* My first name is pronounced "jay'mah."
* Passions: England, teapots, French pastry, graphology, typography, investigating restaurants and bakeries, culinary history, food writing.
* Most prized possession: family and friends.
* Favorite foods: Yes.
* Foods that inspire the best work: wild Maine blueberry pie, dark chocolate, tapioca pudding, shortbread, green tea, mochi.
* Wants: Personal chef, chauffeur, more cultural diversity in children's publishing, world peace.
* Crushes: Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Colin Firth, George Clooney
* Desert Island Song: "Like a Rolling Stone"
a few favorite children's books
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary
Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Max books by Maira Kalman
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Anything by Daniel Pinkwater
Paddington books by Michael Bond
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Charlotte books by Joan MacPhail Knight and Melissa Sweet
Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Anastasia books by Lois Lowry
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Narnia books by C.S. Lewis
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird by Jacques Prévert and Mordicai Gerstein
Fanny at Chez Panisse by Alice Waters and Ann Arnold
Library Lion by Michelle Knudson and Kevin Hawkes
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up in Hawai'i. My older brother Newton and I had many hair-raising adventures while our parents were busy working. We bicycled all over our hometown of Wahiawa, frequenting the pet shop, theatre, Dairy Queen, Ben Franklin, and of course, the public library. We looked for the Green Lady in the gulch and stayed away from Dole Road, where scary Mr. Wooten lived.
In school, I liked anything having to do with books, writing, and stories. After my second grade teacher said I talked too much in class, I became a quiet student and wrote everything down instead. My fourth grade teacher published my first piece, a field trip report, in the PTA newsletter. I wrote poetry in high school, and in college I majored in English and took many writing classes.
While teaching high school English in London, England, I met my husband, Len, a native of New Hampshire. Shortly after we moved to Virginia in the early 80's, I began writing full time.
Several years ago, we moved into our new house, which we designed and built ourselves. We are surrounded by tall, silent trees and constantly entertained by wild animal friends: Samuel the squirrel, Fuzzy the fox, Mr. Pampano the possum, and Boxcar the land tortoise. A herd of gentle deer, some noisy woodpeckers, and a few skunks, raccoons, wild turkeys, and snakes complete the menagerie.
Although we don't have any indoor pets, a lot of teddy bears live with us. Last count was over 300. Who could turn a bear away when he knocks on your front door? Just wish they'd all help with the dusting.☺
Writing continues to be the ultimate love-hate relationship. Nothing is as difficult or as rewarding. In addition to the children's books featured on this site, I have published stories and articles in such magazines as Girlhood Home Companion, Highlights for Children, Crayola Kids, Humpty Dumpty, Children's Digest, Cobblestone, Hopscotch, Aloha, Country Home, and Country Living. I've always enjoyed writing about food most of all, and can usually be found "researching" and cooking up more yummy stories, articles and essays.
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