About the Author
Valerie Scho Carey was born in Pittsburgh, PA. Her family moved to Flint, MI when she was in elementary school. "One of the greatest joys of my childhood was listening to the stories my parents told about their own childhoods. I never tired of asking for new stories and hearing old ones repeated." Her own pleasure in storytelling grew from those early years of listening. "I made up and told stories to entertain my younger sister and neighborhood children." A teacher encouraged her to write and she began to keep a notebook of poems. One of the earliest was a poem called "The Merry Little Nuthatch" written after watching the bird in the title climb up and down a tree trunk in a neighbor's yard. She continued to read and write poetry throughout high school and college. Valerie graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A and an M.A. in history. Not long after the birth of her second child, she began submitting work for publication. Her first book, HARRIET & WILLIAM & THE TERRIBLE CREATURE was named a "children's book of the year" by a joint committee of the Children's Book Council and International Reading Association. She has published five books for children, among them: TSUGELE'S BROOM, named an American Library Association Notable Book, and THE DEVIL & MOTHER CRUMP, a Parents Choice Gold Award winner and winner of the 1987 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for Arnold Lobel's illustrations. Valerie enjoys gardening, reading, and feeding the birds in her backyard. "I've learned from watching birds at the feeders that individual birds have personalities. Some are content to share space and take turns at a feeder. Others are feisty or even quarrelsome. Some small birds will chase off bigger ones, and in the summer, some juveniles will help their parents feed younger siblings that hatched from a later clutch of eggs." She enjoys visiting parklands - Acadia National Park in Maine being a family favorite - and walking trails where she can indulge in her other passion - botanizing. Valerie lives with her husband in Ann Arbor, MI where she divides her time between writing, substitute teaching for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, volunteering at the University of Michigan's Clements Library of American culture and history, & docenting at the University's Matthaei Botanical Gardens.