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Dear author/illustrator friends of “Lost in a Book”~

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In 2012, one of LitKid’s fellow book-loving friends was rushed to the hospital with a scary medical emergency (seizures and more, following a bite from a mosquito carrying an encephalitis virus at summer camp).

We reached out via the blog and Twitter, asking authors/illustrators we’ve connected with if they would be willing to send “ReaderGirl” messages of encouragement. We got amazing response, and on her third day in the hospital, we were able to take a stack of good wishes to ReaderGirl (who is back to perfect health today).

On this eve of Christmas Eve, we’re asking you for a similar favor. A student at LitKid’s wonderful former elementary school was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia last year. Now a first-grader, she just got a tremendous holiday gift of bone marrow from a faraway donor, and the transplant took place a couple of weeks ago.

(We use pen names here on the blog, so from here on out in our story, we’ll call her “SuperGirl,” in honor of her superhero-level bravery.)

While this bone marrow was a wonderful gift, it means that SuperGirl is spending the holidays (and weeks after) at Duke Children’s Hospital — and of course, that is a BUMMER.

So if you have a minute to send a little holiday cheer and a lot of encouragement to SuperGirl, we would be very grateful.

It doesn’t have to be long or fancy; getting good wishes from a real, live children’s book writer-illustrator-creative-person-extraordinaire would be pretty amazing, no matter what form it takes.

(We’ve heard through the grapevine that SuperGirl was requesting art from her friends to make her room cheerful, and we bet your greetings would be a nice addition to her gallery.)

For purposes of full disclosure, we are acquaintances of this brave girl and her family, tied by a once-shared elementary school as well as mutual friends locally and one state away. SuperGirl’s story also hits home for us because LitKid spent a scary week in the hospital when she was just a year and a half old, with many scary terms flying around, including aplastic anemia and leukemia; in the end, LitKid’s diagnosis was far less serious than those early guesses and  much more manageable.

So while we are not close friends of SuperGirl and her family, we greatly admire their courage, especially that of her sister, a third-grader at LitKid’s elementary school. Siblings have to be incredibly brave and patient (feel free to send a note for SuperGirl’s sister, too; I think SuperSister is a fitting pen name for her!).

Maybe you could do something as simple as scrawling a short,
colorful message (or doodle?) in magic marker, then snapping a smartphone photo of it and emailing it to our Lost in a Book email address? Typing a quick note in an email is great, too; whatever works for you.

Our email address is 2girlslostinabook@gmail.com. (And if you would like to use SuperGirl’s real first name — or her sister’s — in your note to personalize it, just email us, and we’d be happy to share that with you privately.)

If you know of other writer/illustrator friends who might be willing to send a message, please feel free to send them this post.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and gift of time!

~AKid@Heart

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This old-fashioned rhyming picture book, first published in 1966, was LitKid’s second pick from our collection for reading this holiday season.

Santa Mouse (written by Michael Brown and illustrated by Elfrieda DeWitt) is particularly special in our house because it is responsible for one of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions (pay close attention, and you’ll figure out what it is).

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(Hermione, one of the ‘Lost in a Book’ kittens, has once again photo-bombed.)

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I love this opening illustration, which always reminds me a little of another favorite from my childhood — Gus the Friendly Ghost (see our earlier post), in which a mouse inhabits a big old house.

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This little mouse living all alone in a house doesn’t even have a name … but he does have a big imagination ~ and CHEESE.

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Then he makes a new friend who gives the little mouse an important new job … and the trip of a lifetime.

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And when Christmas Eve rolls around, we like to imagine Santa Mouse catching a ride down our chimney with the Big Guy … and we’re always prepared, just in case.

~AKid@Heart

We hope you can find a copy of Santa Mouse and enjoy it this Christmas!

LitKid and I love reading the holiday picture books we’ve collected every bit as much now as we did when she was a little thing; taking them out of their off-season spot high in her closet is one of the first things we do to kick off the holidays.

We try to read one every night, and tonight she picked this one:

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All of the books in the “If You…” series are fun; we love the holiday twist of this one, not to mention the movie theme, as watching schmaltzy movies is also one of our holiday traditions.

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(Until we opened the book tonight, I had forgotten that Laura Numeroff signed the book back when LitKid was just 4 years old.)

Here is a favorite spread from the book (complete with kitten photobomb) … Happy holiday reading!

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~AKid@Heart

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