Karen Casale subscribes to the theory, if you can't find a book on a particular subject, write one yourself.
On Monday, the library aide at John F. Kennedy Middle School saw the official release of her first picture book. "Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book" contains important guidelines for children on how to take care of books.
"You have to teach them how to find library books and how to use library books," Casale said. "I was trying to find a book to use with them on how to take care of library books. There was nothing, so I wrote one."
For a theme, Casale came up with the Library Secret Service. "I was playing around with FBI and CIA, and my husband's a cop," she said. "Kids love that authority thing, but in a funny way, so I wrote the book and it got published."
Casale submitted her work to Upstart Books of Madison, WI. "Six months later they accepted, and it became a book two years later," she said.
Among the humorous tips Casale gives youngsters:
- Do not let a baby drool on your books. Especially if he's just eaten strained peas.
- Do not take your books out in the rain or put them in the bathtub. You should definitely take a bath, however.
- Never let a ghost borrow your library book. Ghosts have a habit of disappearing.
Illustrations for the book were done by Cecilia Rebora of Barcelona, Spain, who has worked on 31 other children's books. "I've never met or even talked to her," Casale laughed.
Though this is her first book, Casale has had her work published before.
"I started writing a long time ago, and I have had a lot of poems and short stories published in children's magazines like Highlights," she said, adding a new poem will run in Highlights in March.
"Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book" is available at upstartbooks.com. "It will eventually be available at Amazon and at the local Barnes & Noble," Casale said.