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Publication Date: 2010
Every time it rains, the street in front of Mr. Hamilton's house becomes a pond. The pond is taking over the neighborhood, but the City Works department won't fix the problem. So Rodney Robbins and Mr. Hamilton decide to fix it themselvesin a very unusual way.
Author: Kim Stegall
Located in: Greenville, SC
Submitted: August 26, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself. My most important jobs are wife to my multi-talented husband Jeff and mother to our two delightful teenagers, Margaret and Cole. For my part-time, away-from-home job, I write English language arts textbooks for middle and high school students and speak to teachers and administrators. I also freelance for children's magazines. I worked as an English teacher for several years, and that taught me many things about young people but mostly about myself. In the summers, I help my husband adapt plays and write educational materials for The Greenville Shakespeare Company. I am currently working on several children's books and an adventure story for grown-ups. My first picture book, Mumsi Meets a Lion, was published in 2008; my next, Rodney Robbins and the Rainy-day Pond was released June 2, 2010. I enjoy English grammar, flea markets, and all things pumpkin. I like to think of myself as a runner and have completed four marathons, eight half marathons, and too many shorter races to count. (Don't ask--I'm slow!)
What was your motivation behind this project? This story came from a real-life happening in the life of my mother's father. There was a big sinkhole in front of my grandparents' little white house ("with the perfect picket fence") that filled with water during rainstorms. My grandfather and the neighbors tried various ways to get the city (Waltham, Massachusetts) to fix the pond--all to no avail. Then grandpa got his big idea. I won't give the rest away, but I will say that my Grandpa Hamilton was usually a mild-mannered person who didn't like to make any waves. . . .
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Mostly, I want kids to giggle at the story and have enjoy finding the fun animals in Bruce Day's wonderful illustrations. I also hope the story helps them want to be creative problem-solvers. I also like the idea that people of different age groups can work together.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I thought a lot about my grandfather, who was such a gentle, kind soul. He loved doing puzzles of all kinds and solving riddle and problems. Remembering things about him and my grandmother, who was really a kind of spitfire, was special.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? My parents were a big influence on my love of reading. My fifth-grade teacher (Chrisy award winner Jamie Langston Turner) inspired me to try my best and made me believe I could write. I'm also enjoying Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo right now.
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