The Wild Robot lives!

So, I wrote my first children’s novel. It wasn’t a graceful process, but I survived the stress and the solitude and the crippling self-doubt, and now my novel is about to enter the world. It’s called The Wild Robot. If you have a few minutes I’d like to tell you about it.

Back in 2008, while working on a picture book called The Curious Garden, I spent a lot of time making sketches like this-

I loved imagining scenes of nature living in surprising places. And that got me thinking about scenes of unnatural things living in surprising places, and I made a few sketches like this-

I was really intrigued by the image of a robot in a tree, and a question suddenly popped into my mind: What would an intelligent robot do in the wilderness?

I had to get back to work on The Curious Garden, but that question never left my mind. In my free time I scribbled notes about a robot in the wild. I drew more pictures of robots in trees. I’d always enjoyed reading science fiction, but now I was studying science fiction-

Some of the sci-fi/fantasy books that inspired me

Most people don’t know that the word “robot” comes from a 1920’s science fiction play by Karel Čapek. The play is called R.U.R., which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots. Karel Čapek (with a little help from his brother) invented the word “robot.” But he also invented one of the most familiar tropes of science fiction. In R.U.R., robots realize they don’t need their human masters, so they rise up and destroy all of humanity. And sci-fi writers have been telling variations of that story ever since.

However, I wanted to tell a different kind of robot story. I wanted to tell the story of a robot who finds harmony in the last place you’d expect. I wanted to tell a robot nature story.

Some of the non-fiction books that inspired me

The years rolled by. I finished The Curious Garden, and went on to write and illustrate several more picture books. And all the while I was quietly tinkering with my robot nature story and studying everything from artificial intelligence to animal behavior to outstanding children’s novels.

Some of the novels that inspired me

In 2012, after years of studying and thinking, I returned to the question that started this whole process: What would an intelligent robot do in the wilderness? To answer that question, I invented a robot character named Rozzum (a subtle nod to Čapek’s play), and tried to imagine how she’d handle life in the wilderness.

Robots can take almost any shape and so I considered different designs and capabilities and purposes for Roz. She had to be strong and intelligent, but not too strong and not too intelligent. If readers were ever going to relate to a robot she would have to be vulnerable, not invincible. And it might help if she were humanoid—that is, if she had arms and legs and a head—so readers could imagine themselves in her shoes. Most important, she had to be able to learn.

And then there was the issue of Roz’s gender.

Some famous gendered robot characters

We all know that real robots are neither male nor female. But the gender issue gets complicated when dealing with robot characters. Authors and filmmakers and playwrights almost always have to choose a pronoun (he, she, it) for each character, and by doing so they’re committing to a gender, or lack thereof, for each character. At first, I assumed “it” would be the appropriate pronoun for Roz. But I had trouble caring about her when she was an “it.” So I considered using a gender-neutral pronoun, like “ze,” or inventing a pronoun just for my robot characters, like “re,” but the story was challenging enough without having to explain invented grammar. Like so many science fiction authors before me, I decided to choose a gender-specific pronoun for my robot character. I looked closely at Roz’s personality and the way others saw her and I decided she would be female.

Early Wild Robot sketches

For this to truly be a “robot nature story” Roz would need to encounter a wide variety of natural elements. And the story would have to take place in the future to explain the existence of intelligent robots. I imagined how the wilderness might look in a few hundred years, and two things occurred to me: 1) because of climate change and rising sea levels, animals from far and wide might eventually be forced together as they all seek higher ground, and 2) some of that higher ground might become completely surrounded by water, forming new islands. With that in mind, I set the story far in the future, on a rugged northern island that was formed by rising seas, and that had a diverse array of weather and flora and fauna.

Once I’d settled on Roz’s design and a setting for her story, I began working on the plot. I started with the same exercise I use for my picture books: story mapping.

So many story maps…

I spent a year mapping all the possible directions for the story. There was so much to consider! How might a robot become wild? Do robots have anything in common with wildlife? What kinds of lessons could Roz learn from a tree, or a storm, or an opossum? And why is Roz on an island in the first place?

