Albie The Lifeguard [ePub]

by Louise Borden

There were already two Louises in my family when I was born: my mother and my grandmother, Nana, who lived with us when I was growing up. So early on, I was given the name Leezie. This is a name that my family still calls me. Years later, my niece was born and also named Louise. Then there were four of us with the same name! Louise is a fine name to have except that people often spell it incorrectly. Sometimes my mail is addressed to Louisa, or Louisie, or Lewis, or Lois. Leezie is also tough for people to spell. Names and their pronunciations have always interested me, so writing about a teacher named Mrs. Kempczinski was a natural thing for me to do.

I grew up in a house at the top of a steep street in Cincinnati, Ohio, the kind of street that is a big challenge when you are pedaling uphill on your bicycle. My two sisters and I used to ride our bikes down, down our street, and then to the local dimestore to buy candy bars or meet up with our friends. But coming home, we had to pedal up our long hill. (This was before mountain bikes!) Pedaling slowly up my street may be where I learned perseverance, something all writers need when they are working alone at their desks.

Writing picture books came much later—after studying history in college, getting married, and raising three children. Even though I didn't grow up to be a composer, I like to think that my picture books are almost songs because the sound of words and the poetry of my style are so important in the texts that I write. I work very hard at my desk, revising and revising and revising, trying to find just the right words that will be beautiful or fun to read.



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