Interviewing Children’s Author Virginia White

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Virginia White has loved to write since college. Her idea for Warren the Honking Cat came from her daughter. In third grade, Virginia’s daughter wrote a small story about a cat that honked. White took her daughter’s story and continued it into a series. She got the name Warren from her husband. Another inspiration she got was when her husband Warren came home with a female Siamese kitten because his dad was a veterinarian. About a month later Warren came home with a male Siamese kitten.

Next thing she knew, she had six kittens on her bed. One cat would sit on the piano bench while her daughters were playing and hit a few keys. But when they were alone on the bench they would play many notes.

Virginia White taught high school language arts and creative writing. She had barley anytime to write. “After I retired I had more time to write,” White said.

Virginia loved to go to go to the bookstore and library to look for children’s books. She would always ask the librarian what kids

liked. White stayed up at night to read the books she found. Virginia found it hard to find a publisher to publish her book and her illustrator would send sketches that she would have to say no to because it didn’t look like what she wanted.

Her lesson for the young readers of Warren the Honking Cat is that everyone is different. That everyone will have differences than everyone else. Different people will have different strengths and personalities.

Virginia asked a class she was reading too for ideas for her new book. A third grader told her that he was joining a band soon. She took that in to consideration for her next book. Virginia still went to schools to read Warren the Honking Cat and she still searched for more ideas. One other kid had the idea of the president being in the book but she asked herself. Should they be a girl or a boy?

It almost came into the present with the presidential race. She got more feedback from students. Even when she had enough information, Virginia would still read to students to teach a lesson. “I want young readers to get engaged in a book” Victoria told us.