After I’d mapped and plotted absolutely everything it was finally time to write. But I was nervous. So I procrastinated by making myself some writing rules:

  • You’re not a poet, just tell the story plainly
  • Keep Roz mysterious by writing in the 3rd person
  • Make the chapters as short as possible
  • Write with symmetry and repetition, to mirror robots and nature
  • Give the narrator a conversational voice, especially during slow scenes
  • Understand the motivation behind each of Roz’s actions

With my writing rules and my story maps and my research and my notes and my sketches in tow, I drove out to a cabin in the woods, brewed a pot of coffee, and opened my laptop. There was nothing left to do but write.

I began typing. I was no longer looking at the story with binoculars, but with a microscope. Up close, I realized just how hard it is to find the right words. But I tried not to self-edit and I let the words flow.

I used a program called Scrivener to write the story. It’s great for organizing notes and research and chapters.

I spent over a year cobbling together my first draft of The Wild Robot. It was rough. Very rough. But Little, Brown & Company liked it enough to sign it up and in July of 2014 it became official: my robot nature story would be published! There was just one problem…I didn’t know how to finish it.

Luckily, the wonderful Alvina Ling was on my side. My old friend and editor gave me her notes and I got back to writing. Over the following year-and-a-half I rewrote the entire story. Repeatedly. In the first draft, Roz was a soldier who arrived on the island via plane crash. But many of my early ideas presented serious logistical problems and I routinely went back to the drawing board. I did more research. I resumed story mapping. I lost all confidence. Things were moving in the wrong direction.

But I kept going. I simplified everything. The plot, the characters, the writing all became simpler, and they gradually started fitting together like puzzle pieces. The story grew more metaphorical and philosophical. The Wild Robot was feeling less like science fiction and more like a fable.

Dave Caplan is the creative director who worked with me on the book’s design. Together, we made decisions about the jacket art and the case cover, chose paper stock and typefaces, and planned the placement of each illustration.

Dave dropped my sketches into place so we could get a sense of how the words and pictures would work together

Most authors have very little control over the appearance of their books. But as an author and illustrator, I worked on every aspect of my book’s appearance.

I made dozens of sketches before I figured out the cover design

I hand-lettered the front cover, spine, and title page

One day, Alvina informed me it was almost time to print the Advanced Reader Copies of The Wild Robot, so I should polish the text and complete the cover art and as much interior art as possible. ARCs are the early, unfinished copies of a book that publishers give to booksellers and reviewers to drum up excitement before publication. I wanted the ARCs to make a great first impression, but there was only so much I could do in the time allowed. I sent in the final cover art, a few rough sketches, and the best draft I could muster. The ARCs were printed in July 2015, but I wouldn’t finish the words and pictures for another six months.

A pile of ARCs

I had mixed feelings when the ARCs arrived. It was exciting to see The Wild Robot in physical form, but I knew the finished book would be very different. Oh well. My publisher sent out the ARCs and responses started rolling in. The Wild Robot received its first official review in November 2015, two months before I finished working on it. Miraculously, it was a starred review.

I rewrote entire chapters.

I changed character names.

I obsessively examined every word.

Eventually, I switched from Scrivener to MS Word so my editor could easily comment on the manuscript

When I wasn’t furiously typing, I was furiously sketching.

Final sketches were made in Photoshop

It was now time for the “First Pass Pages.” Alvina explained that we’d reached the home stretch, and going forward, all text changes should be minor and would be made by marking up printouts with a pencil. This seemed a little archaic, but it’s easier for everyone to keep track of changes if they’re all in one physical document. So they sent me the pages, I marked them up, the copyeditor reviewed my changes, and the designer updated the master file.

The Pass pages got pretty messy

The last six months of the process were chaotic. My social life and sleeping habits went straight down the drain as I frantically reworked the text and frantically created the final art. I didn’t want the illustrations to tell the whole story, just to set the tone, so I tried to keep them simple and moody. Simple or not, I had sixty-five illustrations to create, which was daunting. It seemed like this project would never end.

A few final interior illustrations

Dave dropped final illustrations into the book file, and the file was eventually sent to the printer

Dave and the production team reviewed proofs of the jacket and some of the interior art, and then worked with the printer to ensure that the final books would look just right.

The 2nd proof of the jacket

We took the extra step of proofing the art on the actual paper stock that would be used in the book

And then things took a tragic turn. On December 25 Alvina’s husband lost his long battle with cancer. His passing devastated everyone. Alvina immediately took a leave of absence. Suddenly, the book I’d been obsessing over seemed meaningless. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball. But my publisher needed me to finish this book, once-and-for-all. At the end of a marathon project, I crawled across the finish line.

