December 14, 2010

I received a wonderful (electronic) packet of letters today from an elementary school teacher in Casablanca, Morocco. It began with the salutation "Salam Aleikum (peace be upon you - our greeting here)," which I thought was a very nice way to begin my day!

Stars book coverShe sent me some letters written by students in her fifth grade ESL class, who have been studying my book STARS. They asked some great questions, which I thought I would answer here.


Q: (from M’hamed M.) I want to tell you that I loved Stars.  I wonder: why did you change from a teacher to writer?

A: I had been writing science articles and books for many years while I was a teacher, and I finally had so many contracts for new books that I decided to focus full-time on writing. However, I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped being a teacher. As long as I am writing books and visiting schools to speak to kids, I’m still teaching, and that makes me very happy.


Q: (from Ahmed A.) I would love to read the book Cats.  I hope the book Cats is your favorite. 

A: Well, Ahmed, I do love cats very much. You might like to read this story about my two cats, Newty Frewty and Mittens, and how they got their names. Asking an author which is my favorite book is like asking a parent which is their favorite child! I love all my books the same, and if I have a "favorite," it is the one that I am writing at any given moment.


Q: (from Nadia C.) Do you write about dolphins? Do you have children?

A: Yes, Nadia, I have written a book called DOLPHINS. They are wonderful animals, and very intelligent. You might like to read this story about experiments that you and your class can do to learn about dolphins.

Yes, I do have children. My oldest son, Robert, is a professor of Computer Science at George Mason University, outside of Washington, DC. My youngest son, Michael, lives in Los Angeles and is a television director. And I have a step-daughter, Jules, who is studying Literature at American University in Washington, DC.

And finally, Alia Z. shared some wonderful information about STARS in her letter.

(Alia) I am going to tell you wonderful and splendid fact. Stars are red balls of gas. There are millions of stars in one galaxy.  Galileo saw stars that nobody on earth ever saw before.

I am always happy to hear from my readers, and especially pleased when the letters come from overseas. Thanks to all the kids at the George Washington Academy in Casablanca for reading my STARS book and taking the time to write!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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