long ago, in the mists of time, when I was moaning on in my typical fashion, about the dreadful books children had to learn to read with in school, a publisher asked if I would write something for a series of readers they were about to bring on to the market. I should have said no, but I weakened and said yes. Of all the ones I wrote, Zoo-Looking is the one I am most proud of but where the idea came from is anyone’s guess. All I know is that the name ‘Effie’ came from a beloved great-aunt. I still love that name. I also recall how important I thought it was to have fathers in children’s picture books, which is why there’s no mother, for once, in this one. I still think fathers are important, needless to say. There are too few of them in books for the very young.