On January 12, 2016, I sent off the very last revisions. Years of studying and thinking and mapping and sketching and typing and illustrating and revising had finally come to an end. My work on The Wild Robot was over.

A month later, this showed up.

My first finished copy of The Wild Robot

            The Wild Robot is the story of Rozzum unit 7134, a robot who wakes up for the very first time to find that she’s alone on a remote, wild island. Roz doesn’t know how she got there, or where she came from: she only knows that she wants to stay alive. And by robotically studying her environment she learns everything she needs to know. She learns how to move through the wilderness, how to avoid danger, she even learns how to communicate with the animals. But the most important lesson Roz learns is that kindness can be a survival skill. And she uses kindness to develop friends and a family and a peaceful life for herself. Until her mysterious past catches up with her.

It took eight years, but I finally found an answer to the question that led me down this path. What would an intelligent robot do in the wilderness? She’d make the wilderness her home.


The Wild Robot is now available wherever books are sold. As always, I encourage everyone to buy books from Indie Bookstores for reasons I explain in this Blog Post.

Categories: Book Production, Books, Creative, Illustration, Publishing, The Wild Robot, Uncategorized
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56 responses to “The Wild Robot lives!”

  1. Hi Peter,
    You continue to be a complete inspiration for me! Thank you for
    writing this blog. I love hearing about your process.
    I can’t even wait to read it! (and of course see more pictures!)

  2. Julie Burchstead says:

    Thanks for taking us along for this journey of your process! I can’t wait for the book!

  3. Susan says:

    Hi, Peter,
    I’ve been a fan since you visited my library and school and talked about writing The Flight of the Dodo. Your sketches are still in our library! I’m so looking forward to reading The Wild Robot. After hearing about your process, it will be even more special for me. Thank you for sharing!
    Susan

  4. Ani says:

    Hi! Congratulations on The Wild Robot. Loved reading about it.

  5. Joanna Marek says:

    Spring Avenue in La Grange, IL sends its loudest congratulations to you! We can’t wait to read it!

    • Wendy Free says:

      Thanks to our friend Amy for directing me to your terrific creation story! Am so eager to share The Wild Robot with our favorite seven year old and to share your inspiring, instructive, fun, and REAL story of its creation with art teachers and students as a fabulous resource. Cheers to you!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this process. It’s very reassuring for me because I’ve been working on a story for what seems like the longest time and I’ve been very self-critical about why I haven’t been able to finish it. (I’m at the lost-confidence part of your story above, I think.)

    The weird thing about this story is that, although other ideas have come and gone, it seems to be one that really wants to live. So, I’ll see, I guess.

    I’ve been seeing mentions of Wild Robot for a while and look forward to reading it. The visuals look amazing – i really love that sketch of the robot in the tree (wow!). I might even catch you on your tour.

  7. Julie Smith says:

    Just today I saw you present at the Children’s Literature Festival at Frostburg State University in MD. I had a great time and bought Wild Robot. This afternoon I gave it to my 11 yr old nephew who sat and read the whole thing in one sitting, looking kind of like a robot himself mechanically flipping pages. He finished it, closed the book, looked up and asked if there’s a second book! His little brother is now reading it. Nice! Thank you!!

  8. Noor says:

    Thank you for sharing your writing process with us! This will be so valuable to share with young writers…especially as they are learning that their first draft is not their best draft. I plan on sharing your process with 3rd-5th graders on Friday! Thank you being open and vulnerable, as I know it is probably hard to put yourself out for the whole world. I LOVED your book (and your past books!). Although I did not want Roz’s story to end, I thought the ending was perfect! Thank you again for your truly amazing story!

  9. george says:

    Hi! my name is George and I love your book The Wild Robot. I read it with my mom and my little brother. We have a question. Are you going to write a sequel for The Wild Robot? I look forward to hear from you.

    Your reader,
    Gerorge

    • Peter Brown says:

      Thanks George! Yes, I’m beginning work on the sequel right now. Please be patient, it might take a little while, but I’m very excited about where the story is going! Stay tuned!

