“Humor is the oxygen of children’s literature.” — Sid Fleischman

In the May/June issue of the “SCBWI Bulletin,” there is a very touching piece remembering author, Sid Fleischman, who passed away in March. I was never lucky enough to meet Sid Fleischman, but I’ve read his books and have used them in my classroom and library. The humor in his books is infectious. The Newbery Award novel, The Whipping Boy, plus Jim Ugly, and the McBroom series are books that keep my students coming back for more.  

It was said Sid Fleischman was dedicated to his work. He placed great value on his writing time, but he also made time to help and advise aspiring writers. I’ve heard other authors speak of him with words of praise. He was a great role model – talented and generous with his time.   

For some reason I see my favorite authors as timeless – just like their books. When one of them passes away, I am not only sad, but sometimes surprised by their age. It’s a reality check on the passage of time.

I’ve been lucky to be a part of a talented community of writers who willingly share their time and expertise. It is my hope that all writers remember the qualities that make superior authors and mentors as exemplified by Sid Fleischman.

One last thought:

Like Sid Fleischman I write humor. I am wondering if my picture book, which sold in 2006, will ever make it into bookstores. If not, I can foresee my eulogy:  She’s still waiting – in another place – to have her picture book published.

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