      -PB

      • when do you think the sequel will be done 2016 …… and also i love your book its the best book i”ve ever started to read ill read it over and over and over again thank you for making this book peter!

      • Kristin says:

        I read your book to my 6 year son and he absolutely loved it (as did I). He gets so deeply involved in the characters in the books we read and he cried and cried when it ended. When I explained to him that when a book ends this way it often means a sequel is coming he was elated (and wanted to buy it right NOW). I can’t tell you how happy he will be to know you’re working on another!

  10. michael says:

    Thank you for this beautiful and haunting tale of a wild robot. We read it to our 4 ½ year old over the course of a week and a half and tonight just finished the last chapters. He was in tears at the end, trying to figure out what to do with this new feeling of being both happy and sad at the same time. It is such a wonderfully complex and rich story on so many levels. And I love the fact that you urge us down an unfamiliar path to explore a relationship between machine and nature. There is a new humanism in this book, one that goes beyond the tired dichotomies of so much twentieth century thinking on technology.

  11. I really enjoyed reading and seeing the visuals of how The Wild Robot developed. Thanks so much for sharing! Very inspiring!!

  12. My always calm, cool, and collected ten year old son *sobbed* when he told me about the end of this book. He LOVED it, It was such a special moment. My family adores your work, especially the Curious Garden (my ten year old’s name happens to be Liam) and the Chowder books (we had a beloved bulldog named Chauncy who has passed on). I am so excited that now that my two boys are older they have more books of your to enjoy. Both of them are very artistic and I am sure they have been inspired at least in part by you! I can only dream they will grow up to create such wonderful works as you have.

  13. Shelly R. says:

    Will there be a sequel to this book? It ends too mysteriously. From Vash H.

    I am Vash’s Mom. He came upstairs to tell me that this was the best book he ever read – and that is saying something because he reads ALOT!! He also is a huge lover of robots since he was very small. So we are both hoping that you have this writing process down and will be writing alot more books in the future. We will be looking for them.

  14. Mike D says:

    My six year old and I just finished reading The Wild Robot.
    We really enjoyed it! Thank you for writing it.
    We are looking forward to the sequel!

  15. Karen says:

    We read this as a summer family read-aloud to our boys, 7, 10 and 11 years. Great book, we all enjoyed it and and we look forward to a sequel??

  16. Louise Lash says:

    Loved the book! I am an elementary library technician. This is my pick for this fall. My grandson, who has dyslexia and can be a reluctant reader, loved it too. He asked if there will be a sequel. I hope so too.
    Thanks for all your years of hard work bringing this book to your readers.

  17. Jamie Wilson says:

    This conversation just happened:
    Son (who is 8): I just finished reading my book (Middle School by James Patterson).
    Me: Oh yeah? How was it?
    Son: Good. It’s my second favorite book ever.
    Me: What is your first?
    Son: The Wild Robot.

  18. Thankful teacher says:

    Heard this yelled across our 5th grade classroom today from a reluctant reader to a friend, “This is SUCH a good book!!”
    I didn’t even care about the noise. I was so happy to know a book has engaged him finally.Thank you, Peter.

    • Peter Brown says:

      This is music to my ears! I was a reluctant reader myself, growing up, and I was hoping kids like me would like The Wild Robot!

  19. Zi Gonzalez says:

    Hi, my name is Zi and I’m 10-yrs old. My grandma and I just got through reading your book “The Wild Robot ” and it was AWESOME! Roz and Brightbill remind me alot of me and my Gramdma in our real life story. In a way, she saved me and I saved her. Also, My grandma is My mom to me and I’m Her son. The story made me very sad and I cried a lot at the end, when Roz had to leave Brightbill alone on the island, and he didn’t know if she would ever come back home. My grand ma said I should look on your web site to see if there is a sequel to the story and I was happy to see you are writing one! I hope Roz and Brightbill will be together again, because if something ever happened to my grandma and she could never come back home to me, I would be too sad! Even tho the end of Thia story made me sad, I loved the story and I look forward to reading more! Thank you. From Zi

    • Peter Brown says:

      Oh wow, this is really amazing. I’m so happy to know that you connected with The Wild Robot in such a personal way. Thank you for sharing this with me, I’m getting all choked up! Hahaha!

  20. Tony says:

    Peter this book is awesome its so good I loved every last word of the book even at the end I almost cried when Roz got taken away and brightbill gave his mom (Roz) a hug. thank you for this book i love it.

  21. Celeste Ledesma says:

    THE WILD ROBOT, its just an amazing book I loved it!!

    I told so many people about it.I could not stop reading IT!

  22. Ani says:

    As a homeschool mom, I’m always looking for child appropriate read-aloud books. We were just browsing around at our local library and found your book, “The Wild Robot.” My 8yo son loves robots, so of course he was immediately attracted to the book, because of its cover. We just finished it today, and everyone, even my 12yo and 10yo daughters loved it. Yes, that includes me too! It’s now one of my favorite books. I might even have to rank it above my childhood favorite, “Are You My Mother?” Like others who have commented above, we are all anxiously awaiting the sequel!

    • Carol Engberg says:

      Students loved creepy carrots/favorite
      CYRM…Teach keyboarding and
      coding…21st century skills..many can’t read
      Makes me crazy monster!
      Will share blog w/3-5th graders…
      Grateful for your work!
      Can creatively teach powerful thinking!
      I’m not a monster…except about book care!

  23. Joe Pool says:

    My son Maximos just finished up your book last night.

    He loved the book, and wanted me to ask what your plans were for “The Wild Robot 2”, since Roz’s story is clearly ongoing.

    So there you have it! Your fans are waiting! 🙂

    My favorite family member, who I try to spend as much time with as possible.Posted by Joe Pool on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

  24. The Wild Robot was my favorite book at our recent book fair – I sold many, many copies to kids and adults alike. What I really love about this book is that a child could read it now and re-read it in a few years and get something completely different from it. I also love the questions it raises – what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? How can it be used ethically and judiciously? What if, what if what if??\

    Looking forward to more of your books.

  25. alexander pearson says:

    My son just finished this, his first chapter book, and is in tears…the journey of Roz has touched him deeply. Thank you.

  26. sophia huang says:

    is there a sequel?

  27. Roxanne Walter says:

    I read this book over the summer, and knew I absolutely had to share it with my Grade 4 class. They were absolutely enthralled! Thank you for writing a book for middle schoolers that seems to recognize that they are intelligent, capable thinkers. We had so many fabulous discussions and are hoping for a sequel.

    Sincerely,

    Roxanne Walter

  28. lelle lutts says:

    I read to my children, 5 and 6, every day. We go through a lot of books. A LOT of books. We picked up “The Wild Robot” in July for my son’s birthday, but it sat for while in our current book stack waiting it’s turn. A couple of months ago we started reading it, and couldn’t stop. We read it in three days, make that nights before bedtime. “Just one more chapter!” “That chapter doesn’t count! It’s too short! One more!” “Mom, just ONE more chapter, I promise, I’ll go to bed!” I was secretly hoping they would beg for more chapters too. We were all hooked. The third night reading the last few chapters, we were all emotional and on the edge. No one wanted this story to end. We finished the book, quietly. My five year old breaks the silence with “Mama, go order Part Two so we have it tomorrow night.”

    “The Wild Robot” is our favorite book of the year. I find it in my daughter’s bed. I find it in my son’s bookcase. I find it downstairs. I find it in their reading corner. This book travels. In other words, it’s not a book to be read and just put down. They keep picking it up, over and over, reading chapters, looking at pictures, talking about the story.

    Thank you for the time, effort, energy you put into bringing these beautiful personalities to life. Roz is magic.

  29. Louanna says:

    Our 4th grade reading group just finished reading “The Wild Robot.” We really enjoyed it. We look forward to the next book!

  30. A. Richter says:

    Thank you for writing this blog post! My 6 year-old son LOVES this book. And he and I cried like babies when we read the end. I look forward to showing him this post and explaining how the book was created.

  31. Stan says:

    Hello Peter,

    Just finished reading this book with my 7 year old daughter and she was a beautiful crying mess afterwards, the story really touched her. she was also equally concerned by peril and sacrifices that the characters made (trying not to give anything away).

    I wanted to say thank you for treating the material with sensitivity, straight forwardness, and honesty and having the respect for children to speak to them as people able to handle difficulty and the scariness of real life. You didn’t play them up or play them down, they were not beyond her, they were appropriate and her reactions were appropriate, as was the joys and triumphs she experienced.

    this is a wonderful work, thank you… that said I had to promise her that there was another book coming where she would learn of the robot’s fate and that of her family to stem the tide of tears.

    looking forward to the next book!

  32. Oben says:

    I am seven years old and I really liked this book. It is one of my favorite books. The other two are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater. I also really liked the pictures in your book. I think it was a good story because it’s funny and sad. I thought it was cool that you used robot airships. I’m glad that you are making another book and I can’t wait to read it. I have a question about your writing rules. Why did you want to make the chapters as short as possible?

  33. AC says:

    My 8 year old is an adept reader but not one to engage emotionally with his books. He came to me after finishing Wild Robot and said it was “scary, amusing, and sad” – he got that emotional wallop some of the reviews mentioned. Thank you for writing a book that helped him access a new experience. We will be eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  34. Micaiah says:

    I am 8 years old and I read your book 5 times. I really want you to write a second or third one! Please…
    I can’t wait!
    Please write back so I don’t die of suspense, thank you.

    • Peter Brown says:

      I’m writing back immediately so that you don’t actually die of suspense! I hope I’m not too late! Thanks for your urgent comment, it’s the kind of comment that makes an author want to write quickly. I am currently hard at work on the second Wild Robot book…I’m writing as quickly as I can. Stay tuned!

  35. Susan says:

    I can’t wait for the sequel!!!

  36. Cyndi says:

    I am the mother of a very reluctant 10 year old reader. I am always on the lookout for books that he might show an interest in. This past summer I noticed your book The Wild Robot on display at our local library. The title and the cover drew me in and I checked it out and brought it home with me. As with any new book we bring home, I encourage my son to give it what I call “the chapter test.” Give the first chapter a try before you say you don’t like a book. Since the first chapter was short, we gave it another chapter, and then another, and before he knew it, he was hooked. Just last month, my son asked if I could get The Wild Robot from the library again. And he asked if I thought there might be a sequel. He’ll be very happy to hear that there will be more to read about Roz in the future! And I know one gift that will be under the tree this Christmas. Thank you so much.

  37. Mariya Shadrina says:

    Dear Peter, I would like to thank you from the bottom of a mothers heart for your book. It made my 8 year old son read! He is very reluctant reader, and on top of that it was difficult to find a great chapter book for his age. Both of us were reading the book and he would not let me pass him because he wanted to be the first to finish it. I know my son will have a great memory of his mom reading a book with him. And I thank you for that. I sincerely think you are not just a talented writer, you are genius. I write picture books myself and can understand how you doubted yourself. But this book is a masterpiece. My son and I cannot wait when the sequel The Wild Robot escapes comes out in October. Please, don’t stop writing. I hope to be able to catch you presenting somewhere sometime. ( please forgive any typoes).

  38. Adele says:

    Loved the book but why rifles and killing?

  39. Nelson the Dog says:

    This book is very cool and I am waiting for the next volume to come out

  40. Emma says:

    Dear Mr. Brown,
    I am 11-years-old and I don’t enjoy reading much. When my Mom tells me to read, I do it very reluctantly. She ordered this book for me because it is our reading book for book club this month (yes my Mom signed me up for a book club and I don’t enjoy reading). Anyway, I received this book yesterday in the mail from Amazon and just finished it. I couldn’t put it down and then started researching other books you have written and found that you are doing a sequel! Thank you! Thank you for writing a book that makes me want to read more! You have inspired me. I can’t wait for March to get here already!

  41. ella says:

    hi cuncle pete

  42. Jamie Pierson says:

    Hi there,
    I’m a bookmobile librarian and last night I visited one of my regular stops where I serve a population of Burmese immigrant kids. At that stop, there’s a group of kids I call the Boy Tornado, because they swarm onto my bus, speaking over each other in a mix of English and Zo, good-naturedly wrestling over their favorite books, swarm up to my check out desk and then pour out the door, leaving behind bare shelves. Maybe less a tornado and more a swarm of happy book locusts. Anyway, last night every single one of them asked me when The Wild Robot Escapes is coming out and if I could put it on hold for them.

    Just thought you’d like to know this sweet story. Your books are very popular with all our kids, especially Mr Tiger Goes Wild (though You Will Be My Friend is my personal favorite).

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